In this episode of EI Dialogues, we interact with Santhosh Mathew. Watch Santhosh share what it means to be a part of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), the different projects he was part of, how one can be a public service entrepreneur, what questions philanthropists should ask themselves before making investment decisions, how to solve for capacity constraints in the Indian education sector, and how EdTech can be a potential solution for improving learning outcomes. Santhosh further shares tips and advice for civil service aspirants looking to join the IAS.
13:04: Being an entrepreneur within the government
20:47: Solving for the teacher capacity issue in Indian education & the role of EdTech to improve learning outcomes
29:51: India’s rising philanthropic funds and guidelines for investing
40:18: Advice for people looking to join the civil services
About the Guest:
Santhosh Mathew is a political economist with extensive experience as a civil servant within the Indian Administrative Service – from 1985 to 2017. With a PhD in Development Studies from IDS, Sussex, an MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Sussex and an MA in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, he combined teaching and research with his assignments in the civil service. He was Professor of Social Management at India’s civil service college in Mussoorie (1994-2000) and National Program Director (2000-03) of the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) program in India. He was previously Principal Secretary, Rural Development & Public Grievance, Govt of Bihar, Joint Secretary (Skills, Policy & IT) at the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, Chairperson, National Council for Teacher Education, Government of India and Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of Bihar. Currently, he is Country Lead of Social and Public Finance Policy at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
Founded in 2000 and based in Seattle, Washington, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) work to improve people’s health and lift them out of hunger and extreme poverty. Their vision is to see a world where every person has the opportunity to lead a healthy, productive life. In India, the foundation works closely with the central and state governments and collaborates with nonprofits, community groups, academic institutions, the private sector, and development organizations to focus on improving the lives of key communities in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Their core work in the country is across four sectors: Health, Sanitation, Agricultural Development, and Financial Services for the Poor.
About the Host:
Pranav Kothari is the head of the Large Scale Education Programmes division at Educational Initiatives (EI). He leads EI’s work in student assessments and implementation of their adaptive learning software (Mindspark) in vernacular languages in government and affordable private schools across India. He has spoken on various platforms advocating the need to leverage the twin levers of cutting-edge educational research and technology-based solutions to revolutionize how children in the K-12 space learn.
About Educational Initiatives:
Founded in 2001, Educational Initiatives (EI) is committed to improving learning outcomes and aspires for a world where all children learn with understanding. Large Scale Education Programs is the vertical of Educational Initiatives that exclusively works with low-income government schools, specializing in diagnostic assessments for students and teachers, capacity building of teachers and governments, implementation of adaptive and intelligent e-learning systems for personalized learning, impact assessment studies and exploratory research studies that focus on bringing a systemic reform. This is done in collaboration with state governments, international grantmakers, corporate foundations, and NGOs.
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