Our Team

Vijay Mahajan, Director

Mr. Vijay Mahajan is an internationally known Indian rural development professional, social entrepreneur and a policy analyst. He is the founder of reputed organizations such as Pradan NGO and the Basix Social Enterprise Group.  He has also served on the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India Rangarajan Committee on Financial Inclusion and the Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms. He has published over 20 papers in prestigious Indian and international journals, contributed chapters in 15 academic books and has authored over 70 papers/articles in the area of rural development, livelihood promotion and employment, microfinance, financial inclusion, social innovations and entrepreneurship. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi, and was mid-career Fellow at the Princeton University, USA.

Dr Bhalchandra Mungekar, Eminent Sadbhavna Fellow

Dr Bhalchandra Mungekar is an Economist, Educationist, Social Worker and a former Rajya Sabha member. He specializes in agricultural economics and is an expert on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. He has been a Vice-Chancellor of the Mumbai University and has served in the Planning Commission, the Agricultural Price Commission of India. Dr Mungekar has also been the Chairman and President of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla.

Dr. Somnath Ghosh, Senior Visiting Fellow

Dr. Somnath Ghosh, recently retired as Professor & Founding Dean (Academics) at Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur. He held regular faculty positions at three other Indian Institutes of Management at Lucknow, Bangalore and Indore, as well as other management institutes. He worked as a Consultant to the World Bank, Government of India, large corporate organizations like NTPC, Coal India, Union Carbide and social enterprises like Mahila Abhivruddhi Society, Andhra Pradesh (APMAS), and the Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi (RGVN). He was Visiting Fellow, Cornell University (USA) where he worked with Professor William Foote Whyte, the legendary researcher, scholar and author in Cornell’s Program for Employment and Workplace System (PEWS). Dr Ghosh carried out his doctoral work on comparative industrial relations of Germany and India.

Dr. Sushree Panigrahi, Senior Fellow

Sushree is a sociologist, specialised in cultural studies primarily related to gender, media and refugees. She did her graduation from Stella Maris, Chennai and moved on to JNU for her Masters, MPhil and Ph.D in sociology. Sushree has worked with national and international organisations and published articles on gender and media, media and minority and also refugee crisis. She also worked on several research projects on HIV and AIDS and women empowerment initiative with special emphasis on female foeticide and sex selection.
She leads the Constitutional Values and Democratic Institutions theme at RGICS.

Ms Mona Kothari-Dikshit, Senior Fellow

Ms Mona Kothari-Dikshit, Senior Fellow, is a livelihoods and microenterprise development professional with 25+ years’ experience in livelihood promotion focused on rural areas, agriculture & non-farm enterprise, and community-led organisations. She has worked with the Switzerland Agency for Development Cooperation, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, BASIX Social Enterprise Group, and TRIFED (under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI). She has worked extensively across India, and intensively in Madhya Pradesh (as Program Coordinator of the MP-LEAP livelihood platform for GoMP), Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. A post graduate from Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) Gujarat, she leads the Growth with Employment theme at RGICS.

Dr Suraj Kumar, Senior Visiting Fellow

Dr Suraj Kumar, Senior Visiting Fellow, has an MA from St Stephens College, Delhi University and a PhD in Sociology from SUNY, Binghamton, USA. He worked in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Delhi Office at progressively senior levels in design and implementation of programmes on sustainable human development, gender responsive governance, human development, and convergence to meet MDGs. He was in the UN system for nearly 17 years undertaking research, policy analysis and capacity development and built up an extensive network of interlocutors across the globe (especially US, UK, EU countries, South and South-east Asia) at senior levels in national ministries, universities, research & training institutions, think-tanks and media.

Mr Vijay Nadkarni, Program Coordinator, Policy Lab

Mr Vijay Nadkarni, Program Coordinator, Policy Lab, Chhattisgarh. A Post graduate in Commerce, he worked with the State Bank of India for 27 years, taking early retirement while he was Regional Manager, in Maharashtra. Since then, he moved to the rural development sector. He served as the Managing Director at the Krishna Bhima Samruddhi Local Area Bank and later Indian Grameen Services. He has also provided development consulting services to TATA Trusts and Credibility Alliance of NGOs. He is an expert in development banking and participative planning with communities.

Mr Jeet Sanwal, Associate Fellow

Mr Jeet Sanwal, Associate Fellow is a post-graduate in Sociology and also has a PG Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication. More than 11 years, he extensively worked on social mobilisation, networking, grass root advocacy, research and campaigns with different civil society organisations , NGOs and research organisations addressing issues of the poor and marginalised.

Mr. Yuvraj Kalia, Associate Fellow

Mr Yuvraj Kalia, Associate Fellow has worked on policy advisory for International Finance Corporation on promoting sustainable housing in India. He has also worked on a governance project aimed at enhancing property tax revenues and increasing citizen participation for Tumakuru Smart City Limited. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from National Law School of India University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Thapar University, Patiala. He is an integral part of the Governance and Development theme. He is working on Samarth Zilla – Bastar along with Mr Nadkarni.

Mr Meeth Kumar, Research Associate

Mr Meeth Kumar, Research Associate for Governance and Development Theme is a Post Graduate in Physics from Germany. He is also associated with the Policy Lab in Chhattisgarh and will be involved in the Sadbhavana through Science Education Program for schools in the state.

Mr. Jagmeet Singh, Research Assistant

Mr. Jagmeet Singh, Research Associate for Growth with Employment theme is a post-graduate in Economics from Madras School of Economics, 2017 and a certificate holder of the Program Evaluation Course offered by the Cornell University in 2019. He had earlier interned with National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), a leading think tank.

Subhrali Kachari, Junior Policy Associate

Subhrali Kachari graduated with Economics Hons from Banaras Hindu University and pursued her post graduation in Modern History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has worked in Delhi forum as a campaigner.

Piyush Kumar, Junior Policy Associate

Piyush Kumar holds a master’s degree in Media governance from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. His research interests include media policy, political communication, electoral policy and policy advocacy.