Prof. (Dr.) DIVYA TANWAR
‘Empowerment Advocate cum Youth Catalyst’
Prof. (Dr.) Divya Tanwar, a remarkable individual whose journey transcends traditional boundaries. As we sit down with her, we uncover the intricacies of her pioneering approach to leadership—one that seamlessly unites academia, cybersecurity, and social service. This interview offers a unique opportunity to gain insights directly from Dr. Tanwar herself, as she shares her experiences, perspectives, and the invaluable lessons she has learned while navigating the intersections of these diverse spheres.
Divey Foundation is dedicated to providing skill devlopment for girls and women from underprivileged background so that they can achieve financial independence.
Dr. Divya Tanwar is a multifaceted personality. She is Professor with Somaiya Vidyavihar University, Chairperson of NGO Divey Foundation, Co-Founder Bonanza Touch, Director with Centre for NAMO Studies and so many other things.
What brings that synergy between all these efforts by you?
Understandably, this is the most common question people ask me. In simple terms, these are all different organizations, initiatives, and platforms, but at the core of all of them, I am an academician with a strong desire to serve society. As a professor, I have written a couple of books on cyber security and raised awareness about the threats of cybercrime that young people and women face today. Divey Foundation is dedicated to providing skill development for girls and women from underprivileged backgrounds so that they can achieve financial independence. Bonanza Touch is about understanding and addressing mental health issues among young people, especially students. The Centre of NAMO Studies is a think tank that brings together leading security experts, educators, civil servants, and philanthropists to collaborate on solutions to complex problems.
How do you manage your time and efforts between different activities and what challenges you face?
Certainly, managing diverse responsibilities demands a strategic approach to time, energy, resources, and motivation. The key lies in a few core principles that I adhere to: I prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance, utilizing tools like to-do lists and calendars to allocate dedicated time slots. I allocate my high-energy periods to tasks demanding creativity or critical thinking. This optimizes productivity and ensures that no aspect of my multifaceted persona is neglected. I collaborate with like-minded individuals, tapping into collective skills and strengths. Delegation, when appropriate, ensures that tasks are efficiently executed, allowing me to concentrate on areas where my unique expertise is most impactful. Passion for my pursuits fuels intrinsic motivation. I cultivate a mindset that views challenges as opportunities for growth. Celebrating small wins along the way keeps me driven and committed, even when juggling multiple roles.
Recognizing that circumstances evolve, I remain open to adjustments in plans, welcoming change as a chance to pivot and innovate. Regular breaks are essential for rejuvenation. Whether it’s a short walk, meditation, or engaging in a hobby, these interludes enable me to return to tasks with renewed vigor. Embracing a growth mindset, I consistently seek opportunities to expand my knowledge and skill set. This enhances my efficiency across various domains, enabling me to excel in academia, entrepreneurship, and social service.
Ultimately, it’s about maintaining a delicate equilibrium—ensuring that my multifaceted endeavors complement and energize each other, rather than detract from one another. This approach not only maximizes my impact but also enriches my personal and professional journey.
What is Cyber Security? What is the importance of Cyber Security for Indian youth? Why did you choose the field of Cyber Security?
Cybersecurity involves safeguarding digital systems and data from unauthorized access or attacks. It ensures confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. For Indian youth, proficient cybersecurity is vital due to their active digital engagement. Protecting personal data, online transactions, and contributing safely to the digital landscape is crucial. India’s digital initiatives heighten the need for cybersecurity expertise to ensure national security and economic stability. Personally, I ventured into Cyber Security driven by a fascination with technology and a commitment to counter the escalating cyber threats. The evolving challenges and potential to make a meaningful impact in this rapidly changing field inspired my choice.
What is the importance of youth for India? What are the opportunities and challenges facing youth in India today?
India’s youth are a demographic dividend, offering a robust workforce and potential consumer base for the country’s global competitiveness. They are also a driving force for societal progress, economic growth, and innovation.
Opportunities abound for Indian youth across diverse fields such as technology, entrepreneurship, arts, and sciences. Rapid urbanization, technological advancements, and globalization have widened their horizons. Government initiatives like Skill India and Startup India facilitate skill development and entrepreneurial ventures.
However, challenges persist. Unemployment remains a concern, necessitating skill enhancement and job creation. Access to quality education, especially in rural areas, remains uneven. Health issues, including mental health, demand attention. Youth involvement in civic engagement and policy formulation can be limited. Socio-cultural barriers can hinder the empowerment of young women and marginalized groups.
Please guide our readers on Women and the importance of Cyber Security in India.
Empowering women with cybersecurity knowledge is pivotal in India’s digital age. As active participants in various online spheres, women are susceptible to cyber threats like harassment, identity theft, and financial fraud. Educating them about online safety, privacy measures, and secure practices bolsters their confidence and protection. With women contributing significantly to the workforce and digital space, their cybersecurity awareness fortifies national resilience against cybercrimes. Emphasizing their role as cybersecurity advocates not only safeguards their well-being but also strengthens India’s digital ecosystem.
You are an academician and cyber security expert, how do you connect with social service as Chairperson of Divey Foundation?
I combine my academic and social service roles to bridge the gap between knowledge and social impact. As a cyber security expert and academician, I use my knowledge to educate underprivileged individuals, especially women, about cybersecurity. Through workshops, seminars, and awareness campaigns, I empower them with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves online. This can help them achieve financial independence and resilience in the digital world. I am proud to use my technological prowess to make a positive impact on the lives of others. I believe that by combining my academic and social service roles, I can create a synergy that aligns technological prowess with meaningful social change.
What are your activities under the NGO Divey Foundation? What and who inspired you for social service?
Divey Foundation is a pan-India NGO that works to empower marginalized sections, particularly women. Our activities are multifaceted and include: We provide educational opportunities and skill training to girls from marginalized backgrounds in order to help them achieve financial independence. We provide care and support to elderly people who are living in poverty or who have no family to care for them. We conduct online cybersecurity workshops and training sessions to equip individuals with the essential digital skills they need to navigate the online realm securely. We also raise awareness about cyber threats and preventive measures. We work to protect the environment and plant trees in order to improve air quality and reduce pollution.
My inspiration for social service stems from recognizing the transformative potential of knowledge and technology. I believe that knowledge and technology can be used to improve the lives of people, especially those who are marginalized. I am motivated by the idea of using my skills to make a positive impact on the world.
My late parents are definitely a source of my motivation and energy in my social service endeavors. They instilled in me a strong sense of social responsibility and taught me the importance of helping others. I am grateful for their guidance and support, and I am committed to carrying on their legacy of service.
Please explain to us the Bonanza Touch initiative ? Its aim, objectives, features and activities? What is the magnitude, importance and challenges of mental health in India?
Bonanza Touch is a mental health initiative that aims to address the intricate realm of mental health, particularly among the youth. It provides awareness and education, counseling and support, a resource hub, and advocacy. Mental health is a pressing concern in India, with a significant portion of the population grappling with various mental health issues. The stigma surrounding mental health often prevents individuals from seeking help, exacerbating the problem. Addressing mental health is crucial not only for the well-being of individuals but also for the overall socio-economic development of the country. Bonanza Touch is a vital initiative to counter these challenges by promoting awareness, education, and support for mental health. It is committed to working with all stakeholders to create a healthier and more resilient Indian society.
What do you recommend to address the issue of mental health affecting students today?
There are many things that can be done to address the issue of mental health affecting students today. Here are a few recommendations:
● Increase awareness and education about mental health.
● Create a supportive environment.
● Reduce stigma.
● Provide access to mental health care.
● Train teachers and school staff.
It is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the issue of mental health affecting students. The best approach will vary depending on the specific needs of the school and the students. However, by taking these steps, we can help to create a more supportive and healthy environment for all students.
What are your responsibilities as Director with the Centre for NAMO Studies?
The Centre for Narendra Modi Studies (CNMS) is a think tank that was established in 2020 to promote research and scholarship on the life and work of Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. The CNMS has a number of responsibilities, including: – Providing a platform for research and scholarship on Narendra Modi, Disseminating information about Narendra Modi, Promoting dialogue and discussion about Narendra Modi and Building a network of scholars and researchers. The CNMS is a relatively new organization, but it has already made significant contributions with the publication of a number of important books and articles on Narendra Modi.
What is your message for the youth of India?
“Dear Youth and Students, you are the future of India, and you have the power to shape our country’s destiny. You can use your education to solve problems, to create new opportunities, and to build a more just and equitable society. On this Independence Day, I challenge you to dream big, I challenge you to use your talents and energies to make India a better place.”
How does Dr Divya want to be identified by the world?
“As an academician, I impart knowledge; as an entrepreneur, I create opportunities; as a social worker, I empower change – these roles harmonize to compose a symphony of impact.”-