The RISE Podcast: Anustup Nayak on FLN in India and CSF’s Collaborative Work to Improve the Instructional Experience in the Classroom

Anustup Nayak looks back at his educational path, FLN in India, the impact of RISE, and collaborating with stakeholders to improve the learning experience in the classroom.


Image of Anustup Nayak

Anustup Nayak

Central Square Foundation

Image of Julius Atuhurra

Julius Atuhurra

RISE Directorate

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

In this episode, RISE Research Fellow Julius Atuhurra speaks to Anustup Nayak, Project Director for Classroom Instruction and Practice, at Central Square Foundation (CSF) in India. Anustup retraces his educational path in India, Africa and the US, and links to his career in foundational learning.

He reflects on the FLN context in India and why he is hopeful about the future. Anustup gives an in-depth explanation of CSF’s work and their broad collaboration with state governments and other similar minded actors to improve the teaching and learning experience in the classroom.

They also touch on Anustup’s involvement with some of the work strands at RISE and his ideas about future directions. Anustup reflects on India’s position as both the 'hotbed' for FLN problems and ‘go to’ place for solutions to the global learning crisis. 

Guest biography

Anustup Nayak

Anustup Nayak leads the Classroom Instruction and Practices (CIP) team at CSF. In his role, he works with multiple CSF partner organizations and state government agencies to support the implementation of the FLN mission. Prior to working at CSF, his work involved supporting and scaling up an entrepreneurial venture named XSEED Education. Anustup joined CSF to pursue his passion to improve public education at scale. He did his master’s in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Public Policy at Georgia Tech. He is passionate about equipping teachers with the right tools and skills to succeed in the classroom. In his free time, he enjoys listening to podcasts and is constantly on the search for the next viral meme. 

Julius Atuhurra

Julius Atuhurra is a Research Fellow for the RISE programme at the Blavatnik School of Government. His work focuses on educational development, specifically curricula effectiveness analyses and iterative adaptation of local solutions to the learning crisis in developing countries. 

He recently completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Prior to that, he worked at Twaweza East Africa, a regional civil society organisation operating in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Early in his career, Julius worked at Uganda’s national tax body from where he moved to Japan to pursue postgraduate studies and subsequently altered his career path switching focus from public finance to international development.


The continuation of the RISE Podcast has been made possible through funding from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford supports the production of the RISE Podcast.

Producers: Julius Atuhurra and Katie Cooper

Audio Editing: James Morris

RISE blog posts and podcasts reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation or our funders.