Tanoj Meshram is an External Consultant with IIHS working on urban education and social transformation.
While working in IIHS, Tanoj is attempting to complete his dissertation in Social Policy with Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, Greater Boston Area in the USA. His dissertation focuses on the implementation of Right to Education Act-2009 (RTE) in India with a purpose to advocate reforms in the school education policies so that learning outcomes of the school going children can be improved.
He was awarded Wyatt Jones Endowed Fellowship and Marjorie S. Trotter Doctoral Fellowship at Brandeis University to complete his Ph.D. His research interests include School Education Policy, Education Inequality, Implementation Theory, Education Leadership, Anti-Caste Movements, amongst many others.
Tanoj is an ex-Indian Engineering Services (IES) officer with over 18 years of experience working in the Government (Indian Railways), Public Sector (NTPC) and Non-Profit (Azim Premji Foundation). His expertise has been in the domain of strategy, general management, operations, program design, policy implementation and institution building. Tanoj has worked in 10 Indian states. He has also worked in Kansas City Public Schools, Missouri, USA as an Education Pioneer. He has participated in IIM-Ahmedabad Fall Fellows Program on Public Policy, Governance; Leadership programme at Lyndon B, Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He has completed a Course on Education Policy Analysis and Research in Comparative Perspective from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Though he began his career as Mechanical Engineer, he was soon introduced to the study of social sciences – psychology, public administration and a host of other social science subjects under General Studies, first during his Civil Services Examination and later as a student of social movements, Education Pioneer.
During his tenure with Government of India (Indian Railways), he held eight different middle and senior management positions at multiple locations across the country starting from Probationary Officer to Head of the Department in Rail Divisions managing operations and maintenance of passenger and freight services. While with the Indian Railways, he gained extensive experience in policy implementation, administrative reforms, people management, and industrial relations, procurement, operations, cross-functional coordination, project management, assets creation, and management. He turned around various units and improved operational efficiency through innovations, improved project management, and people management practices and reduced costs by better financial planning, tighter budget control and zero tolerance for corrupt practices. He also led $10.5 Million prestigious Stainless Steel Manufacturing Project with a team of 750 people including the development of required physical and human infrastructure, expertise and vendor base. This project was first of its kind in the Indian Railways as a part of new product development policy of the government in rail-road freight sector.
As a part his role in Indian Railways, he also supervised legal and regulatory compliance with various federal and state government labour laws such as Factories Act, Industrial Dispute Act, Trade Union Act etc. Enforced social legislations such as Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Female Employees at Workplace, Affirmative Action Policy, and Workmen’s Compensation Act.
During his time with Azim Premji Foundation, an education non-profit, he played a crucial role in nascent Education Management and Leadership (ELM) domain and developed strategies, designed and implemented first-of-their-kind initiatives in K-12 education with a focus on individual and institutional capacity building. His first project in ELM included leading strategy, design and execution of large-scale UNICEF, Central, and State Government funded Education Leadership Development Program for 5000 school leaders and education officers in the state of Chhattisgarh. He also strategised, designed and led the execution of initiative for setting up SIEMAT (State Institute of Education Management and Training) for state Government of Rajasthan and was nominated on its Governing Council.
As a responsible citizen committed to the creation of a just society, Tanoj has also demonstrated his commitment to social justice and social change by volunteering for anti-caste social movements for over 15 years and by advocating the cause of the social change from various platforms through public speaking, writing, and networking.