S. Srinivasa Rao is Professor of Sociology and Education and Dean, Indira Mahindra School of Education, Mahindra University, Hyderabad. He has been a Professor and former Chairperson of Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, from where he is currently on Extraordinary Leave (EoL). Professor Rao has served as the elected President (2019-20), Vice-President (2017-18), General Secretary (2010-12) of Comparative Education Society of India (CESI), which is a professional body of education researchers in India. He played a critical role in re-energising and activating an inactive CESI in these various capacities. Professor Rao was also associated as managing Editor, with Contemporary Education Dialogue, a Sage journal of educational studies, during 2015-19.
Prof Rao’s teaching and research interests centre around issues of social diversity, equity and justice; education policy; educational organisations; language and multiculturalism; and education in diverse spatial and national contexts. He has co-edited ‘Sociology of Education in India: Changing Contours and Emerging Concerns’ (Oxford University Press, New Delhi: 2013), besides publishing articles in various reputed journals and edited volumes. Recently, he has published a monograph on ‘School Closures and Mergers’ which is based on a three-state study of the impact of the policy of rationalisation in the backdrop of Right to Education (RTE). He has mentored about 32 M.Phil and 20 Ph.D students, who have submitted their dissertations and theses under his research supervision and/or are awarded degrees so far; and another 12 students continue to work with him for their Ph.D research. Student mentoring through their research works is his passion.
Prof Rao has been a recipient of various international Visiting Fellowships like Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI)’s Faculty Research Fellowship in 2005 and Faculty Enrichment Award in 2011; and Asia Fellow Award of the Asian Scholarship Foundation (ASF) in 2007. He had been a Visiting Scholar at various premier centres of educational studies abroad and in India, which includes Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of University of Toronto; Faculty of Education at McGill University, Montreal; Faculty of Humanities and Languages of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (The Malaysian National University); Institute of Education (IoE), University of London; Department of Sociology of University of Hyderabad; National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.
Professor Rao has been and is a member of several Advisory Committees, Boards of Studies, and Departmental Academic Committees of nationally reputed institutions like Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR); University Grants Commission (UGC); National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA); University of Hyderabad; Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU); Central Institute of Education (CIE) of Delhi University; Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS); Guru Gobind Singh Indrapastha University, Delhi; etc. at different periods of his career. He has also been a Consultant for various educational programs and research and advocacy projects of various organizations such as Educational Consultants India Limited (Ed. CIL), MHRD; Ford Foundation; Save the Children; Bodh Shiksha Samiti, Tata Trusts, etc.
Besides academic engagements, Prof Rao was also actively engaged in corporate affairs of JNU as an elected teacher member of the Executive Council, the highest decision-making body of the University, for a period of two years (2012-14).