Core Team

Rohit - profile picture

Rohit Kumar – Co-founder

Alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and IIT Bombay, Rohit served as the Head of Policy and Research at the office of Mr. Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha). In addition to supervising research at Mr. Panda’s office, Rohit was responsible for working with central/state governments and non-governmental organizations on development projects.Read complete profile

He has worked for several years with PRS Legislative Research, the Indian think-tank that supports MPs across party lines with research on legislative and policy issues. At PRS, Rohit also developed ‘MP Track’, a tool that is widely used by the media and civil society to track engagement of MPs in Parliament. Before shifting to policy, he was a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) at their Mumbai office. He is a 2013 IPRYLI (India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative) fellow with the Asia Society.

 


 

Aparajita - profile picture

Aparajita Bharti – Co-founder

With a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from Oxford University, Aparajita has rich experience in policy and communications. In her previous role, she was Manager, Corporate Affairs and Communications at Snapdeal where she was responsible for media messaging and engagement, in addition to providing inputs on policy and legislative issues that affect the digital commerce sector.Read complete profile

She has worked as a Legislative Assistant to Mr. N.K. Singh, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and was one of the four Indians selected for the Faiths Act Fellowship by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in 2011. In her undergraduate years at the College of Business Studies, Delhi University, Aparajita was instrumental in starting ‘Manthan’ – an annual congregation of street theatre societies to spread social awareness across India. Manthan has now expanded to 15+ towns and cities. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper from the New Delhi hub.

 


 

Sukhmani Grover – Director, Citizen Engagement

Sukhmani is a development strategist and practitioner with extensive experience at the intersection of policy, grassroots mobilisation and active citizenship. She is a graduate from the College of Business Studies, University of Delhi and holds an MA in Sociology. Previously, as part of the leadership team at Haiyya, she expanded the organization’s reach at the grassroots level and gave strategic direction to its youth led community projects and campaigns.Read complete profile

Haiyya’s goal was to equip leaders with the skills necessary to build collective power in local communities to demand accountable and responsive governance on issues such as sanitation, environment, health and gender etc. Sukhmani has also worked with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation on experiential learning and with UNICEF for building a citizen’s charter. She learnt community organizing from the Harvard Kennedy School under the mentorship of Prof. Marshall Ganz.

 


 

Sneha Pillai – Communications & Advocacy Lead

Sneha is a communications specialist with a strong background in outreach and knowledge management in the social sector. A Commonwealth Scholar (2018-19) with an MSc in Media, Communication and Development from the London School of Economics, she has previously worked with UN agencies and the forest departments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.Read complete profile

She played an active role in managing the communications for two UNDP projects funded by the Global Environment Facility, and with the International Growth Centre in London, where she supported the programme coordination of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded India programme. With a Bachelor’s in Mass Media from University of Mumbai and Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Sneha started her career as a journalist before moving on to the development sector.

 


 

Deepro Guha – Manager, Public Policy

A lawyer by training, Deepro graduated from NUJS, Kolkata in 2013. Previously, he has worked with the law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. During his tenure at the firm, he was involved in a wide array of cases including criminal matters, arbitration matters and constitutional issues. He then did a stint at PLR Chambers wherein he helped frame the Draft West Bengal Agriculture and Food Processing Policy.Read complete profile

His interest in public policy led him to sit for the UPSC Civil Services Examination. While he managed to secure a rank of 395, he did not pursue the allocated service. Deepro is passionate about strengthening governance systems and improving policy design and implementation for effective service delivery. He is also a keen violinist and enthusiastic sportsman, and has played in the Bengal Hockey Association League 3rd Division.

 


 

Mayank Mishra – Manager, Public Policy

An economist by training from IIT Kanpur, Mayank is a public policy professional with extensive experience in the fields of economic & financial analysis, policy advisory, agency design, and regulatory governance. Mayank has worked for over 5 years with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) as part of their public policy team. At NIPFP, he worked on a wide spectrum of areas ranging from financial sector reforms and technology policy to institution design and government expenditure management.Read complete profile

While at NIPFP, he also had the opportunity to partner with several government agencies to help solve complex public policy problems and facilitate strategic decisions. Prior to moving to public policy, Mayank worked with McKinsey & Company as part of its Credit Risk Management practice.

 


 

Sumeysh Srivastava – Manager, Public Policy

Sumeysh is a lawyer by training and an alumnus of Symbiosis Law School Pune. He has previously worked at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and was part of the founding team for Nyaaya, India’s first free online resource for accessible legal information. He has also worked as a legal researcher for the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), where his research work contributed to two PILs filed for securing socio-economic rights of fishing communities, and headed Nyayika, a non-profit social enterprise established by CSJ to provide affordable legal services.Read complete profile

Sumeysh’s research interests are primarily in areas of access to technology, information, and rights in the digital space. He writes on issues that look at the intersection between technology, law, society, and access for both academic and non-academic platforms and has pursued certification courses on privacy, internet governance and social entrepreneurship.

 


 

Abhinav Saikia – Senior Analyst, Public Policy

Abhinav is an alumnus of BITS-Pilani. Prior to YLAC, he was as an Intellectual Property (IP) Consultant at Hourglass Research where he advised clients in India and abroad on matters relating to IP value creation, licensing and IP rights enforcement policies. During his stint at Hourglass, he worked part-time as a Resident Policy Analyst with NextElection, a community-driven town hall platform for politicians, journalists and citizens.Read complete profile

At NextElection he worked on various crucial subjects, such as Minimum Support Price for farmers, regulatory framework for application-based cab aggregators, and pollution in India. Abhinav has also briefly worked with Maadhyam where he analyzed patterns of minority participation in education and employment in India for the purpose of undertaking public consultations on the issue.

 


 

Ameya Kamath – Senior Officer, Programs

Ameya is an education policy and development professional with a Master’s in International Education Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s in Economics from University College London. Although he started his career in Finance and Consulting, a teaching stint at Oxford triggered his passion for education-related programming and policy making.Read complete profile

Since then he has consulted for Teach for India, Teach for Mexico and UNICEF Romania on both short and long-term projects. Most recently, Ameya worked at UNESCO Bangkok where he focused on ICT in Education projects and ‘Digital Citizenship’ at scale across the Asia-Pacific region.

 


 

Sonakshi Chaudhry – Senior Analyst, Public Policy

Sonakshi has an MA in Gender, Violence and Conflict from the University of Sussex (where she was a Chevening Scholar), and an undergraduate degree in English Literature from St. Stephen’s College. She has previously worked as a consultant and as a gender specialist on a range of projects. Most recently, she completed a stint as Research & Editorial Lead for ‘Women in Labour’ — a podcast examining female labour force participation in India. She has also worked as a Consultant at the Ministry of Women & Child Development and as a Researcher at the Observer Research Foundation. Read complete profile

In 2012, she co-founded the Woman of the Elements Trust, which provides free legal aid to women and child victims of domestic violence. She is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Hub New Delhi, and was a delegate at the 2020 edition of the bilateral Australia India Youth Dialogue.

 


 

Shipra Baduni – Senior Officer, Programs

Shipra is an alumna of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. With a Master’s degree in social work, her specialization is women-centred practices. She has extensive grassroot experience working with rural youth on education projects. Her interest areas lie within the intersection of gender and tech-education. Being a staunch feminist, she believes in bringing a gendered lens to any work she pursues.Read complete profile

During her previous experiences, she has worked with adolescent girls of the Bedia community, who were at risk of being forced into sex work. She worked on an education model to provide an alternative safe space for these girls to pursue their dreams. She has also worked with rural youth on a governance based education model where she has led and designed programs with the objective of involving youth in local governance. During her free time she thoroughly enjoys writing poetry and learning new forms of dance.

 


 

Surabhi Malhotra – Senior Officer, Programs

An alumna of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Surabhi holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and is passionate about working with children. Although she started her career in the corporate realm as a Business Analyst, she soon joined the development space to follow her passion. Over the past few years, she has developed extensive experience in program and stakeholder management. She has previously worked with Pratham where she managed the implementation of education programs in collaboration with several state governments in India.Read complete profile

At TISS, she worked at the field level on projects aimed at skill-building of women and youth in the urban slums of Mumbai. An art and nature lover, she enjoys DIY projects on anything that involves colour or plants.

 


 

Venkat Jayagopi – Senior Analyst, Public Policy

Venkat is an urban development professional with a background in architecture. He is a Chevening Scholar (2018-19) with a Masters in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has previously worked in urban development projects with the Governments of Karnataka, Rajasthan, and TamilNadu. His most recent engagement was with Jana Urban Space working on the Master Plans for towns in Tamil Nadu under the AMRUT scheme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.Read complete profile

Previously, Venkat has worked as an architect/urban designer on the Bengaluru Smart City project, as well as other urban development projects in tier 2 and 3 cities in Rajasthan and Karnataka.
 


 

Aishwarya Viswanathan – Analyst, Public Policy

Aishwarya is an international development professional, with a Master’s in International Economic Policy from Sciences Po, Paris and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Christ University, Bangalore. She has experience in economic policy research and analysis, project management, and political communication having worked as a Consultant with the United Nations Secretariat and the Overseas Development Institute.Read complete profile

Both at the UN and at ODI, she worked on a variety of assignments that focused on financing the global sustainable development goals (SDGs). Prior to working in the public sector, Aishwarya worked with Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP in their international tax practice.

 


 

Kaushik Thanugonda – Analyst, Public Policy

Kaushik is an alumnus of the National Law University, Delhi (NLUD) having graduated in 2019. His previous engagement was as a Judicial Law Clerk to Honourable Mr. Justice R. Subhash Reddy at the Supreme Court of India. He provided research assistance therein to both Constitution and Division Benches of the Court, across a wide array of matters such as constitutional, criminal and civil law. Kaushik is passionate about civil liberties, social policy and issues related to gender and sexuality.Read complete profile

While at NLUD, he was part of the CLPG-DHCLSC Prisons Project that created policy proposals to identify and address systemic blockages in the criminal justice system. He has previously also engaged with the Social and Political Research Foundation, Project 39A and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative to this end. In his free time, he enjoys birdwatching, reading and maintains a keen interest in palaeontology.

 


 

Krishna Priya – Analyst, Public Policy

Krishna Priya is a lawyer by training and a graduate of the NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Prior to her current role, she was a part of the in-house legal team at the Oil and Gas vertical of a multinational natural resources company. As an in-house lawyer, she has worked on both international and domestic disputes. policy research and advisory and JV management, among other things. She was a Policy in Action Fellow (2020 December) and also a GPODS Fellow.Read complete profile

Krishna Priya is also the co-creator and host of the podcast titled “The Future Of” with which she aims to explore and raise awareness on the future of the natural and man-made systems that we take for granted every day. She is passionate about understanding the legal system within the larger structures of society, which brought her into public policy. She enjoys reading books on philosophy, cooking and painting when she is not obsessing over the future of our planet.

 


 

Nikhil Iyer – Analyst, Public Policy

Nikhil is trained in law from NUJS, Kolkata. Prior to his current role, he worked as a legislative assistant at the office of Mr. Unmesh Patil, Lok Sabha MP from Jalgaon, Maharashtra. At Mr. Patil’s office, Nikhil was able to set up focused research practices and develop a suitable style of parliamentary interventions for a first-time MP. While at NUJS, he was part of the team that published the NUJS Diversity Survey to map socio-economic identities of students against their academic and extracurricular performance at law school to understand how they can be better supported.Read complete profile

Nikhil has previously freelanced as a legal draftsman for a state heritage commission. With a keen interest in urban issues and governance, he has also engaged with the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission and the Observer Research Foundation. Nikhil is an avid parliamentary debater.

 


 

Isha Mathur – Officer, Programs

Isha (she/her) graduated with an MA in Philosophy, focusing on Feminist and Political Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. She also holds a BA in Media Studies, Philosophy, and International Relations from the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts. In the past few years, Isha has worked on feminist politics, civic education, and social movements. She primarily researches the relationship between gender-based violence and carceral systems to imagine alternative forms of justice.Read complete profile

She has been involved with various grassroots and capacity-building organizations working towards dismantling and rebuilding socio-political systems both in India and Canada. Isha is passionate about working within interventions in civic education as anti-oppressive praxis. In her free time, she likes to read, cook, and be in the company of cats.

 


 

Piyush Narang – Officer, Programs

An engineer by education and a Teach For India (TFI) alumnus, Piyush has worked at the grassroots, understanding and solving for the complexities of education in an under-resourced community in South Delhi. Designing a data-driven decision model and investing in multiple stakeholders, he bridged the learning gap for over 150 children during the two years of his TFI fellowship.Read complete profile

Having ideated and implemented an entrepreneurship development curriculum for teenagers, he comes with an understanding of building experiential learning in children. Piyush has been trained by the GlobalGiving U.S.A and India on ‘Crowdfunding’ and ‘Monitoring and Evaluation of Nonprofits’. He has since then helped 14 different nonprofits strategize their crowdfunding efforts and set strong evaluation structures. Piyush is a published creative and academic writer.

 


 

Ritika Anil – Officer, Programs

Ritika is an alumna of Vellore Institute of Technology, with a Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Her interest in policymaking led her to be a Policy in Action Fellow with YLAC. She also explored education policy through a course by the Centre for Civil Society. Ritika is keen on developing pedagogies that close the gaps left by traditional education systems. She wishes to learn to design curricula that place learners at the centre while helping them recognise their agency as young individuals and as citizens.Read complete profile

Ritika began her career as an RPA Consultant at Centelon, a digital solutions company based in Bangalore, where she became a certified UiPath RPA developer and a novice in python and R for data science. During her year at Centelon, she implemented automation assignments for various investment management firms, performed copywriting for product launches, as well as worked as a part of the social media and marketing team.

 


 

Venika Menon – Officer, Programs

Venika graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she studied public policy and served on the Board of Trustees as the Senior Class President. Having worked in four countries – US, France, Ghana and India – she has built an expansive skillset which includes research, account management, project implementation, fundraising, communications, etc. Thus far, her sectoral focus has been gender, education, and inclusion policy.Read complete profile

Previously, Venika monitored programs and led donor communications at a grassroots anti child trafficking NGO, Challenging Heights, before which, as a consultant for the World Bank, she evaluated a state government funded education project in Madhya Pradesh. She has also managed multi-million-dollar projects for clients in New York and Israel at Perry Davis Associates, an international fundraising consulting firm.

 


 

Anubhav Khanna – Associate, Public Policy

Anubhav is an alumnus of SRCC, University of Delhi. After completing his Bachelors in Economics, he joined the Press Relations Department in the Ministry of Finance as a research analyst from PwC. While at the Ministry, he also worked on big data assignments in the Department of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM), where he was responsible for analyzing trends in GST Return Filing.Read complete profile

The primary focus of these assignments was to understand how the existing data can be leveraged to identify risky exporters to curb the incidence of fraud. Anubhav has a strong interest in research. He is a fellow of the YLAC Policy in Action Program of 2019.

 


 

Bhavani Pasumarthi – Associate, Public Policy

After graduating from the Symbiosis School of Economics, Bhavani worked at the Foundation for Democratic Reforms, a public policy think tank headed by the Lok Satta Party founder Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan. Aside from working on various projects in sectors such as education, agriculture and the electoral system, she designed and headed a project on Data-driven Governance that focused on reforming the Indian Statistical System to promote evidence-based policymaking in the country.Read complete profile

Her interest in policy stems from the large scale impact it has on people and their lives, and this motivated her to be a Policy in Action fellow with YLAC in 2020 where she worked on the challenges faced by refugees and repatriates living in Tamil Nadu. She had also previously interned at Voice4Girls where she was the on-site in-charge of 350 marginalised students and 20 counselors for several days.

 


 

Rohan Barad – Associate, Policy Communications

Rohan graduated in Political Science from the University of Delhi. He has previously worked on policy communications with prominent think tanks, political campaigns and international organisations. He interned with the renewables team at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) New Delhi where he provided support with stakeholder management on the ‘Solarise Campaign.’ He has also worked with the Centre for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP, formerly Brookings India) to support the strategy on policy outreach.Read complete profile

Before joining YLAC, Rohan worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Ms. Arora Akanksha, supporting her campaign as the youngest candidate for the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He has also provided support to the UN Volunteer Advisory Services Section for APAC outreach. Rohan’s interests range from political and policy communications to strategy for social impact.

 


 

Deepti Juneja – Admin Manager

Deepti holds a Master’s degree in Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Prior to joining YLAC, Deepti worked with FHI 360 as a documentation consultant in their Urban Health Initiative project based in Mathura. She has also worked as a teacher at the Delhi Public School, Aligarh.Read complete profile

At YLAC, her focus areas include establishing and maintaining finance and administrative systems. She also looks after logistics for program implementation.