Ashish Dhawan, founder of India’s largest independent private equity firm ChrysCapital, has been appointed as the chairman of the board of trustees of (CCS). Dhawan, who is due to step down as senior managing director of ChrysCapital in July 2012, takes over from noted intellectual and writer Gurcharan Das, who has led the board for the past five years.

Centre for Civil Society has also appointed former chairman Luis Miranda as the chairman of its board of advisors. This board has also added Ankur Shah, the interim India director at where he also manages the education investment portfolio; Praveen Chakravarty, Eisenhower Fellow, noted public policy adviser in education and financial inclusion and CEO of Anand Rathi Financial Services; and Reuben Abraham, assistant professor at the Indian School of Business and executive director of its Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions.

Centre for Civil Society is an evolving network of associations and institutions of family and community, of production and trade, and of piety and compassion.

In his new role, Dhawan will provide strategic direction and energise the organisation’s initiatives in K-12 education and propagate its School Choice Campaign. After stepping down from ChrysCapital, he will establish Central Square Foundation to focus on philanthropic investments in education. Dhawan is also involved in the International Foundation for Research & Education, which is setting up Ashoka University and runs the .

Dhawan co-founded ChrysCapital in 1999, one of the most successful private equity funds in the country which has raised $2.25 billion across five funds and invested in companies like Spectramind, Shriram Transport, Suzlon and Yes Bank.

“In the two years since the Right to Education Act was passed, a total of 31 states have adopted its rules. The year 2012 is to build momentum and scale up some innovative pilots in states like Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan to a pan-India level. We at CCS will champion this cause and hope to achieve optimal outcome through this renewed focus on solving the K-12 conundrum in our country,” said Dhawan.

“In the last two years, CCS, through its School Choice Campaign, has been responding to RTE by engaging with governments and the civil society, and advocating for a robust relationship between governments and the private sector to improve quality and access to education for the poor,” said Miranda.

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