Dr. Sunita Siwach

Dr. Sunita Siwach is currently serving as the National Coordinator of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, fostering access, equity, quality, and excellence in State public higher education institutions. Prior to this, she has served as Joint Secretary at University Grants Commission (UGC) and has handled matters pertaining to Deemed to be Universities, State universities, and private universities, the Institutions of Eminence (IoE) scheme, etc. During her tenure as a Joint Secretary, Dr. Siwach has worked extensively towards promoting and coordinating university education, framing regulations on minimum standards of teaching and research, monitoring developments in the field of college and university education, and advising the Centre and State governments on improving the same. Her interest and involvement with the higher education sector is deeply grounded in her prolonged experience in policy advocacy and implementation in the sector.

Dr. Siwach is a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship. As a Fulbright fellow, she has worked as a Visiting Researcher at Harvard University and had presented her research work under Fulbright Occasional Lecture Fund at several higher education institutions of repute in the United States i.e., San Diego State University (California), University of North Texas (Texas), South Eastern University (Florida), College of Sequosis (California), and North West Indian College (Washington). Her research involved a comparative study of the Pyscho-social and Legal Well-being of Adopted Children of Indian origin in India and United States. Her PhD research work in the field of Psychology was sponsored by the Bureau of Police Research Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Formerly, she has worked with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), Ministry of Women and Child Development and National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD). One of the notable reforms advised by her was the simplification of adoption guidelines in order to ensure proper care of adopted children in India as well as abroad. While at CARA, she was actively corresponding with matters pertaining to the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption. Dr. Siwach possesses extensive academic and administrative experience in the field of child, adolescent, and women’s rights. She has handled multiple projects in collaboration with international organisations such as WHO and UNICEF, and national bodies such as the Department of Women and Child Development, primarily working towards rehabilitating children who were survivors of human trafficking. Her engagement in this field involved working with numerous grassroots non-governmental organisations at the national and international level.

Apart from her field expertise in higher education policy and human rights, she has published her research widely in numerous journals of national and international repute. She also has several international visits to her academic and professional credit.