Dr Rukmini Banerji, (CEO Pratham).
Pratham is one of the largest education NGOs in the world. She is credited with transforming the public discourse on assessments in education in India by linking literacy and numeracy assessments to accountability of the public funded primary education system of the country, the largest in the world.
She has been the driving force behind the Annual Status of Education Report, or ASER (the acronym means "impact" in Hindi) since 2005. She was directly involved in the design and implementation of ASER, the largest annual study ever done by Indian citizens to monitor the status of elementary education in the country. ASER surveys about 600,000 children in more than 16,000 villages in 570 rural districts of India. The participation included over 25,000 to 30,000 volunteers and 500 partner organizations and educational institutions.
Rukmini has published extensively on issues in education in both Hindu and English. She is also an enthusiastic writer of imaginative and much loved children’s stories, published by Pratham Books.
Initially trained as an economist (St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and Delhi School of Economics), Rukmini was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University between 1981 and 1983. In 1991, she completed her PhD at the University of Chicago’s Education department. For the next several years, she worked in Chicago, first at the Population Research Center of the University of Chicago and later as a Program Officer at the Spencer Foundation.