Dr. Rukmini Banerji has been associated with Pratham since 1996. She has been a member of the national leadership team of the organization since then. Until recently, she was responsible for Pratham’s programs and activities in several major states in north India like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. She has extensive field experience both in program implementation in rural and urban areas as well as in assessment, survey, evaluation, and research.
Initially trained as an economist in India, she did her B.A. at St. Stephen’s College and attended the Delhi School of Economics. She was a Rhodes Scholar at the Oxford University and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago where she did a post-doctoral research.
Rukmini worked as a program officer at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago for several years before returning to India in 1996. Originally from Bihar, she is now based in New Delhi.
Rukmini has led the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) effort since its launch in 2005. ASER is a nation-wide household survey of children’s schooling and learning conducted each year in every rural district in India. ASER has been acknowledged nationally and internationally for its innovativeness in involving citizens and for its impact on education policy and practice. Rukmini currently heads the ASER Centre.
In 2008, Rukmini was awarded the MaulanaAbulKalamShikshaPuraskar by the Government of Bihar, India. She was the first recipient of this award. Over the years, she has represented Pratham and the ASER Centre in various national and international forums. She is currently a member of the CABE (Central Advisory Board of Education) Committee of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. She has been a co-chair for the Global Learning Metrics Task Force that has been convened by the Brookings Institution and UNESCO.
Rukmini writes frequently on education in both Hindi and English dailies in India and is an enthusiastic writer of children’s books.