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Speaker Details

Brij Kothari

Founder, PlanetRead and BookBox

Brij Kothari is on the faculty of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the founder of PlanetRead and BookBox. He innovated Same Language Subtitling (SLS) on mainstream TV for mass reading literacy, language learning, and media access. Brij conceived SLS in 1996 as a student at Cornell University and based on his team’s research and policy advocacy, it became national broadcast policy in 2019. The policy mandates that by 2025, 50 percent of all TV programming in India must carry SLS. That is expected to put over 600 million weak-readers on a path to functional and fluent reading ability, through daily and lifelong reading practice as an integral part of TV entertainment. Brij is an Ashoka Fellow, a Schwab Indian Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and was a Reuters Digital Vision Fellow at Stanford University. His SLS work is the recipient of the International Literacy Prize from the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., among other awards. Brij grew up in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. He has a Ph.D. in Education and a Masters in Communication from Cornell University and a Masters in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He is an avid tennis player and Bob Marley fan.