Brij Kothari

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Brij Kothari
Brij Kothari speaking to group.JPG

Brij Kothari (left) speaks to a group of children
Born 9 June 1964 (age 51)
Nanded, India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater IIT Kanpur and Cornell
Occupation Academic and Social Entrepreneur

Dr. Brij Kothari (born June 9, 1964) is an Indian academic and a social entrepreneur. He invented Same Language Subtitling on TV for mass literacy in India.

Early life[edit]

Brij Kothari was born to a business entrepreneur. His parents were particular about education and sent him to Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE) in Pondicherry. He is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur,[1] and did his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He is a Schwab Social Entrepreneur, an Ashoka Fellow[2] and a Fellow at Stanford University‘s Reuters Digital Vision Program.


After completion of his academic pursuits Kothari returned to India. In 1996 he joined the faculty of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. While continuing to teach communication to MBA students, he started work on SLS at IIM. He has been on the Faculty ofIIM Ahmedabad, as Associate and Adjunct Professor, since 1996.

Same-Language Subtitling[edit]

In 1999, in an effort to improve functional literacy rates in India, he experimented with subtitles on Chitrageet, a Gujarati television program. In 2002, the Doordarshan network subtitled their national program Chitrahaar. Since 2006, SLS has been implemented on one weekly program each in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Marathi. The main goal is to persuade broadcasting policy in India to implement SLS on all songs on TV, in all languages.[3]

Kothari is the president of PlanetRead, a non-profit involved in furthering Same Language Subtitling throughout the world. He is also the founder of BookBox,[4][5] a social venture funded by First Light Ventures that produces animated, read-along stories for children in languages such as English, Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, and over 21 others.

His work was also selected by the Google.org as one of the projects for funding.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Brij Kothari is married. He has two sons and a daughter.


  • Library of Congress, International Literacy Prize, 2013[7]
  • USAID, Winner, All Children Reading Grand Challenge, 2012[8]
  • NASSCOM, Social Innovation Honour, 2011[9]
  • Indian Social Entrepreneur of the Year, 2009, Schwab Foundation and UNDP[10]
  • Clinton Global Initiative, 2009 and 2011, Feature[11]
  • Ashoka Fellow, 2004,[12]
  • Tech Laureate (Education), The Tech Awards – 2003[13]
  • Winner, Development Marketplace, Global innovation competition – World Bank, 2002[14]
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Brij Kothari
Dr. Brij Kothari is an Indian academic and a social entrepreneur. He invented Same Language Subtitling on TV for mass literacy in India.Wikipedia
Born: June 9, 1964 (age 52), Nanded
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