RGICSRajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies


Prof. G. Mohan Gopal, Director

Mohan Gopal has been Director of RGICS since July, 2011.

As a professor of law, Mohan Gopal’s work spans judicial systems, legal theory, constitutional law, economic law and international law (including international institutions). Mr. Gopal’s experience also includes a wide range of development policy issues. Mr. Gopal’s core interest is in systemic social change – especially the influence of legal and judicial systems as well as of politics  on social change.

Prof. Gopal is currently the Chairperson of the Supreme Court’s National Committee on Court Management Systems (NCMS). He is a member of the independent self-regulatory body of the electronic media (the News Broadcasting Standards Authority). He is a member of the governing bodies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University,  and of the National Law School in Gauhati. Prior to coming to RGICS, Prof. Gopal has served as Director of the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal; Director/Vice Chancellor of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore; Member, Law Commission of India; Member, Planning Board, Government of Kerala, Member, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Member, University Grants Commission (UGC),  Member of the governing bodies of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla and the National Institute of Securities Management; Chief Counsel at the Legal Department of the World Bank, Washington, DC; and Counsel, Asian Development Bank, Manila. Mohan Gopal has been an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, Washington, DC from 1991 to 2000. Mohan Gopal taught law at the National University of Singapore from 1980-1983.

Prof. Gopal has written and spoken extensively on issues of justice, legal and judicial reform, education and social change.

Prof. Gopal holds a masters and a doctorate degree in law from Harvard University (Harvard Law School), USA ; a bachelor’s degree in law from University of Delhi and a bachelor’s degree in science from Kerala University.

Barkha Deva , Associate Director

Ms. Deva focuses on the strategic direction of the Institute’s work. She also leads RGICS’s focus on Governance Issues. She is deeply interested in intersects between the political, governance and policy space and the narrative that influences them. 

Prior to joining RGICS, Ms. Deva was Head Communication and Change Management at NATGRID, Ministry of Home Affairs. Before NATGRID she spent many years in the private sector which helped her develop a deep understanding of the Indian consumer. Her private sector experience includes senior management positions at Hewlett Packard India Ltd., Lintas and Contract Advertising India Ltd.

Ms. Deva holds a Masters in Business Administration from the International Management Institute (IMI), New Delhi, and is an alumnus of Hindu College, Delhi University. She is a familiar voice in the world of audio books for the blind, has been a panelist on BBC Have Your Say and BBC World on issues of concern for Working Women and Mothers, enjoys running and is a Half Marathoner. 

Nikhil Mathur, Associate Director

Nikhil has been a development sector professional for nearly two decades. He has worked in various organisations at programme implementation level as well as a in the capacity of programme manager, grant manager, researcher, trainer, and institutional development consultant. His work has spanned the thematic areas of natural resources management, rural livelihoods, micro-enterprise development and education. Geographically, Nikhil’s work has been located in the poorer and marginalised regions of India including Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram.

His basic degree and training was in commerce and accounts and he completed his post graduation from Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. He has authored and co-authored several reports, case studies and teaching cases.

Dr. Sushree Panigrahi, Fellow

Sushree is a sociologist, specialised in cultural studies primarily related to gender, media and refugees. She did her graduation from Stella Maris, Chennai and moved on to JNU for her Masters, MPhil and Ph.D in sociology. Sushree has worked with national and international organisations and published articles on gender and media, media and minority and also refugee crisis. She also worked on several research projects on HIV and AIDS and women empowerment initiative with special emphasis on female foeticide and sex selection.

Jeet Sanwal, Associate Fellow

Jeet is a post-graduate in Sociology and also has a PG Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication. More than 11 years, he extensively worked on social mobilisation, networking, grass root advocacy, research and campaigns with different civil society organisations , NGOs and research organisations addressing issues of the poor and marginalised.

Research Assistants to Legislators

Aadrita Das

Aadrita holds a BA LLB degree from Christ University and has worked as a trainee Refugee Rights Protection lawyer for 2 months before joining RGICS. She has also completed a Diploma in Public International Law from Hague Academy of International Law, Den Haag. Her research interests lie in an inter-disciplinary approach to law and policy making and include foreign policy, human rights and humanitarian law.

Manas Raturi

Manas holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from Ambedkar University, Delhi, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Delhi. His Master’s dissertation focuses on the colonial genesis of India’s archaic Anti-Beggary laws. He believes that policies in/of a society can be evaluated better through the conceptual apparatuses of social sciences.

Nancy D Cruz

Nancy is a graduate in Political Science from Jesus & Mary College, Delhi University and holds a Masters Degree in Gender & Development Studies. She is currently also pursuing a PG Diploma in Human Rights. Prior to joining RGICS, she has worked with different civil society organisations, NGOs and research organisations. Her research interests lie in the areas of Governance Studies, Gender, Social Outreach, Skill Development and Education.

Vinod Kumar Verma, Logistic Support

He has joined RGICS/ RGF in 1997 and provides logistic support.