Mrs. SUSHMA BERLIA (President, ASERF)

lectureA Profile

Mrs. Sushma Berlia, President, ASERF, President of the Apeejay Stya Group and Vice-President, Apeejay Education Society is a leading industrialist, educationist and entrepreneur in the country who combines her deep interest in education along with business acumen of the highest order.

  • President, Apeejay Stya Group & Svrán  Group
  • Vice-President, Apeejay Education Society
  • Chairperson, Board of Governors, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of  Technology (NIT), Jalandhar
  • Past-President, PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI)
  • Immediate Past President & Founder President, Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI)
  • President, Apeejay Stya Education Research Foundation (ASERF)
  • Member, Managing Committee, FICCI, ASSOCHAM & International Chamber of Commerce-India.
  • Chairperson of Task Force on Skill Development in Northern India, PHDCCI
  • Member of the Apex Committee at National level for the Skill Development Initiative (SDI) Scheme,  Government of India, Ministry of Labour and Employment (DGE&T)
  • Member of AICTE’s National Board of Accreditation

Mrs. Sushma Berlia, President of the Svrán Group and of the Apeejay Stya Group (a constituent of the Svrán Group), combines her deep interest in education along with business acumen of the highest order.

Education
After completing her schooling at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Shimla & Delhi, and graduation from Lady Sri Ram College with Economic Honours, she studied for her Master’s in Business Economics from the University of Delhi. 

Leading Entrepreneur
Inspired by her father, Dr. Stya Paul, Chairman Emeritus of the Apeejay Stya Group, took to business and industry in 1989 and is a leading woman entrepreneur presently the President of the Apeejay Stya Group & Svrán Groupan International Conglomerate of Businesses with activities in Pharmaceuticals & Chemicals, Real Estate and Development, International Trading & Distribution, Financial Investments & Services and several Emerging Businesses (Automotives, Information Technology, Publishing & Media)..

Mrs. Berlia was the President of the PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry [PHDCCI] in it’s 101st year. (PHDCCI is a multi-state Apex Chamber of Commerce in Northern India covering 10 states and 1 Union Territory, comprising 44% of the geographical area of India.) On taking over the reins of the PHDCCI as President in Dec 2005, she became the first-ever lady in history to head an Apex Chamber of Commerce in India.  She is also the first Lady Member of the Managing Committee of the PHDCCI. 

Contribution to Pharma Industry
Mrs. Berlia has a special focus in the area of Life Science, Information technology, distribution & logistics and education. Life Science is one of the core businesses of the Apeejay Stya Group, having long standing collaboration with many International Pharma companies. Martin & Harris is the flagship company of the Group which focuses on distribution. The strong national network of sales and marketing is supported by the formulation manufacturing plant of the Group located at Gurgaon near Delhi. One more unit in Uttaranchal and another USFDA certified unit in Himachal Pradesh are on the anvil. She also heads the unique All-India distribution network of Martin & Harris in India.  ASG Biochem in Kolkata, another state-of-the-art ISO 9001:2000 & ISO 14001 certified plant of the Group, was acquired from Akzo Nobel. ASG Biochem is currently one of the largest manufacturers in Asia, specializing in the manufacture of steroidal and non-steroidal bulk drugs synthetic sequences.

She plays a leading role in the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry and has been actively involved in taking up various important issues like drug price control, drug norms etc. with the government and regulating authorities. 

Mrs. Berlia is a nominated member of ICC’s Biotechnology Committee on India and was nominated to represent India at the ‘Commission of Biotech Society’ by International Chamber of Commerce.

Mrs. Berlia was nominated to represent companies affiliated to the ‘Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India’ [OPPI] in the IFPMA [International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association] Internet Task Force and has also attended a symposium in Geneva in October 2000 in that capacity. 

Contributions to Education & Society
As Vice-President of the Apeejay Education Society (which runs12 Schools and 13 institutions of Higher Learning in India with 32,000 students on their rolls), she has made outstanding contribution in ensuring that the Apeejay vision of ‘Quality education of global standards leading to man-making and nation-building’ is effectively reflected in the conceptualization and standardization of the academic programs and curricula across all its  institutions. She has also strived to ensure that all Apeejay institutions actively incorporate value-based holistic education at all levels based on composite Indian culture and ethos for a responsive and responsible citizenship.

She has been instrumental in the promotion and deployment of several technological initiatives in the Apeejay Institutions, such as the setting up of campus-wide networks, broadband internet facilities through satellite and radio, implementation of centralized Enterprise Resource Planning [ERP] solutions in School and College for TQM in education, effective integration of technology in classroom teaching-learning transactions, etc. Due to her initiative, the Apeejay institutions were among the first in the country to effectively implement ICT in the curriculum starting in the early 1990s itself, as also to introduce educational ERPs for effective administration, learning and collaboration. 

She is President of Apeejay Stya Education Research Foundation (ASERF), a think tank for analyzing the emerging trends and technologies of education and a support mechanism for policy formulation, review and analysis. Under her stewardship, the Foundation undertakes the study of all aspects of 'quality education' by providing management, administration and education related services, which it accomplishes through training, workshops, counseling, and need-based material support based on research. It links policymakers, key administrators, and the research community in a creative dialogue on the central issues facing contemporary education.

Mrs. Berlia is a leading crusader for women’s education through her active role in the development and running of the Apeejay higher institutions devoted primarily to women’s education, namely the Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, Apeejay Saraswati PG College for Girls, Charkhi Dadri and Apeejay Institute of Design, New Delhi. All the three institutes offer a wide range of higher education and vocational courses to help young women of the region become self-reliant and contribute to the nation’s development. For over two decades, Mrs. Berlia has, at various national and international forums, actively championed the cause of education of the girl child (especially in rural and semi-urban India), gender equality in access to opportunities & employment, and women’s empowerment in the family and industry. Way back in 1995 itself, she had represented India at the UN World Social Summit held at Copenhagen (Denmark), and had delivered a presentation/speech on the subject of ‘Role of Women at the Work Place’.

Mrs. Berlia is Founder President and Immediate Past-President of Education Promotion Society of India [EPSI] – a catalyst nodal agency for promoting education in India and abroad.  Under her stewardship, the EPSI has actively worked towards encouraging a constructive and pro-active exchange of ideas between all stakeholders  - academia (both public and private), industry and the government  - who are concerned with the state of education in the country. The agency has prepared and presented several implementable Action Plans and recommendations to the policy makers and government, to facilitate desirable policy change in various facets of education in the country.

Contributions to Higher Education
Mrs. Berlia has been guiding the Apeejay higher institutions in developing Corporate Training programs, Management Development Programs, Industrial Consultancy & Research etc. She has also encouraged the Apeejay higher institutions to utilize the expertise and experience of their Senior Academicians in conducting Professional Programs for teachers of other institutions from all over the country.

As part of her initiatives to promote research culture in the Apeejay institutions, she has helped to set up the first Innovation Centre of the Confederation of Industry in India (CII) under the CII TDBT NET programme.

Mrs. Berlia has been at the forefront of pursuing reforms in higher, technical and professional education in the country. She plays a leading role in the formation of policy ideas and analysis of government reform, and her suggestions on inclusive education, industry-academia linkages and implement able solutions for funding of higher education have been well-appreciated by the government and the regulatory bodies.

She was Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce [FICCI], 2004 and instrumental in initiating and organizing the first Global conference on education titled “The Higher Education Summit – Roadmap for the future” organized in collaboration with the UGC & FICCI in Dec 2004, and was the Theme Presenter at the meet in which President Hennessy of Stanford University the was Chief Guest. She also played a pivotal role in organizing the “All India Conference on Privatisation & Globalisation of Education” in Delhi in the year 2000 attended by eminent educationists from all over the country.

She has published numerous papers on higher education reforms and has taken up the issues of access, equity, quality and innovation at various education forums, both in India and abroad. Some of her recent presentations are on, “Higher Education – Creating an Inclusive Design” presented at the Higher Education Summit 2007 on “Innovation for Quality & Relevance” organized by FICCI; “Access, Equity & Inclusion” presented at the “National Conference on Development of Technical Education in India” organized by AICTE; and “Education Reforms in India” presented at the Ninth “ICRIER-NBER-NCAER Annual Neemrana Conference 2008”

Mrs. Berlia has been a recipient of Stanford Associates Award of Merit from Stanford University, California, USA, 2005, and is a member of Parent Advisory Board of Stanford University, California, USA.  She is a nominated member on the Joint University Grants Commission – PHDCCI Group on University – Industry Co-operation and has been a nominated member of the PHDCCI to represent on ‘Delhi Government Working Group on Technical Education’ for the formulation of the 10th Five-Year Plan [2002-2007].

As Chairperson, Board of Governors of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT), Jalandhar, Mrs. Berlia has been instrumental in guiding the institute to attain international standards in Academics & Research through several International Research projects & publications in international journals apart from overall progress in other spheres.  

Mrs. Sushma Berlia has been nominated as the Board Member of The National Board of Accreditation (NBA) constituted by AICTE to develop a quality conscious system of Technical education where excellence, relevance to market needs and participation by all stake holders are prime determinants. Mrs Berlia has suggested valuable inputs for the revised Manual of Accreditation of Engineering Programmes and to the Quality Assurance Bureau for  India’s full membership in the Washington Accord.

Contribution to Skill Development
Under Mrs. Berlia’s stewardship, the Apeejay higher institutions have undertaken several philanthropic initiatives such as programmes for imparting life-skills to school dropouts, professional training to homemakers and rural-folk in entrepreneurship & vocational skills, and adoption of remote schools in backward areas.

She is also the Chairperson of the PHDCCI constituted “Task Force on Skill Development” (in areas of higher education, technical/professional education and vocational education formal & informal) comprising eminent educationists, experts from academia and industry, and Central and State govt. representatives, with an objective to deliberate and come up with specific actionable recommendations for a minimum agreed program (supported by Academia & Industry) that would be implemented by the states and taken up with Central Govt. supported initiative in this direction. The final report based on the recommendations of the Task Force has been submitted to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

She is currently the PHDCCI ‘‘s representative and member of the Govt. of India’s Apex Committee at National level for Skill Development Initiative (SDI) scheme which will submit it’s report to the Prime Minister of India.

Awards & Honours

  • Mrs. Berlia has been honoured by the Punjab Technical University (PTU) in September 2005 with a special Citation “in recognition of her contributions in the field of Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Drug Manufacturing and research, and relentless pursuit for promoting education at all levels”
  • Was nominated by the Government of India as Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the prestigious Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, one of the only 18 NIT’s in the country having Deemed University status and directly under the Union Ministry of HRD.
  • Recipient of Stanford Associates Award of Merit from Stanford University, 2005 and member of Parent Advisory Board of Stanford University, California, USA. 
  • Nominated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in January 2006 as a member of the ‘Committee for finalizing specific requests under the GATS negotiations for the Education Sector’.
  • Mrs. Berlia was nominated to represent companies affiliated to the ‘Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India’ [OPPI] in the IFPMA [International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association] Internet Task Force and has also attended a symposium in Geneva in October 2000 in that capacity. 
  • She was nominated to represent India at the ‘Commission of Biotech Society’ by International Chamber of Commerce.
  • She has represented India at the UN World Social Summit held at Copenhagen [Denmark] in 1995, at the invitation of the International Chamber of Commerce and International Organization of Employers, and delivered a speech on the ‘Role of Women at the Work Place’.
  • She was a nominated member on the Joint University Grants Commission – PHDCCI Group on University – Industry Co-operation and has been a nominated member of the PHDCCI to represent on ‘Delhi Government Working Group on Technical Education’ for the formulation of the 10th Five-Year Plan [2002-2007].
  • Nominated by the PHDCCI to represent 'Delhi Government Working Group on Technical Education’ for the formulation of the 10th Five-Year Plan (2002-2007). 
  • Chairperson of the PHDCCI constituted “Task Force on Skill Development” (in areas of higher education, technical/professional education and vocational education formal & informal). The final report based on the recommendations of the Task Force would also be submitted to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
  • Nominated PHDCCI ‘s representative and member of the Apex Committee at National level set up under “Skill Development Initiative (SDI)’ scheme, by Director General of Employment and Training, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India which will submit it’s report to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. 

Rotarian
Mrs. Berlia is an active member of the Rotary Club of Delhi Midtown. She is currently the Director of the Programme Committee, Education Foundation Committee & Interact Committee and takes a keen interest in the activities of the Rotary Club’s welfare programmes for the under privileged and handicapped members of society.   

Instrumental in organising a three-day interactive teachers’ workshop on ‘Integral Education for Teachers of Delhi Schools’ in October 2003, in association with the Rotary Club of Delhi Midtown, focusing on holistic approach to education, to bring it in tune with the deeper needs of the human spirit and integral development of the child.

Other Interests
Mrs. Berlia is actively involved in the work of many organizations working towards the uplift, rehabilitation and education of the needy and handicapped. She has a deep interest in philosophy, religion, music & reading.  She has traveled extensively for international collaboration / dealings and to study the latest major business trends in the world and the management of dynamic and progressive educational institutions.

Research Papers published:

  1. “Theme Presentation: The Higher Education Summit – Roadmap for the Future” presented on December 01, 2004 as Chairperson, Conference & FICCI Education Committee at the Global Conference on Higher Education organized by UGC, FICCI & Apeejay Education Society
  2. “Background Paper : Autonomy in Higher Education - Regulatory and Legal Issues” co-authored and presented on September 8, 2005 as President, Education Promotion Society for India, at the EPSI Summit
  3. “India Education Report” authored in collaboration with Harivansh Chaturvedi, published by ASERF (in Press)
  4. Role of Women at the Work Place’ presented in 1995 the UN World Social Summit held at Copenhagen (Denmark) in 1995, at the invitation of the International Chamber of Commerce and International Organization of Employers.
  5. ‘Comparative Study of Business Opportunities, Practices, Systems and Distribution Networks in Pharmaceutical Industries of China and India’, authored and presented to Group of European Pharmaceutical Companies in 1999.
  6. “Higher Education – Creating an Inclusive Design” presented at the Higher Education Summit 2007 on “Innovation for Quality & Relevance” organized by FICCI;
  7. “Access, Equity & Inclusion” presented at the “National Conference on Development of Technical Education in India” organized by AICTE;
  8. “Education Reforms in India” presented at the Ninth “ICRIER-NBER-NCAER Annual Neemrana Conference 2008”
  9. Research paper presented titled “Alternative Distribution & Logistics in the Pharmaceutical Industry in India” with special focus on efficiency, cost & methodology. 

 

 
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