Amitav Virmani

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2015
The Education Alliance


This profile was prepared when Amitav Virmani was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2015.
The New Idea
Amitav believes that to improve the quality of education at scale in public schools, the role of the government should shift from that of an administrator to a facilitator and regulator. He sees opportunity to combine the infrastructure and budgets of the public sector with the innovative pedagogical and school management techniques from the private non-profit sector.

Amitav is advocating for whole school management of under-utilized or abandoned public schools, by non-profit operators. He is organizing the different pieces- the research, policy, impact assessment and funding - to bring diverse ecosystem players to deliver quality education in public schools at scale. Building allies and roles for the public, private and philanthropic sector, he is designing the whole school management system on the principles of system efficiency, innovation, autonomy and accountability. He is launching this framework across India and is currently at advanced stages of lobbying with the Government of Madhya Pradesh to introduce this policy. He has also been successful in advocating with the Municipality in Delhi to invite and fund operators to run underutilized schools. Alongside advocating with more state governments, Amitav is also working to ensure that there is a sufficient pipeline of private non-profit operators and is putting in place effective mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability.

Through these advocacy efforts and partnerships, Amitav envisions building models of excellence within the government system that can then be replicated by more states. He is committed to facilitating different players towards effective implementation of this policy and system.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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