ACER India is an independent, not-for-profit research organisation providing world class research, educational products and services to India and the South Asia region
Amit Kaushik joined the Indian Railways as a civil servant in 1987 after obtaining a postgraduate degree in Economics from the Panjab University Chandigarh. Over the course of the twenty years he spent in the service, he held a variety of challenging assignments both in the Railways and outside and worked in varied areas including administration, investment appraisal, financial analysis, project management and industrial relations.
From 2001-2006, Amit was Director, Elementary Education, in the Ministry of HRD, Government of India, where he was associated with the development and implementation of various policies related to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, as well as India’s international commitments on Education For All (EFA).Among other things, he worked closely on the 2005 draft of the Right to Education Bill, based on which The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act was passed in 2009.
He has been a consultant to UNESCO Paris, Nigeria, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as to UNICEF Iraq and Yemen, working with them from time to time on assignments related to literacy, planning for Education for All, non-formal education, accelerated learning and the Global Partnership for Education.
Since 2007, Amit has worked with a number of education sector organisations in the private and not-for-profit sector. He is currently the CEO of the Australian Council for Educational Research (India), a not-for-profit research organisation that undertakes commissioned educational research, large-scale learning assessments, professional development, and capacity building programmes for a range of clients in India and the South Asian region.
Dr Sarah Richardson
Dr Sarah Richardson is a globally-recognised education expert with 25 years’ experience in the education sector around the world. In her current role as the Research Director of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) India, she leads a team of education experts to undertake research and evaluation activities in South Asia and beyond. Key areas of educational expertise include large-scale student learning outcomes assessment, evaluation of educational policy and practice, educational data collection and analysis, survey implementation and policy advice.
Key areas of research for Dr Richardson include student learning, teacher training, international education, graduate employability and learning outcomes. Dr Richardson has led projects for clients including UNICEF, the World Bank, the OECD, the APEC Secretariat and the Australian Government as well as other national governments and individual educational organisations. Dr Richardson has established a reputation for her project leadership, high-quality research, ability to coordinate complex projects with international teams and the value of her reports for policymakers. In addition to leading research work, Dr Richardson is a member of the Academic Board that oversees ACER’s graduate programmes, an external examiner for the University of Melbourne and reviews articles for a number of respected international academic journals.
Dr Richardson has been with ACER since 2010, in a number of senior research roles. Prior to joining ACER, Dr Richardson undertook a number of roles at the University of Melbourne over a five year period, including as a Research Fellow, Lecturer, Senior Tutor and Tutor. She taught across the areas of Political Science, Sociology and Public Policy and also coordinated an Australia-wide research project. Before commencing her research career, Dr Richardson was an English teacher for 15 years, leading programmes that focused on academic and business English for advanced and corporate students in both The Netherlands and Australia.
Dr Richardson holds a PhD in Politics and Education from the University of Melbourne in Australia, a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from the Universiteit van Amsterdam in The Netherlands and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Human Geography from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
Dr Richardson gives numerous conference presentations and runs many workshops for educational experts. Dr Richardson has also published widely, including books, journal articles and reports. Her most recent book was published by Routledge in 2016 and is entitled ‘Cosmopolitan Learning for a Global Era: University Education in an Interconnected World’.
At ACER India, Varun is responsible for overseeing all sales activities. Additionally, he is responsible for strategic oversight, client management in the South Asian region, and for building a network for the business across India and in other countries.
Prior to joining ACER India, Varun has been involved in various challenging assignments in the education sector. He has worked as Assistant Vice President at Educomp Schools where he was responsible for marketing and running operations for 50 schools. He was in charge of setting up skill development and vocational education division at Punj Lloyd, a large construction sector Multinational Corporation, while working as the Education Programme Lead. He has also worked as a consultant in education sector companies like Pearson India and Skoolsmart Ltd where he was instrumental in launching products and establishing operations in India.
Varun started his career as an investment banker in Intellecap Pvt Ltd, a boutique financial services firm, where he was involved in raising equity capital for companies working in education, micro-finance, healthcare, and other social sectors.
Varun holds a post-graduate in Financial Planning from International College of Financial Planning, New Delhi.
Sanjay is working to expand the organisation’s business footprint across South and South East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He is also involved in research and evaluation assignments.
Prior to joining ACER India, Sanjay was an Associate Director with a reputed consulting firm where was involved in several programmes; DFID’s Infrastructure for Climate Resilient Growth in India Programme, EU funded Institutional and Technical Strengthening project, DFID’s Kala Azar Elimination Programme in Bihar, DFID’s technical assistance to the health sector in Bihar and Odisha. He led the evaluation of Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana across 8 states and the National Programme for Control of Blindness in 13 states across India. Some of his more recent projects include, the World Bank funded process monitoring of Promoting Basic Services Programme (PBS-III) in Ethiopia and UNICEF funded Situation Analysis of Children with Disabilities in Myanmar.
As a development professional with over 15 years of experience, he has worked closely with multilateral and bilateral agencies and governments in India as well as in other countries. He has led a number of evaluation assignments across India and has been part of evaluation teams in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Bangladesh. His key areas of contribution have been research and evaluation studies, project planning and management. He is a skilled exponent of qualitative evaluation techniques and community-based researches. He was instrumental in implementing the UNICEF supported ‘most significant change’ technique of community-based monitoring
Sanjay Tripathi holds an MBA from the University of Allahabad.
Dr Mee Young Han
Dr Mee Young Han heads the data and psychometric analysis team in line with the research activities of ACER India.
As a part of her four years of journey with ACER, Dr Han has worked extensively on large-scale student assessments. She has conducted evidence-based research and policy analyses from national and international primary and secondary data sources.
Dr Han is a seasoned research expert with 20 years of experience in quantitative and qualitative research and impact evaluation at apex educational policy institutions in India, Australia, the USA, and the Republic of Korea. Dr Han’s expertise lies in research design and methodologies, international and Indian policy agenda, and policy implementation.
Prior to joining ACER India, Dr Han spearheaded Indian central and state capacity building in creating student assessment and analysis framework.
She holds a PhD in Public Administration from American University (USA).
Neelam Kumar Yadav
Neelam has been working in the development of mathematics instruments to improve student learning in mathematics and inform curricula.
Since joining ACER India in 2011, he has been involved in a variety of mathematics assessment programmes. In addition, Neelam has worked as a guest lecturer, assessment expert, and a key resource person for prestigious projects. He has also contributed in assessment data analysis and capacity building of government officials in India and in Nepal.
He has been one of the resource persons in the NEQMAP regional workshop on data quality and accuracy of large-scale learning assessment programmes supported by UNESCO Bangkok
Prior to joining ACER India, Neelam has been a Mathematics teacher for 12 years and has extensive classroom experience of working with different curricula. He has also worked with an NGO and as a manager in examinations.
He holds a post-graduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Rajasthan.
Within ACER India, Anit has experience in the conceptualisation of test design to assess various groups of students, development of test instruments, review of assessment tools in a range of contexts, and reporting of student achievement in languages. She has contributed significantly to the development of an English language achievement scale for Indian students following the national curriculum from grades 3 to 10 and is currently working on building a similar scale for the Hindi language. She has experience in engaging with clients helping them design robust assessment programmes to set up systems and procedures and also in capacity building of key personnel in the programme. She has delivered workshops on robust assessment processes to key officials of the education department in 15 states across India, internationally in Maldives and Pakistan, and in several schools in India.
In all, Anit has 16 years of experience in the field of Education. Prior to joining ACER India, Anit was associated with Educomp Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Here she was responsible for building Saksham – an IT mentorship programme for the faculty of central and state government universities. The programme incorporated a mix of soft skills and IT training.
Anit has also worked as a teacher with reputed schools and has taught English in middle and senior schools and Maths at the primary level.
Anit has a Masters in English Literature, B. Ed (Maths and English - teaching subjects) and an MBA in Marketing and Operations.
At ACER India, Pratibha leads and manages the delivery of high-quality financial services to the management and staff of ACER India. She oversees financial and management accounting, auditing, taxation, budgeting, and reporting. She has made remarkable contributions to payroll and project accounting system implementations and ensured the improvement of these processes.
Pratibha has more than eight years of experience in Accounting, Financial Management, Tax Audit, foreign remittance, and financial software management.
Pratibha is a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Anannya leads corporate communications function at ACER India.
Prior to joining ACER India, she has worked at IPE Global−Centre for Knowledge and Development where she was responsible for developing knowledge products of several IPE Global projects funded by various clients across different sectors. Apart from that, she was associated with two communication projects related to health and renewable energy funded by the UNICEF and DFID.
Over the years, Anannya has gained experience of working in the fields of education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, corporate social responsibility, tribal development, race and minority studies, and renewable energy with a focus on qualitative research, and social and behaviour change communication. She has worked on various challenging social sector projects in the areas of knowledge management and communication.
Anannya Chakraborty started working in the international development sector after completing her Post Graduate degree in Social Development from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.
Jennifer’s research interests include teacher quality, professionalism and identity, teacher professional learning, and comparative education with a specific focus on the post-colonial education systems of India and Australia.
Jennifer is an Australian qualified teacher who has been working in the education sector in the South Asian region for eight years. She has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer, and education consultant as well as led the development of education programmes and strategies for street children, school drop-outs, and refugee and vulnerable populations.
As a result of her contributions to education, Jennifer was recognised as one of Australia’s Prominent Women Leaders with the receipt of the Women’s Agenda Leadership Award in 2017, and was listed as of Australia’s 100 most Influential Women in 2014. She was named as the Young Australian of the Year (NSW) in 2012 and is an elite athlete, having represented Australia internationally in the sport of Judo. Jennifer founded an international education NGO, Tara Ed., at the age of 21.
Jennifer holds post-graduate MSc. Education (International and Comparative) from Oxford University, England and is pursuing her PhD from Deakin University, Australia.
Since joining ACER India in 2011, Ashtamurthy has managed prominent assessment and evaluation projects.
He has also been involved as a technical expert in test development of a variety of assessment programmes. In addition, Ashtamurthy has delivered capacity building programmes in Uganda and Maldives and has been a key resource person in critical projects. He has also co-authored a report on the transition to English Medium Instruction from the local language in a South Asian country.
Prior to joining ACER India, Ashtamurthy has worked for several years in developing quality tools for language assessment in various languages. He developed the language assessment tool for the national assessment in Bhutan. He worked at Educational Initiatives Pvt. Ltd. Services, where he was involved in projects related to language assessments.
He holds an M. Phil. in Linguistics from the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, India.
Anu Radha Sharma
Since her joining in 2013, Anu Radha has worked in several assessment programmes and contributed extensively to projects in the South Asian region.
Anu Radha has over 20 years of experience in the education sector. Prior to joining ACER India, she worked in various capacities at Advantage Learning Systems Pvt Ltd, S. Chand Pvt. Ltd, and Educomp Pvt Ltd. She has also worked as a part-time lecturer in the initial days of her career.
Anu Radha holds a postgraduate degree in Mathematics.
Since joining ACER India in 2013, Bikramjit has been involved in a variety of assessment and evaluation programmes.
In addition, Bikram has worked as a guest lecturer and assessment expert in Uganda. Recently, he has also contributed as a key resource person to key projects in the country.
Prior to joining ACER India, Bikram has worked for several years in developing quality assessment tools mainly in Science. From test questionnaires to interactive storyboards, he has experience in developing a broad range of assessment tools. In addition to Science, he has developed high quality items on general abilities for Indian curricula and logical reasoning assessments. He worked at Trivium Education Services, where he managed projects related to education assessments.
He holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Calcutta.
Dr Abha Bhagat
Since joining ACER India in 2011, Dr Bhagat has been involved in several projects involving educational measurement and evaluation, data analysis, and capacity building of national and state education officials.
Besides, Dr Bhagat has worked on two projects in Bangladesh ─ a study on interactive teaching in primary school classrooms and quality assurance for a baseline assessment.
Dr Bhagat has over 12 years of experience in documenting observations or data in technical reports and standardising operating procedures. She has worked as a Lecturer and has taught graduate students. She has contributed towards writing a chapter of a handbook on large-scale learning assessment in India. She has also published articles in international journals.
Dr Bhagat holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIR), Kolkata.
Dr Mariya Khatoon
As a part of ACER India, Dr Khatoon has delivered capacity building workshops on standardisation of test items, data management, psychometric analysis, and reporting. With 12 years of professional experience in Statistics and Optimization theory, she contributes immensely in areas of sampling, data analysis, and reporting.
Before joining ACER India, Dr Khatoon worked as a consultant at the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT). She has also worked as a Project Scientist at TRIPP, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi where she undertook statistical analysis and modelling of the data sets related to the transportation research and safety, and relevant simulation exercises. During her tenure at IIT Delhi, she has worked on various projects including Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) of Delhi, and Volvo sponsored project on sustainable transportation systems in less motorised countries.
In addition, Dr Khatoon has an extensive experience in teaching and training undergraduate and postgraduate students in data analysis and statistical techniques. As a scientist at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and as a faculty in Mahila Maha Vidhyalaya Bahraich, Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University, Faizabad (U.P.), India, she has taught and mentored students in different learning domains of Statistics and Optimization theory.
Dr Khatoon holds a PhD in Statistical modelling techniques from the Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Technology (lIT) Delhi. She is a recipient of the prestigious Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) scholarship, Gothenburg, Sweden. She is a reviewer of two scientific journals – the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, and the Journal of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies. She has been reviewing papers submitted for peer reviewed international conferences. Besides, she has been actively participating in national and international conferences and publishing in international journals.
Vijayraghavan has recently joined ACER India, where he is responsible for data and psychometric analysis.
A few days back, he has submitted his thesis to the School of Management Studies, University of Hyderabad. During his PhD, he was awarded ICSSR Doctoral Fellowship for the Year 2013-2014. He was also awarded two Junior Research Fellowships in Management and HRM by University Grants Commission (UGC) following which he became a Senior Research Fellow.
His area of interest is in understanding the interaction effect of Psychological capital at multiple levels in the organisation. He received the second best paper award in AIMS-IRMA Best Doctoral Paper Awards(AIMS-14) held at MICA, Ahmedabad.
Prior to starting his career in research and teaching, Raghavan worked as an HR Executive in two reputed companies.
Raghavan has an MBA in Human Resource from the University of Madras.
Since joining ACER India in 2017, Hemang has been designing and developing corporate communication and marketing products at ACER India. He also develops illustrations for test items in assessments. He advises staff on designing of communication products from inception to a finished product.
Besides, Hemang has worked on different projects such as short film-making, photography, graphic designing, and retail branding in Australia. He strongly believes that aesthetically appealing and user-friendly communication and knowledge products are the present need for the rapidly growing education sector.
Hemang has over nine years of experience in designing and media production with a multi-disciplinary background.
Hemang holds a double Masters in Digital Design and Media Production from Griffith University, Australia.
Since 2011, Amitav has undertaken various responsibilities ─ editorial, production, marketing, sales, and distribution of all ACER publications and assessments in India.
Amitav has more than 15 years of cross-functional experience in publishing management, sales and marketing, and project management.
Prior to joining ACER India, Amitav worked with Concept Agrotech Consultants Ltd as a Manager and managed the flagship journal of the company─ Agriculture Today. He had an instrumental role in the launch of several other publications including Seed Today, Veterinary Today, Krishi Today, and Agriculture Today (Telegu). He played a key role in planning, marketing, and managing an Institute of Agribusiness Management at Noida.
Amitav holds an MBA degree from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Since joining ACER India in 2014, Anu has successfully marketed the International Benchmark Test (IBT), implemented the strategic leadership conferences, and marketed publications. Currently, she is responsible for marketing and distribution of Indian Schools’ Assessment (ISA), and national and international professional learning workshops.
Anu has a total of 10 years of experience in Business Development, channel sales, Client Relationship Management, training, and team management. She has an exemplary track record of building client relationships and partnerships to strengthen organisational networks to achieve objectives in the sales and marketing domains.
Anu’s core strengths are her ability to understand client needs, communicate with stakeholders across levels and network extensively. She has successfully managed accounts and relationships on a PAN India basis and has expertise in managing entire sales B2B operations by ensuring optimal utilisation of resources. Over the years, she has been given the charge of handling key accounts and implementing direct sales business models.
Anu holds an MBA degree in Finance and Marketing from Asia Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi.