Rahul Mukhopadhyay

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Sociology of Education
  • Educational Policies and Programmes
  • Sociology of India
  • Organisational Sociology
  • Anthropology of the State


Rahul is a part of the Field Research team of the Azim Premji Foundation and also a part of the School of Continuing Education of the Azim Premji University, for developing and facilitating workshops and short-term courses for teachers and education functionaries.

He has been engaged with current policy concerns in school education in India through completed. Rahul is also associated as a visiting faculty with the Master of Arts in Education (Elementary) at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

His doctoral dissertation was an anthropological study of the complexities of everyday functioning of a state-level educational bureaucracy. He has also been a part of multiple collaborative projects on education and involved in initiatives that have fed into policy and educational governance issues at both the state and central levels. He has association with a number of non-government organisations working in the area of education and other development issues across India and finds it rewarding to collaborate on research and practice-oriented engagement and interventions involving these organisations and other academic institutions.


Publications and Writings

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Sriprakash, A., & Mukhopadhyay, R. 2015. Reflexivity and the politics of knowledge: researchers as brokers’ and translators’ of educational development.Comparative Education, 51(2): 231 – 246.
  • Mehendale, A., Mukhopadhyay, R., & Namala, A. 2015. Right to Education and Inclusion in Private Unaided Schools.Economic & Political Weekly, 50(7): 43 – 51.
  • Mukhopadhyay, R., & Narayanan, V. (2014). The Ignorant Schoolmaster’: Jacotot / Rancière on Equality, Emancipation and Education. Contemporary Education Dialogue, 11(2): 221 – 234.
  • Mukhopadhyay, R., and A. Sriprakash. 2012. Target-driven reforms: Education for All and the translations of equity and inclusion in India. Journal of Education Policy, 28 (3): 306 – 321.
  • Mukhopadhyay, R., and A. Sriprakash. 2011. Global frameworks, local contingencies: policy translations and education development in India. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 41 (3): 311 – 326.

Books / Chapters in Books

  • Jain, M., Mehendale, A., Mukhopadhyay, R., Sarangapani, P. M., & Winch, C. (Eds.). 2018.School Education in India: Market, State and Quality. London: Routledge. ISBN: 978- 1138494749 (hbk); ISBN: 9781351025669 (ebk).
  • Mukhopadhyay, R., & Mukunda, K. 2017. Cultures of fear: children in school. In T.S. Saraswathi, S. Menon, and A. Madan (Eds.) Childhoods in India: Traditions, Trends and Transformations (chapter 12). New York: Routledge.
  • Mukhopadhyay, R. 2010. PPPs in Delivery of Elementary Education: Present Imperfect, Future Alternatives. In G Ramesh, V Nagadevara, G Naik, and A Suraj (eds.) Public Private Partnerships. Pp. 307 – 324. New Delhi: Routledge. ISBN: 9780415599245.
  • Mukhopadhyay, R. 2009. Changing Mindsets about Quality. In Preet Rustagi (ed.) Concerns, Conflicts, and Cohesions: Universalization of Elementary Education in India. Pp. 172 – 186. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN-13: 9780198060246.

Research Monographs / Policy Reports

  • Guest Editor with Dr. Archana Mehendale (TISS) for NORRAG Special Issue 01 The Right to Education Movements and Policies: Promises and Realities (Jan, 2018).
  • Sarangapani, P., Mehendale, A., Mukhopadhyay, R., Namala, A. (2014). Inclusion of Marginalized Children in Private Unaided Schools under The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009: An Exploratory Study. Report submitted to Oxfam India.
  • Sarangapani, P., Jain, M., Mukhopadhyay, R., & Winch, C. (2013). Baseline Survey of the School Scenario in Some States in the context of RTE: Study of Educational Quality, School Management, and Teachers Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and West Bengal. Report submitted to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
  • Mukhopadhyay, R., N. Ramkumar, and A.R. Vasavi. 2009. Management of Elementary Education Structures and Strategies. New Delhi: NUEPA.
  • Mukhopadhyay, R., N. Ramkumar, and A.R. Vasavi. 2017. Management of Elementary Education: Structures and Strategies. In R. Govinda and Mona Sedwal (eds.) India Education Report: Progress of Basic Education. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Book Reviews

  • Review of School Education, Pluralism and Marginality: Comparative Perspectives, edited by C. Sleeter, S.B. Upadhyay, A.K. Mishra, and S. Kumar. Journal of Educational Planning and Administration 2014, Vol. 28: 1. pp. 91 – 94.
  • Review of Who Goes to School? Exploring Exclusion in Indian Education, edited by R. Govinda. Journal of Educational Planning and Administration 2012, Vol. 26: 2. pp. 395 – 398.
  • Review of The Elementary Education System in India: Exploring Institutional Structures, Processes and Dynamics edited by Rashmi Sharma and Vimala Ramachandran. Contemporary Education Dialogue Spring 2009, Vol 6: 2. pp. 238 – 242.
  • Review of Degrees Without Freedom?: Education, Masculinities, and Unemployment in North India by Craig Jeffrey, Patricia Jeffrey and Roger Jeffrey. Indian Journal of Human Development Jan-June 2009, Vol 3: 1. pp. 221 – 222.
  • In the Margins of the State. Review of Anthropology in the Margins of the State edited by Veena Das and Deborah Poole. Economic and Political Weekly August 12, 2006. pp. 35103511.
  • Review of Education and Decentralization: a Case Study of India’s Kerala State by M.V. Mukundan. Journal of Educational Planning and Administration July 2005, Vol 19: 3. pp. 441 – 443.

Ongoing Research Projects

Academic Collaborator in 3 ongoing Research Projects

2017 – 2020 

Research Project Making the elementary schooling system in India work for disadvantaged learners: a cross-scalar comparative study of accountability relations’, under ESRC-DFID funded grants; with Prof. Caroline Dyer (University of Leeds), Dr. Arathi Sriprakash (University of Cambridge), and Suraj Jacob (Vidya Bhawan Society).

2017 – 2019

Research Project Centering Children in the Development Debate in India: Public Action for Early Start, Fair Start and Fitting Start’, under ICSSR Research Programme; with Prof. Manabi Majumdar (CSSSC, West Bengal).

2017 – 2018

Project Early Literacy Initiative’, under Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad; Academic Collaborator for the component Socio-Historical Study of Early Language and Literacy Instruction in Bengal’.

Completed Research Projects

2016 – 2017

Research Project Monitoring and Regulation in Practice: Exploring the Institutional System of Indian School Education’, under Research Centre, Azim Premji University; with Sujatha Rao, Suraj Jacob, and Rishikesh B.S (all faculty in Azim Premji University).

2014 – 2016

Project Changing nature of the public and the private in school education’, under UKIERI-UGC Thematic Partnerships; with Prof. Padma M. Sarangapani (TISS, Mumbai) and Prof. Christopher Winch (King’s College, London).

2014 – 2015

Research project A Study of the Markets of Pedagogic Materiality in India’ (Textbook Markets); funded by WATIS; with Dr. Archana Mehendale (TISS, Mumbai), Rishikesh (Azim Premji University), Suresh Sahu (Azim Premji Foundation-Chhattisgarh), Suparna Diwakar (Azim Premji Foundation — Delhi).


Project Inclusion of Marginalized Children in Private Unaided Schools under The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009: An Exploratory Study’; funded by Oxfam India; with Dr. Archana Mehendale (TISS, Mumbai).

2010 – 2012

Research project Baseline Survey of the School Scenario in India in the context of RTE: study of Educational Quality, School Management, and Teachers’; funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development; with Prof. Padma Sarangapani (TISS, Mumbai) and Dr. Manish Jain (Ambedkar University Delhi).