The Ravi J. Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation (RJMCEI) was formally established in 1991. It is named after Professor Ravi J. Matthai (1927-1984), the first full-time Director of IIMA. From an initial focus on institution building and higher education, the mandate of the RJMCEI has gradually expanded to include primary education, literacy and secondary education. The Centre has a robust research agenda built around innovations in education and innovative approaches to countering problems in education. (See Current Projects for a brief description of RJMCEI’s research projects.) 

The Centre has a long history of working with the Government of India and various state governments for management of education. It has participated in the assessments of various programs such as the District Primary Education Programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, National Literacy Campaigns and Post-Literacy Campaigns, Shiksha Karmi and the Navodaya Vidyalaya Scheme. It has also worked on curriculum packages in elementary education, emergency education for earthquake-affected regions, innovations within the public educational system, and has prepared a number of studies of educational performance.  Its more significant projects include the Same Language Subtitling project, built on the principle of reinforcing the learning of newly literate people through sub-titling of songs in the same language, and the development of a peer-driven, decentralized professional development system based on teacher-initiated innovations. The RJMCEI has also developed a number of case studies of innovative schools, rural institutions of higher education and management education institutions in India and other SAARC countries and Africa.

The RJMCEI has been involved in capability building in the educational sector. It runs a popular one-week programme for leadership development in secondary schools. In addition, the RJMCEI has conducted leadership programs for heads of management institutes, engineering colleges and Industrial Training Institutes, directors of the State Educational Research and Training Councils, and other government officials.