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Mrs Nidhi Khare, is an IAS officer of 1992 batch from Jharkhand Cadre,empaneled as Additional Secretary. Born in Jammu on 12 th February, 1968, she completed her studies from Dehradun and Lucknow, doing her Masters in Biochemistry. She has served as District Collector in Madhubani, Jamshedpur and Dumka.

Experience in Government of India  ( 2008-15, 2018-present)

  • Presently as AS in Department of Consumer Affairs, she has been instrumental in bringing amendment in EC Act. Also look after price stabilization of 22 commodities that include pulses, onions etc.
  • She has served as Joint Secretary in MHA, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate change and Ministry of Expenditure.
  • As JS (DBT) she was instrumental in conceptualizing and implementing the nationally acclaimed programme of Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT), wherein subsidies for LPG and entitlements such as Scholarships, Pensions and wages under MGNREGA started reaching millions of beneficiaries seamlessly, without the middlemen, into their bank accounts. This has saved the nation about Rs. 65000 crores annually!
  • Advisor, Planning Commission looking Administration & DBT.
  • Director, M/o Social justice & Empowerment looking after Disability Division.

Experience in State Government

  1. As Secretary Commercial Taxes, (2015- to 2016) she tried to bring ease to the dealers by simplifying taxation and curbing evasion of tax through the use of Business Intelligence. She worked briefly for GST.
  2. As Principal Secretary, Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Rajbhasha, (2016 to 2018) she was instrumental in making the Domicile policy for the state which has led to recruitments in 1,00,000 posts , which were earlier pending due to lack to policy formulations. She was instrumental in providing 2 % horizontal reservation to Primitive tribes to ensure their empowerment, a rare feat to happen anywhere in the country for primitive tribals.
  1. As Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education, (From March 2018 onwards) she has been able to successfully implement the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan for Mission Indradhanush. Rota vaccine has been introduced. Country wide launching of Auushman Bharat got started under her leadership from Jharkhand. Niti Ayog has appreciated Jharkhand for fastest growth in Health Sector.


Mr. Thorat, Managing Director of Maha Farmers Producers Company Ltd. (MAHAFPC), is a passionate agribusiness professional working in the area of community led organisations based on principle of co-operation and mutual assistance.

Mr. Thorat graduated from MANAGE, Hyderabad a premier Agribusiness Management School. He has core expertise in policy advocacy in the area of Value Chain Development, Agriculture marketing and developmental economics. He is Member of Board of Studies of MIT School of Management, Pune. He is column writer on the agriculture & Rural Development issues.



Mr. Sunil Kumar Singh is Additional Managing Director of NAFED, an autonomous National Cooperative Marketing Federation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Govt. of India, responsible for the procurement of Pulses and Oilseeds at Minimum Support Price as well the Management of National Buffer Stock of Pulses under Department of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India.

                With more than 20 years of extensive experience of commodity market, particularly Pulses, he is actively associated in formulation of Govt. of India’s Schemes in procurement, storage and distribution of Pulses.  His initiatives conceptualized the maiden creation of buffer stocking of Pulses and distribution of Pulses at affordable prices in the Welfare Schemes of Govt. of India as well State Governments for the benefit of targeted consumers, including their Nutritional requirements.    


Mr. Rai is the Divisional Chief Executive of ITC Agri Business since June 2020. Prior to this, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the business from March 2020. In his long stint in the Company, he has held various leadership roles in agribusiness including that of Executive Vice President, Operations. He was the national head of the path breaking e-Choupal project.

Mr. Rai is a graduate in Economics and holds a PG Diploma in International Business Management. He worked in a Government organization in Madhya Pradesh and then with Britannia before joining ITC in 1990. He is Executive Committee Member on several industry bodies and commodity exchanges.


Mr. Srivastava, an economics and law graduate from Lucknow University, is one of the founding members of Rabobank in India. He has over 28 years of professional experience including 10 years in Rabo India Finance. Joining Rabo India in 1998, he was Managing Director, Corporate & Commercial Banking of Rabobank India for 3 years and before that Regional Head, Food and Agribusiness, Asia in Singapore for 5 years.

Mr. Srivastava has been an active advisor to the Government of India with respect to food and agribusiness sector. He has been consulting the Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India and played a key role in the building of “Vision 2015” document of the Ministry in 2005. In addition, he earlier advised Markfed, NDDB/ Mother Dairy and several State Governments on their strategies for the sector.Today, Mr. Srivastava is a “go-to” authority in food and agribusiness and chairs a number of CII Committees and conferences focused on the sector. He holds a very positive long-term view on the Food and Agribusiness Sector and believes it needs several boosts including stronger credit flows from the banks. 


Mr. Gadre, Chief Executive Officer, is responsible for the India operations of ETG group, a multinational with global business interest in trading, processing and marketing of agri and other commodities. In his tenure at ETG, he has been instrumental in the turnaround of ETG India operations and processing plants as well as establishing corporate brand identity of ETG group and ETC brand in the bulk Pulses market.Mr. Gadre has varied spectrum of experience with successful career spanning over 21 years of leadership roles in business strategy development and implementation, sales-marketing and value chain management across various bulk and branded food commodities; distinguished by commendable performance and proven results on business goals including public private partnerships.Prior to ETG, he headed the business portfolio for pulses, salt and spices at Tata Consumer Products Ltd which included iconic brand such as Tata Salt and Tata Sampann. He has also worked in senior management capacities with Godrej Consumer products Ltd., Parle Agro Pvt Ltd, Ruchi Soya industries and Siemens.

Throughout his career he has been on the advisory panels of and has worked closely with Government institutions such as ASSOCHAM, FICCI, NAFED, MMTC, PFNDAI, NIN, ICMR, ICCIDD, CFTRI, PM-AASHA Program. He has been on the Committees of various representative bodies in India such as ­India Pulses and Grains Association, Indian Salt Manufacturers’ Association, Protein Food and Nutrition development association of India and Water Quality Association.Mr. Gadre is an alumnus of Michigan Ross School of Business and NYU Stern in United States, as part of Executive Leadership development programs. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Management Studies in Marketing and is also a Bachelor of Engineering in Production stream from University of Mumbai.


Mr. Chandrashekhar is Economist, Senior Editor and Policy Commentator. He is an agribusiness and commodities market specialist. He is also Economic Advisor to the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as Consultant with the U.N. International Trade Centre, Geneva. He serves on two of SEBI advisory committees. He is well networked with several global and Indian institutions.


Dr. Dalwai, a Masters in Agriculture Economics and PhD in Economics, is an IAS Officer of the Odisha Cadre. Dr. Dalwai has been with the Ministry of Agriculture of Government of Indian since 2015 and is presently serving as Chief Executive Officer, National Rainfed Area Authority in the rank of Secretary.  He is also the Chairman of Inter-Ministerial Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income.  He has made outstanding contributions to the new agriculture policies of the country and has personally worked on several reforms. His emphasis has always been on effective delivery of services and good governance.  In addition to improving the administrative efficiency, he has applied himself to rollout of simplified, objective and transparent procedures in the interest of people.  He has also been tasked to promote production of pulses, oilseeds and millets in the country, and as Chairman of these Committees, he has prepared a five-year roadmap and has been supervising the implementation of the same since 2016-17.  As well known, the pulse production has already recorded a jump from 16.7 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 25 million tonnes by 2017-18.He has chaired and drafted market related reforms including The Model Contract Farming & Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018, Guidelines for Gramin Rural Agriculture Markets (GrAMs), 2018.He is presently chairing the Committees on drafting Model APLM Rules, Model Contract Farming & Services Rules, simplified procedure for warehousing and Task Force on Models for Doubling Farmers Income.

As Chief Executive Officer of NRAA, he is working on new policies for promoting sustainable & remunerative agricultural production systems in the country with focus on farmers’ welfare. He has always nurtured and sustained his interest in academics and research related to agricultural sciences. His specific interests include agriculture reforms, farmers welfare, watershed management, climate change and sustainability, irrigation management and post-harvest management including agriculture markets.  He has published several technical and general interest papers in magazines and newspapers.  

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