MIT-India Conference 2013 Panel on Education
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in 2009 marked a historic moment for the children of India. Children were guaranteed their right to quality elementary education but 4 years after the law has passed, India still debates its success. What does RTE mean for the 400 million children in India, more half of which live below the poverty line and do not have access to quality education? Will it be successful in providing not only quality education but also foster a sense of social justice amongst the next generation?

This panel will address some of the successes, challenges and bottlenecks in implementing RTE across the nation.

MODERATOR: Venky Raghavendra

Venkatesh (Venky) Raghavendra is a social entrepreneur with nearly three decades of philanthropy and development experience.   He has successfully built global partnerships and mobilized significant resources for a number of international and national organizations. Venky is a consultant in the areas of philanthropy, fundraising and social entrepreneurship.  Some of his current clients include the UK based Common Purpose, New York based American India Foundation and Washington DC based Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Formerly Chief Philanthropy Officer at the American India Foundation, Venky strengthened the US-India philanthropic and ideas exchange by promoting major giving and investments from corporations, high networth individuals, diaspora community and others. Prior to joining AIF, Venky was Managing Director of Global Partnerships at Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, in Washington, D.C.   At Ashoka, Venky promoted social entrepreneurship around the world by collaborating with business entrepreneurs and Foundations. Venky's career as a social entrepreneur began in his late teens, when he co-founded The Adventurers - an organization which creates livelihood opportunities for indigenous communities in the rainforests of South India through eco and adventure-tourism. Venky is a Trustee of Ashoka India, an advisor to SevaYatra and writes frequently on social issues for a variety of media including the Wharton Journal, Khaleej Times, Times of India, Indian Express, The Hindu among others.  He regularly speaks at a number of universities around the world on the topics of social entrepreneurship and innovation, cross-sectoral partnerships for community change and philanthropy.  He has taught social entrepreneurship to graduate level students in the United States.