Baladevan Rangaraju is a social entrepreneur with extensive experience in research, advocacy, community engagement, campaigns, organization building and education leadership. He is the author of The Private School Revolution in Bihar: Findings from a survey in Patna Urban (with James Tooley and Pauline Dixon), India’s first landscape study of the school market in a city. His pioneering use of GPS technology to measure private school popularity provided new information on school distribution and enrollment patterns – data that helped the state review its regulatory policies. The study won the global Templeton Freedom Award in 2012.
A staunch proponent of choice and enterprise, Bala is widely quoted and has appeared in national and international media, most often commenting on education policies and social infrastructure issues. He is an articulate and passionate advocate of market-based policy solutions to education challenges: vouchers, grading institutions, competition among institutions, and performance-linked pay for teachers. Before founding the India Institute, Bala was the National Director of the School Choice Campaign in India, heading its political advocacy, pilot projects, public relations and outreach programs in the six states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and Uttarakhand.
His recent projects include launching itorney, a mobile application to secure legal rights in India for which he won the 2014 Think Tank Shark Tank Grand Prize, and launching Niti Express, a radio based awareness project to promote legal literacy in Hindi through nano tales.
Shikha Dhandharia, Research Associate – Legal
Shikha Dhandharia is an Advocate enrolled with the Bar since 2014. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Delhi. Thereafter, she completed her LL.B. from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. A Para-Legal volunteer for two years with Legal Services Society, Delhi University, she also holds a P.G. Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. She has practiced at various district courts and High Court of Delhi and has worked as an associate with SKS Law Associates, New Delhi, where she was handling matters related to Patent prosecution and Litigation.
Along with her specialization in area of patents, she also handles matters related to Biodiversity efficiently. She has also contributed in a WHO Project on Biological Diversity Act, 2002. Shikha has also drafted a courseware for Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Right Act, 2001 (PPVFR Act). She holds an LL.M. degree from Indian Law Institute with specialization in Criminal Law. She has written her dissertation on issues related to ‘Biopiracy’ and ‘Bio-prospecting’. She worked as a Law Consultant with Law Commission of India. Passionate about women’s rights, she is presently working on the ‘Right to Safety’ project at India Institute.
Nusrat Farooq, Program Assistant
Nusrat is an engineering graduate from the University of Kashmir. She has studied the National Rural Drinking Water Mission and Major Water Supply Scheme for Sopore town under UIDSSMT (Urban infrastructure Development Scheme for Small & Medium Towns). She has actively participated in and conducted environmental drives in Kashmir. She has also participated in road survey camps.
She believes in liberty and in making a difference -a small change now can affect a million lives tomorrow. She likes learning new skills, new techniques and new information. Juggling with new problems and handling them in an efficient way is what she wants to experience in her tenure at the organisation. Her long term goal is to become an entrepreneur. Reading, skiing, politics and art are some of the things that interest her.
Divya Joshi, Senior Communications Associate
Divya is a postgraduate in English Literature and a post graduate diploma holder in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Before joining India Institute, Divya was associated with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in the field of communications. ‘Thinking creatively’ is part and parcel of her job at India Institute. She likes to direct her workflow in a methodical and productive manner. Besides her regular job, she also assists the organisation in scrutinising and shortlisting applications for internship and recruitment.
She is grateful to India Institute for giving her the wonderful opportunity to co-author two books for SEWA Youth Resource Centre (SEWA Bharat): “Trade Communication Skills” and “My Life. My Rights.” She gets her energy and motivation from the realisation that she is working on some of the biggest challenges that the country is facing. She aspires and strives to make positive changes in the lives of people who are under-served by unfurling the sails of hope, freedom and liberty for them.
Tarishi Khanna, Research Associate – Analytics
Tarishi is a postgraduate in Statistics from Delhi University and is currently working with EY as a consultant. She has interned with India Institute before for 2 months where she worked on projects related to education, law and public issues. She has re-joined the firm as a volunteer to work for the project on ‘Right to Safety’ where she is putting her statistical and predictive analytics knowledge into practice.
She has worked on various analytics and big data projects where her job was to analyse the data of telecom/insurance/social media/education domain and predict the future by building statistical models. She has imparted tuitions to children and has put up summer camps to enhance the hidden talent in children of the age group 4-12 years. She has interned in several organisations before where she has experienced primary field research work and has interacted with target study closely. She is a traveller and likes to explore new places to understand different cultures. Writing articles and poems is what interests her. She welcomes every new opportunity that comes her way and takes up as a challenge to come up with bright colours and something out of the box.
Aline Lydia Kullu, Associate- Administrative Services
Aline is an engineering graduate from Indira Gandhi Institute Of Technology. She has successfully completed a project on Data Hiding in Images for Security Optimization as an integral element of her graduation. She has wholeheartedly rendered services to underprivileged children by imparting computer knowledge as well as developing and honing their skills at ANURAG Society, an NGO.
She likes to interact with people and looks for new and innovative ways to lend support to her colleagues. She also takes interest in planning, monitoring and following up co-ordination work. Her passion for work allows her to put her heart and soul into even the smallest of tasks given to her. Hard work and honesty are the ideals that she lives by.
Dharmvir Kumar, Field Manager
Dharmvir is a Bachelor in Arts from the Cooperative College, Bihar. Between 2010 and 2011, he worked as an investigator with organisations like the Research Development Initiative Private Limited (RDI) and Centre for Media Studies, during which he undertook political surveys in many states of India. He has also worked as a supervisor on field to undertake political, social and marketing surveys for Centre for Media Studies, RDI, Indian Market Research Bureau, India TV, and other companies and organisations. Besides this, he has also worked with many other institutes for coordinating surveys in various fields across India, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. He has been working as a Field Manager with Indus Information Initiatives Private Limited, since March 2016.
He likes to travel and interact with people. Through his work, he wishes to understand the different perspectives of people and fulfil his quest for finding answers to various questions. By undertaking these surveys, he wants to shoulder the responsibility of assisting the team in addressing the current challenges in the field of survey and research, to provide possible and progressive solutions for effective policy-making.
Jitender Kumar, Associate- Accounts
Jitender Kumar is a Commerce Graduate from the University of Delhi. He is pursuing a Chartered Accountancy Course from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and has completed his Articleship Training from a reputed Chartered Accountant firm in New Delhi. While in training, he has the experience of doing auditing for various private limited companies and handling all the taxation matters, including those of MNCs.
He loves to interact with the people. With the ability to work within deadlines, he likes to manage competing priorities and juggle myriad tasks. He is also detail- oriented and likes the art of analysing numbers and figures in documents. In future, he wishes to run a school for poor children.