Sonajharia Ekka Minz
Dr. Sonajharia Minz is a professor of Computer Science at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.
For three years (June 2020 - June 2023), she served as Vice Chancellor of Sido Kanhu Murmu University (SKMU), Dumka, Jharkhand, in the region densely populated by Santal Adivasi (indigenous) community. She is an Adivasi (tribal) from the Oraon tribe. Having faced discrimination in educational institutions and discouraged to excel, she stood up for equal opportunity of the marginalized communities and women.
Although a post graduate in Mathematics, and PhD in Computer Science, the devaluation of Indigenous culture, languages and knowledge by mainstream Indian society and education system, prompted her to also towards restoring what is lost from the indigenous knowledge and to preserve what is still in practice.
Therefore, as Vice Chancellor she initiate a Master's program in Santal Culture Studies at SKM University and worked towards enhancing the research environment for Adivasi scholars to carry out research on topics related to their own language and literature, art and culture, region, philosophy, knowledge systems, agricultural practices, etc.
She is also concerned about the issue of intellectual property rights and ethical guidelines while carrying our research on and about tribal communities. As her research interests in computer science include Spatial Analytics, she hopes to develop GIS layers of Indigenous knowledge, practices and livelihood.