Keynote Speakers


Prof. Melissa Steyn

[Keynote Speaker]
Sociologist & South African National Research Chair in Critical Diversity Studies
Director & Chair of Wits Centre for Diversity Studies
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Steyn obtained her BA in 1977 from the University of South Africa, passing all her subjects, bar one, with distinction. In 1982, she completed a BA Honours in English Literature, Cum Laude, from Stellenbosch University. Having been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a master's degree in Intercultural Communication at Arizona State University in the US, she graduated in 1996 as the top graduate in Communication Studies and in the College of Journalism and Communication, and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Her masters’ thesis Whiteness Just Isn’t What it Used to Be: White Identity in a Changing South Africa was published as a book by the same title by SUNY Press in 2001 and won the 2002 Outstanding Scholarship Award in International and Intercultural Communication from the National Communication Association in the United States. While in the US, Steyn studied at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication in Portland Oregon in 1995 and 1996. She obtained her PhD (Psychology) from the University of Cape Town in 2004....

Steyn has served in numerous capacities on bodies promoting social justice issues. She is a member of the steering committee of the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance; she was a member of the South African Ministerial Committee on Diversity in Textbooks (2017-8); and served as an expert witness to the South African Section 59 investigation inquiry into allegations of unfair Racial Discrimination and Procedural Unfairness by Medical Schemes (2000). She was a member of Academy of Science of South Africa panel which produced the report on Diversity in human sexuality: Implications for policy in Africa. A consensus report on the implications of recent scientific research for policy in Africa. She was co-chair and chair of Anti-racism Network in Higher Education (ARNHE) for 10 years which organized symposia at universities across South Africa.

Steyn's work in Critical Whiteness Studies was seminal in drawing out both the family resemblances and differences between whiteness in South Africa and contexts where white people are the demographic majority, such as the United States. Her book Whiteness Just Isn’t What It Used to Be: White Identity in a Changing South Africa was the first full-length study on whiteness in post-apartheid South Africa and was formative of the field in the South Africa. In succeeding years, Steyn has continued to study how white South Africans shape their identities under circumstances in which they do not control the political levers of state power.

Steyn has spearheaded the development of diversity studies as an academic field in South Africa. This involved the establishment of a centre at UCT (2000 - 2011) and the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. The framework Steyn has developed, Critical Diversity Literacy (CDL), consists of ten criteria that characterize a sensibility open to differences, informed by a consciousness of power relations and willing to act towards more just societies. The framework has informed interventions both in South Africa and in various international contexts including Switzerland, Germany, Australia, and various Southern African countries. A co-edited book on CDL in Higher Education has appeared in German.

Rosaline Govender has been working within the field of Academic Development since 2011. Her experience in academic development spans across student, staff and curriculum development. At institutional level, she has served as a member of several task teams including General Education and Siyaphumelela. She was a member of the core team which developed the Cornerstone 101 module (compulsory Institutional General Education module). She is also an accredited facilitator and assessor. At faculty level, Rosaline serves as the coordinator of the Faculty General Education (FGE) modules and under her leadership four FGE modules were developed and implemented. She also convenes the annual Faculty eLearning Faculty Symposium and is the Coordinator of the Decolonisation and Scholarship of Learning and Teaching (SoTL) Projects in the faculty. She supervises postgraduate students and serves as a reviewer on the Faculty Research Ethics Committee. Rosaline is the present Chairperson of the Gender Forum at DUT and the Secretary of the Institutional Forum. Dr Govender is also the Coordinator of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Higher Education module on the PG Dip in HE at DUT. At national level she previously served as the convenor of the HELTASA’s, Professional Development Collaborative Learning Community (PDCLC). Rosaline is presently the project manager of the HELTASA Professional Learning Project. At an international level she is the convenor of the International Teaching and Learning Collaboration between DUT and Dr.SNS Rajalakshmi College of Arts and Science (India). She is also a member of the LCT Centre for Knowledge Building. Rosaline’s research interests include student success, professional learning, teaching and learning, academic development and gender issues.


Dr. Rosaline Govender

[Keynote Speaker]
Chairperson of the Gender Forum of DUT
Secretary, Institutional Forum
Academic Development Practitioner
Durban University of Technology (DUT),
South Africa

Dr. Saundarya Rajesh

Social Entrepreneur,
Founder & President, Avtar Group

Dr Saundarya Rajesh, a social entrepreneur was once a second-career woman who acted against the inequalities posed by the Corporate World in engaging with women on a career break.

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Nadia Ayub

[Plenary Speaker]
Associate Dean
College of Economics and Social Development
Institute of Business Management

Dr. Nadia Ayub, Professor & Associate Dean of College of Economics and Social Development, IoBM. Dr Ayub completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. She is HEC approved Ph.D. Supervisor and supervising number of MPhil & Ph.D. thesis at IoBM. Her research focuses on social problems, adolescents, organizational issues, personality, family and marriages, and Psychometrics. She has published more than forty journal articles, presented research papers at Harvard University, the USA in 2012 & 2013 and around the world, served as a reviewer of Impact factor journals including the Australian Journal of Psychology and PsyCH Journal. She has worked on a research project on Community Health Sciences at the Aga Khan University and Hospital. She is a member of the HEC National Curriculum Revision Committee of Psychology. She is the recipient of the Group Study Exchange Program Fellowship 2011 for Pennsylvania, USA, hosted by the Rotary Foundation International. She received the HEC Best University Teacher Award for 2011.

SPEECH TITLE: Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI): Fostering Equality, Catalyzing Change


Dr. Pratibha Jolly served as Principal, Miranda House, premiere college for women at University of Delhi, a post she held for fourteen years from April 2005 till February 2019. Under her dynamic leadership, Miranda House received All India Rank One under National Institutional Ranking Framework, a feat sustained for five successive years from 2017 to 2021.

Dr. Jolly was Chairperson of the International Commission on Physics Education (ICPE), Commission 14 of the apex International Union for Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) for six years from October 2005 to 2011, having served as member first from 2002 to 2005. She was also IUPAP Vice President (elected from amongst commission chairs) from 2005-2008. The high point of her tenure was launch of Physware series of active learning Educate the Educator workshops to strengthen teaching of physics, especially in the developing world. She also served as Member, National Liaison Committee (IUPAP), 2008–2011.

A rare honour, Dr. Jolly was conferred the prestigious IUPAP-ICPE medal 2019 for her contributions to Physics Education with international outreach. Dr Jolly served from 2012 to 2017 on the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet constituted by the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt. of India. She recently contributed to the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 framework as Co-Chair of Thematic Group Education. ...

Dr. Jolly is an elected Fellow (Science and Society) of National Academy of Sciences of India (NASI) and recipient of the NASI Buti Foundation Lecture Award 2017. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IoP) UK. She is recipient of AUSAID grants as Australian Leadership Award Fellow (ALAF) 2013; Fulbright New Century Scholar Award 2009-2010; American Physical Society Kilambi Ramavataram Fellowship 1994-95; Tata-Fulbright Travel Grant 1994- 95; and Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship 1986-87. These awards enabled work with leading Physics Education Research groups across the world. She was conferred the GIREP (International Research Group on Physics Teaching) 50th Anniversary Medal in 2016. Amongst several other awards, she is recipient of Indian Association of Physics Teachers (Delhi Chapter) Lifetime Achievement Award 2016; Lifetime Achievement Award by the Women’s International Network (WIN) 2012; and Indian Television Academy’s GR8! Women Achiever’s Award 2011. Recently she was conferred the Women Entrepreneur Mentor Award 2019 by Delhi Management Association (DMA); and MDGs and MSME Woman of the Year Award 2019 on the International Women’s Day.

Dr. Jolly has wide ranging synergetic contributions. She served as Secretary Indian Association of Physics Teachers, a body of more than four thousand teachers, from 2004 to 2006. She serves on several committees of Department of Science and Technology. She is Member, Scientific Review Committee for Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) Programme, a DST Initiative; Member National Academic Committee for supervision of National Children’s Science Congress; Member; National Monitoring Committee for DST INSPIRE Mentorship Programme. She has been associated with several DST Women in Science schemes for many years. Dr. Jolly has also been associated with several Department of Biotechnology (DBT) schemes. She is member Task Force and Expert Committee on Star College Scheme; Skill Vigyan Committee; and DBT Steering Committee on HRD. She was nominated member of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Education Council 2019-2020. She served on the Research Advisory Committee of Sri Ram Institute of Industrial Research for several years. She is currently Member, Research Advisory Committee of ICAR-NAARM (National Academy of Agricultural Research Management), Hyderabad.

Dr. Jolly gained a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemical Physics in 1980 from University of Delhi. She began her academic career in 1980 at Miranda House where her interests veered to innovation and research in science education at the tertiary level. In 1988, she moved to the Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi as Research Scientist. She joined as Principal Acharya Narendra Dev College, University of Delhi in October 2002. In April 2005, she was nudged to move as Principal to her alma mater, Miranda House.

Dr. Jolly has several pioneering research projects to her credit that have led to pedagogical innovation and development of educational resource materials. With wide ranging synergetic contributions for capacity building and publications on research-based physics education, she has been an invited speaker at major physics education conferences the world over. Her multifaceted work led to establishment of the D S Kothari Centre for Research and Innovation in Science Education at Miranda House. A state-of-art facility for interdisciplinary research was also created and faculty inspired to undertake major research projects. Science education outreach, faculty and undergraduate research have drawn major grants and international collaborations. Dr. Jolly is passionate about engendering change, early adoption of new technologies, faculty development, capacity building of women in science and leadership roles, entrepreneurial activities, mentoring diverse student populations, creating technology enhanced active teaching-learning environment, promoting project-based learning, interdisciplinary undergraduate research and helping students build successful careers.

Having served as a member of the Executive Council and General Council of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), she has recently joined NAAC as Academic Consultant. Dr. Jolly is currently working on the programme Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI), recently launched as a pilot by the Department of Science and Technology. GATI is a novel intervention for gender equity in STEMM disciplines. With launch of GATI, India joins other international gender equality charters. As Principal Investigator, she has developed an innovative gender equity framework for Self-assessment and Accreditation of institutions for higher education and research. Thirty leading institutions have recently onboarded the pilot. It is hoped that GATI will usher deep level systemic changes in policies, practices, organizational culture and gender climate of higher education and research institutions in the country. Dr. Jolly can be reached at pratibha.jolly@gmail.com

Dr. Pratibha Jolly FNASc, FinstP (IoP, UK)

[Plenary Speaker]
Academic Consultant, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)
PI, DST Supported Project GATI (Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions)
Former Principal, Miranda House, University of Delhi

Anoosh W. Khan

[Plenary Speaker]
Professor & Chair
Department of Gender Studies
University of Peshawar, Pewshawar 25120
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,