Faculty & Research

Brij Kothari


Primary Area : Public Systems Group


Email : brij@iima.ac.in


Ph.D.: Adult Education, Communication & Computer Science, Cornell University,Ithaca, N.Y., USA, 1996

Communication, Cornell University, 1988

M.Sc.Physics, Indian Institute of Tech. (I.I.T.), Kanpur, India, 1986

B.Sc., Sri Aurobindo Intl. Centre of Education, Pondicherry, 1984

Research Area

Literacy and reading development through popular culture, mass media

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Early childhood and primary education

Children’s reading

Educational motivation in disadvantaged contexts

Social entrepreneurship

Academic Experience

Faculty, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), (1996 - present)

Schwab Social Entrepreneur, 2009- Present

Ashoka Fellow, 2003-Present

Founder & Director, PlanetRead , 2003-Present

Co-Founder & Director, BookBox , 2004-Present

Global Agenda Council (Education), World Economic Forum , 2012-2016

Stanford University, Reuters Foundation Digital Vision Fellow, 2003-2004

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Arjun, S., Kothari, B., Shah, N. & Biswas, P. (2022). Do weak readers in rural India automatically read same language subtitles on Bollywood films? An eye gaze analysis. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 15(5):1-15.

Kothari, Brij and Tathagata Bandyopadhyay (2020). Lifelong Reading for a Billion: How an Idea Became National Policy in India. Stanford Social Innovation Review. https://ssir.org/articles/entry/lifelong_reading_for_a_billion_people.

Kothari, Brij and Tathagata Bandyopadhyay (2014). Same Language Subtitling of Bollywood film songs on TV: Effects on literacy. Information Technologies & International Development, 10(4), 31–47.

Kothari, Brij and Tathagata Bandyopadhyay (2010), Can India’s “Literate” Read? International Review of Education, vol. 56: 705-728.

Kothari, Brij (2008). Let a Billion Readers Bloom: Same Language Subtitling (SLS) on Television for Mass Literacy. International Review of Education, vol. 54(5-6): 773-80

Kothari, Brij, Avinash Pandey, and Amita Chudgar (2004). Reading Out of the “Idiot Box”: Same-Language Subtitling on Television in India. Information Technologies and International Development, vol. 2(1): 23-44

Kothari, Brij, Joe Takeda, Ashok Joshi, and Avinash Pandey (2002). Same Language Subtitling: A Butterfly for Literacy? International Journal of Lifelong Education, 21(1): 55-66

Kothari, Brij, 2000. “Same Language Subtitling on Indian Television: Harnessing the Power of Popular Culture for Literacy.” In Redeveloping Communication for Social Change: Theory, Practice and Power, Karin Wilkins (editor), Pp: 135-146, New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kothari, Brij and Joe Takeda, 2000. “Same Language Subtitling for Literacy: Small Change for Colossal Gains.” In Information and Communication Technology in Development, Bhatnagar, Subhash C. and Robert Schware (editors), Pp: 176 – 186, New Delhi: Sage Publications.

Kothari, Brij 1999. Same Language Subtitling: Integrating Post Literacy Development and Popular Culture on Television. Media and Technology for Human Resource Development, 11(3): 111-117.

Kothari, Brij 1998. Film Songs as Continuing Education: Same Language Subtitling for Literacy. Economic and Political Weekly, 33(39): 2507-2510 (Sept. 26, 98).

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Other Publications

Kothari, Brij (2020). Streaming for reading. Op-ed, The Hindu.

Kothari, Brij (2019). The larger picture about inclusive programming. Op-ed, The Hindu.

Kothari, Brij (2018). The reading revolution will be televised. Harvard Economics Review.

Kothari, Brij and Aniruddha Ghosh (2018). Boosting literacy one TV set at a time. Harvard Economics Review.

Kothari, Brij (2017). A TV channel for children’s reading in India. Huffington Post.

Kothari, Brij (2017). What caused Maharashtra’s leap in reading? Huffington Post.

Kothari, Brij (2017). Subtitles on English content are a low hanging fruit for India’s development. Op-ed, Hindustan Times.

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Awards & Honors

2017 - iF World Design Guide, Social Impact Prize

2016 - TEDxCERN, Geneva

2016 - Winner, Early Grade Reading Innovation Challenge, Read Alliance (USAID)

2013 - Inaugural US Library of Congress, International Prize for Literacy

2016 - UNESCO best practice

2011 - NASSCOM, Social Innovation Honour

2011/2013 - World Economic Forum, Davos, Panelist

2009 - India Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Schwab Foundation

2004 - Winner, Social e-Challenge Business Plan Competition for Social Entrepreneurship, Stanford University; led to the founding of BookBox.

2003 - Tech Laureate in Education, Tech Museum of Innovations, San Jose, CA

2002 - Winner, Development Marketplace, World Bank's Global Innovation Competition

2018 - Facebook Global Literacy and Accessibility Challenge research award

2012 - All Children Reading Grand Challenge, USAID

2005 - Google Foundation Grant

2002 - Grand prize, Development Marketplace, World Bank, Washington D.C