The Ministry of Human Resource Development has appointed a nine-member panel headed by space scientist Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan to work on a New Education Policy, PTI reported on Monday. Besides Kasturirangan, who headed the Indian Space Research Organisation from 1994 to 2003, the panel includes former IAS officer KJ Alphonse Kanamthanam, who helped the districts of Kottayam and Ernakulam in Kerala achieve 100% literacy.

Ram Shanker Kureel, vice chancellor of the Baba Saheb Ambedkar University of Social Sciences has also been appointed to the committee. He has wide experience in the fields of agriculture sciences and management.

The other members of the panel include Dr MK Shridhar, former member secretary of the Karnataka State Innovation Council, Dr TV Kattimani, an expert on language communication, Dr Mazhar Asif, professor of Persian at Guwahati University, former Uttar Pradesh Director of Education Krishan Mohan Tripathi, mathematician Manjul Bhargava from Princeton University and Vasudha Kamat, former Vice Chancellor of Mumbai’s SNDT University.

An HRD Ministry official said the appointments had been made keeping in mind the diverse areas of education, different sections of society and different regions of the country. “The panelists belong to different age groups, which should be helpful as they will be able to bring experience, innovation and global exposure, which are so vital for such an important policy formulation.”

The HRD Ministry headed by Prakash Javadekar had formed a similar panel two years ago under former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian. Inputs from the Subramanian committee report will also be used to frame the NEP.