Bala is a social entrepreneur and education policy expert with experience in teaching,research, advocacy, organization building and school leadership. He works as Founder and Director with India Institute (www.indiaI.org), a non-profit think tank, and Indus Information Initiatives Pvt Ltd, a start-up social science research company. He is also a Co-founder of the India Property Rights Alliance.
His research interests include political economy of education, educational choice,low-cost private schooling, property rights and rule of law. He writes, speaks and comments on these topics, especially on vouchers, grading of institutions, competition among institutions, and performance-linked pay for teachers.
His study, “The Private School Revolution in Bihar: Findings from a survey in Patna Urban” (with James Tooley & Pauline Dixon), is India’s first landscape study of the private school ecosystem in a city. It won the Templeton Freedom Award in 2012.
His recent projects include launching itorney, a mobile application to secure legal rights in India for which he won the 2014 Think Tank Shark Tank Grand Prize, and launching Niti Express, a radio based awareness project to promote legal literacy in Hindi through nano tales.
Bala also teaches the Right to Education Clinical Course at the National Law University of Odisha, where he is Advisor to the Child Rights Centre. He has a BA in English Language & Literature from Madras Christian College, an MA in Public Administration from Annamalai University and an LLB from Delhi University.