Darshan Shankar is the managing and founder trustee of FRLHT and the first VC of TDU. His core contributions lie in the field of educational innovation. He started his career in 1973 at the age of 23, at the University of Bombay, where he designed and implemented a post graduate “experiential” learning program that won a Commonwealth Award in 1976, for being the best program in the Commonwealth for linking University education to community needs.
Darshan worked as one of the youngest faculty at the University of Bombay from 1973 to 1980. In 1980 he started an NGO in Maharashtra and lived and worked for twelve years in a forested tribal taluka at the foot hills of the western ghats. The NGO engaged in programs related to S&T applications for tribal habitats. During 1985 – 1990 seeded and directed a pioneering all India Network of NGOs called Lok Swasthya Parampara Samvardhan Samiti (LSPSS). During 1986 – 1990 served as honorary consultant to office of the Advisor to the PM on Technology Missions. In 1993, he moved to Bangalore, where along with Sam Pitroda, he founded the “Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT)” and the 100-bed healthcare centre called “Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (IAIM)”. In 2013 the Government of Karnataka upgraded FRLHT into “The University of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences & Technology (TDU)”, Bengaluru.