Anant Darshan Shankar is the Managing Trustee of the Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) and Vice Chancellor of the Trans-Disciplinary University (TDU), Bangalore. TDU aims to bring in social transformation through innovation inspired by Ayurveda, Natural and Social Sciences and Technology. Darshan and Sam Pitroda jointly founded both the FRLHT and TDU.
During the last 25 years, FRLHT-TDU has inspired research and outreach in the field of Ayurveda-biology a new transdisciplinary domain that combines systemic perspectives of Ayurveda with the molecular approaches of biology. In recognition of Darshan Shankar’s, pioneering work in promoting integrative health sciences, he was awarded the Padma Shri, by the Government of India in 2011.
During 1980-92, Darshan lived and worked for twelve years in a tribal district in Maharashtra on projects related to S&T applications for tribal development.
His core contributions have been in the field of educational innovation. In 1973, at the University of Bombay, Darshan designed and implemented a post-graduate “experiential” learning program that won him the Commonwealth Award in 1976 for the best program in the Commonwealth for linking University education to community needs.
Darshan’s work has garnered several national and International Awards like the Normal Borlaug Award (1998) for contributions to the conservation of wild populations of medicinal plants and Columbia University’s International Award (2003) for recognition of FRLHT’s outstanding contributions to the revitalization of traditional systems of health-care in India.
He has held several honorary positions like Advisor (ISM), Planning Commission, Government of India (GOI), and Member, National Wild Life Board, GOI. He is currently a Member of the National Bio-Diversity Authority, GOI.