The Planning Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh and National Foundation for India are co-hosting a conclave on “Improving economic participation of women in Andhra Pradesh: Towards achieving SDG 5”, on 19th and 20th of December 2018 at Hotel Fortune Murali Park, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. with the objective of identifying strategies to enable a larger share of women to participate in economic activities and take up leadership roles in politics.

Andhra Pradesh has astutely prioritized the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The state government has taken a host of measures to align its development agenda to SDGs and is committed to achieving most of the SDGs by 2022. While the theme of the conclave is largely related to Goal 5 - achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, it has a strong impact on most of the other goals too.

Andhra Pradesh realizes the economic imperative of higher female participation rate in the economy - more women participating in economic activities translates to higher GDP and growth. Low women workforce participation rate, gender wage gap, and less percentage of women owning proprietary establishments are some of the symptoms or outcomes of the underlying issues for which the conclave seeks to identify solutions. When it comes to political participation, Andhra Pradesh has a long way to go in gender parity in leadership roles.

The solution-oriented conclave is aimed at devising an action plan for the state to address these issues. We are inviting a small group of expert speakers, from governments, multilateral organisations, civil society organisations, and private sector with rich experience in addressing similar problems. We would also like to invite selected students from the country’s leading public policy schools to present their views on the issues and suggest solutions.

We are looking forward to two days of exchange of ideas, brainstorming, and strategizing which will shape the state’s policies for an economy and society with higher gender parity.

DAY 1 : 19TH DECEMBER, 2018




09:00 - 10:00
Registration and refreshments
10:00 - 11:15
Inaugural session

Setting the context for the discussions – snapshot of current economic and political participation of women in Andhra Pradesh – what does SDG 5 envision?


Welcome address: Mr Sanjay Gupta, IFS
CEO - Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society and Secretary (e.o.) to Government, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Presidential address: Prof. Pam Rajput
Dean Social Sciences - Panjab University, Member - NITI Aayog Working Group on Gender, Former Chair - High Level Committee on Status of Women, Government of India

Special address: Mr. Arun Kumar IAS
Secretary - Women Development and Child Welfare Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Special address: Mr. P. Krishna Mohan
CEO - Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, Andhra Pradesh

Special address: Mr. P. Chinna Thataiah
MD - Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas, Andhra Pradesh

11:15 - 13:00
Session 1

Solutions to low work participation rate and force and labour force participation rate of women compared to those of men, especially in urban areas (more details in annexure 1)

Ms. Revathy Ashok
Co-founder – Strategy Garage, CEO and Managing Trustee, Bangalore Political Action Committee

Dr. Aseem Prakash
Chairperson - School of Public Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Dr. Shahazadi Shaik
Senior Manager, Brandix Apparel City

Ms. Medha Uniyal
Programme Director - Vocational Training, Pratham Education Foundation

Student presentation: Ms. Shreya VS
13.00 - 14:00
14:00 - 13:45
Session 2

Solutions to low wages to women compared to that to men more details in annexure 2)

Dr. Pam Rajput
Dean Social Sciences - Panjab University, Member - NITI Aayog Working Group on Gender,Former Chair - High Level Committee on Status of Women, Government of India

Ms. Supriya Kapoor
Senior Business Consultant, Women on Wings

Ms. Nisha Subramanium & Mr. Gowtham Reddy
Lead, Project Kanavu, Association for Sarva Seva Farms (ASSEFA) Foundation

Student presentation: Ms. Deepshi Arya and Ms. Priya Tiwari
15:45 - 16:15
16:15 - 18:00
Session 3

Solutions to poor ownership of proprietary establishments by women (more details in annexure 3)

Dr. Gouri Krishna
CEO - Basix Consulting

Mr. John Victor Arun Kumar
Senior Project Manager, IFMR LEAD

Ms. Dolon Ganguly
Programme Director, Azad Foundation

Student presentation: Ms. Megha Sharda and Ms. Tarishi Sharma
19:30 onwards

DAY 2: 20TH DECEMBER, 2018




09:00 - 10:00
Registration and refreshments
10:00 - 10:15
Recap of Day 1
10:15 - 12:00
Session 4

Strategies to improve the political participation of women in local, district, and state levels


Prof. Aseem Prakash
Chairperson - School of Public Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Dr. Lavanya Suresh
Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, Hyderabad Campus

Dr. Mithlesh Jayas Mukherji
Researcher and ex-member of faculty, Pondicherry University

Student presentation: Mr. Aman Walia
12:00 - 13:00
Conclusion and valedictory session

Based on the presentations and discussions in the conclave, collation an action plan for the state government to adopt.

The action items will be vetted by relevant authorities and committed to.

Sri Anil Chandra Punetha, IAS
Chief Secretary to Government, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Mr. Sanjay Gupta, IFS
CEO - Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society and Secretary (e.o.) to Government, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Mr. Satyabrata Chakrabarti
Technical Consultant on SDGs - National Foundation for India, Former Deputy Director General, Central Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India
13:00 onwards



Chairperson, School of Governance and Public Policy, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad

Prof Aseem has more than 15 years of experience in research and teaching which also includes a stint at the University of Oxford as a Fell Fund Fellow. He was instrumental in laying the intellectual foundation of the School of Public Policy and Governance including designing the course curriculum of the M.A. in Public Policy and Governance Programme (PPG) at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

Prior to joining TISS, Prof Aseem was a part of the two-member team which established the first Public Policy school in India- Jindal School of Government and Public Policy. He was also invited by UNDP and Department of Planning, Government of Maldives to prepare a rubric for the first ever Maldives Institute of Policy Studies in Male, Maldives.

His research interests include the interface between the state and markets, regulation and institutions, sociology of markets, social discrimination, and human development. His most recent books are “The Indian Middle Class” (coauthored with Surinder Jodhka), published by Oxford University Press (2016) and “Dalit Capital: State, Markets and Civil Society in Urban India” published by Routledge (2015). Prof. Aseem earned his doctorate from the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.


Programme Director, Azad Foundation

Dolon Ganguly is a feminist development professional working in the field of gender and livelihood for more than 20 years. Dolon’s expertise lies in extensive capacity building of grassroot women with a feminist perspective as well as on the issue of gender and livelihood. Through her active role in State’s women rights’ network, Maitree, Dolon has also been providing leadership to the women’s movements in West Bengal, India. She heads the Kolkata programme of Azad Foundation and provides inputs in Azad’s overall strategizing interventions as a core team member. Also, she writes regularly in vernacular newspapers, journals on the issue of gender.


Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Basix Consulting and Technology Services Ltd.

Dr. Gouri has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) and a Post-Graduate degree in Zoology, and PhD in Management from Golden State University of USA. She has over 30 years of work experience. She has worked with Andhra Pradesh State Cooperative Oil Seeds Growers Federation (AP Oil fed), AGA Publications, Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI), Institute of Livelihood Research and Training (ILRT). She brings in a unique understanding of academic administration in addition to her rich experience of working at the grassroots. Her core areas of expertise include working with community-based organizations, livelihood promotion and research, capacity building and training.


Senior Project Manager, IFMR Lead

John is a Senior Project Manager at IFMR LEAD and currently oversees the organization’s MSME and Entrepreneurship research portfolio. John has 10 years of experience in the Development Sector and has a special interest in SME growth. He has worked at Tata Consultancy Services in implementing a Computer-Based Functional Literacy Training program as part of the Entrepreneurship Development program of Bharatiya Yuva Shakthi Trust at Confederation of Indian Industries and has partnered in setting up a SME consulting firm. His core areas of work are project design, implementation and monitoring & evaluation. At IFMR Lead, John led a study titled “A bird’s eye view of women entrepreneurs in Tamil Nadu” which assessed the ecosystem for women-run MSMEs in Tamil Nadu, with a focus on the needs of women entrepreneurs, and identified strategies to furthering their development. John holds a Master’s degree from the Madras School of Social Work and Bachelor of Computer Science from the Madras university.


Assistant Professor, BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad campus

Dr. Lavanya Suresh’s areas of research interest are political ecology, decentralisation and public administration. Her work has been published in the Economic & Political Weekly, South Asia Research among others. Her most recent publication is a book titled “Decentralised Democracy: Gandhi’s Vision and Indian Reality” co-authored with Prof. M.V. Nadkarni and N. Sivanna published by Routledge in 2018. She has a Ph.D in Political Science from the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC). Prior to working at BITS, she was an Assistant Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Hyderabad. She was also awarded the visiting research scholar fellowship under the Graduate Development Program of the Watson Institute of International Studies’ at Brown University, USA in 2012.


Dr. Mithlesh Jayas is a doctorate in Political Science from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Her topic of research was ‘The Working of Parliament of India: a Study of Post-Nehru Era.’ She has been a Guest Faculty at Department of Politics and International Studies, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry. Her keen interest areas of research are gender studies, Indian Politics and International relations. She has more than 10 research papers published in reputed National Journals and has presented many papers in National conferences/academic meets. Dr. Mithlesh is a recipient of the Nehru Research Fellowship, Center for Nehru Studies, Aligarh Muslim University in 2004 and is a member of Indian Political Science Association (IPSA). She is currently a Joint Secretary of South zone (IPSA).


Nisha & Gowtham are an educator-couple, passionate about transforming India by transforming our schools and communities. They dream of an India in which, “where a child is born doesn’t dictate her destiny”. To realize this dream, they work with ASSEFA foundation in rural Tamilnadu, leading livelihood and education efforts. Their work impacts 1300 students through 5 schools, 100+ women and their families. They believe, our livelihood efforts with mothers from the community will support them to realize their “kanavu” (dreams) for their children and themselves. Both Nisha and Gowtham are alumni of BITS Pilai and were fellows and Programme Managers with Teach for India.


Program Director, Pratham

Medha leads the program development team for vocational training-involving overall responsibilities of impact evaluation and new innovations. She was formerly as journalist and continues to write about Patham’s work in publications like The Guardian, Outlook, Indian Express among others. Medha studied Mass Media at St. Xavier’s Mumbai and has worked with grassroots organizations in Chattishgarh and Madhya Pradesh.


Women 2030; Chairperson, High Level Committee on the Status of Women, Government of India

Pam Rajput, Ph.D, is an Indian academic turned internationally renowned activist who has been engaged in the women’s movement since the mid-70s both in India and internationally. She helped organize and was the first speaker of a “Women’s Parliament” that brought together over 500 women leaders from every part of India. A recipient of many academic fellowships, she is a member of several expert committees and bodies in India including the nation’s: Planning Commission, Ministry of Women & Child Development, National Commission for Women, delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and many others. She is also the founder and Director of the Centre for Women’s Studies & Development and the Head of the Department of Political Science at Panjab University.


Angel Investor, Co-Founder Strategy Garage, Honorary CEO & Managing Trustee B.PAC & Former Managing Director Tishman Speyer

Revathy Ashok is the Co-Founder of Strategy Garage a strategy and growth consulting firm for startups, mid and early stage companies, helping them build value and scale. She is an active Angel Investor with investments in over 15 startups and Member on Boards of several leading global companies such as Weslpun, Astra Zeneca, Shell–MRPL, Quess etc. She has held senior leadership positions in global corporations such as Tishman Speyer, Syntel Inc, and Microland Group. Inc 42, named her as one of the leading women angel investors in the country, Dataquest as one of the 10 most powerful women in the Indian IT industry, by CII as one of the top women achievers in Business in South India. She is also the Honorary CEO & Managing Trustee of B.PAC, a leading advocacy group in the city working with the Political leadership and bureaucracy in improving city governance, a partner at Social Venture Partners (SVP), a Trustee of the Academy of Theater Arts, Bangalore Little Theatre (BLT) Foundation and India Cares. She runs a political and civic leadership incubator B.CLIP that has trained 250 leaders so far of which 30% are women leaders in politics. She is actively evangelizing a Roadmap 2020 Framework for women’s entrepreneurship and leadership development across the Indian Sub-Continent.


Senior Manager - Learning & Development, Brandix Apparel India Pvt. Ltd., Visakhapatnam

Dr. Shahazadi Shaik leads the learning and development vertical and talent pipeline building initiative. She is an MBA and Ph.D in International Business from Andhra University and has over 17 years of experience in the industry and management teaching. Currently her role at Brandix involves planning and executing training & development programs and other learning activities that aim at developing and retaining quality talent. She also coordinates with universities and academic institutes with the objective of inducting best talent into the organization in building the talent pipeline.



Aman Walia is a student of M.A. Development Studies at Azim Premji University. Prior to his pursuing his masters, he was a student of B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering where he an aspiration to pursue a career in the field of social sciences. He was recently involved in a field immersion of two weeks in the Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra. He worked extensively with tribals from the region and tried to develop an intricate understanding of the problem faced by them. His findings focused on open defecation, clean energy and livelihoods. His areas of interest include gender, livelihoods and energy resources.


Deepshi Arya is a student of M.A in Public Policy at O.P Jindal Global University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Calcutta University. She interned at the Centre for Policy Research where she provided research support for study on youth employment in small cities which focused specifically on female labour force participation. She has also been a research support for a study on ‘Budgetary Priorities for Safety of Women in Public Spaces in Jharkhand: A study on Ranchi and Hazaribagh’ conducted by the Centre for Budget & Governance Accountability, Delhi in 2017. Currently, for her master’s thesis, she is researching in Coimbatore where she is working on migrant women workers in urban spaces. Her area of interest lies in women’s work in Urban Spaces.


Megha Sharda is a post graduate student from Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) pursuing a Master’s degree in Development Studies. She has Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Kirorimal College at the University of Delhi. Her interest in women’s issues has led her to volunteer with the college level women empowerment cell- Sahas, where she worked to build awareness and empower women about their own rights. Megha has also volunteered with the National Service Scheme and worked with underprivileged children. She is keen on interested in understanding women’s empowerment through cottage and home- based industries, and has recently completed a paper on the same.


Priya Tiwari, a student of M.A. in Public Policy at O.P Jindal Global University has done her bachelor’s in Political Science Hons from Calcutta University. She has worked on projects focused specifically on understanding women’s economic and social positions. She was a research assistant to Prof. Haritas on her research on fisher women in Udupi. Later, she was involved in drafting a policy brief that was submitted to government of Karnataka. She has also interned at ‘Apne Aap’ - an NGO working towards stopping inter-generational prostitution amongst women in Sonagachi. She is currently working on tracking district budgets for WATSUN project in Odisha and Bihar with Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, Delhi. Her areas of interest include gender, budget analysis, and health & policy infrastructure.


Vanagala Srinivasa Sreya is a student of M.A. Development Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad. She has done her B.Tech in Information Technology from G.Narayanamma Institute of Technology and Science. She has worked extensively with Street Cause and KPMG where she was involved in projects which aimed at providing access to education and vocational training to women and enhancing their financial literacy. During her field immersion in Uttar Pradesh, she developed a keenness to understand the position of women in economic, political and social hierarchy as adopted by the communities. Her areas of interest are local governance, economic, political and social empowerment of vulnerable groups, and citizen engagement in decision-making.


Tarishi Sharma is a post graduate student from Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) pursuing a Master’s degree in Development Studies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History from St. Stephen’s college, Delhi. She is interested in the sphere of policy and governance, with a focus on gender issues. Tarishi has worked with women’s groups in rural Haryana. Most recently she has been involved with the government of Delhi, to transform their public education system.