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Children + comic books = Reading, knowledge & confidence

Leaders’ decisions idiotic, unproductive CNR Rao

January 2014

Brainwave Vasundhara Das Edu expert Rajeswari Kannan

Edu Memoirs of

Anil Kumble

Game On, India! Is India ready to promote sports like China and Japan, or will it play a spoilsport?

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from the editor

What spoils India’s sport?


his time around, we bring you a comprehensive coverage of education of the kind that is more physical than intellectual in its function and practice. This issue’s cover story seeks to uncover the state of physical and sports education in India, its pluses and minuses, obstacles in its path to progress as well as analyses and suggestions by acclaimed sportspersons, experts and trainers. The cover story – Sports education: Where does India stand? – is an inquiry into the various aspects and aspiration of India’s sports world and a quest for corrective steps and setting things right. India is a country with a great sports culture. From the epic times to the modern world, there have been people who proudly held aloft the banner of the land before the world. However, over the years, India’s representation and performance in international sports events has become poor and inconsistent. This does not, however, mean that the country has a shortage of talented sportspersons and eminent coaches. Top-notch sportspersons and experts in the field whom Education Insider has lined up here agree that there is a lot wrong with India’s physical education system. With 50% of the population below the age of 25, India is the ‘youngest’ country in the world. Even so, what is preventing its growth in sports? Is something wrong at the school-level or at the university-level? Why is the country’s performance pathetic at the Olympics and other international competitions? Is the young people’s passion for sports only a passport to a government job?


India has the second largest population in the world (1.237 billion). China tops the list, with a population of 1.35 billion. At the Olympics, while China wins a large number of medals, India’s performance is dismal. Most of the times, people attribute this to China’s population. If that were true, one should expect India to win the second position! And, we know that the truth is something else. However, it’s not questions and cynicism alone all the way; you will come across wellthought-out answers and specific remedies. Eminent sportspersons as well as experts and trainers are of the firm view the country needs what may be described as a ‘sports culture’ that would result in creating healthy and disciplined individuals, and, consequently, a healthy society. Thus, sports culture can contribute a great deal to the nation-building process. Those expressing their views and suggestions on the topic include ‘Flying Sikh’ Milka Singh, former ace sprinter; K M Binu, outstanding athlete from Kerala; K P Thomas, former athlete, renowned coach and Dronacharya award winner; and Ram Murali Krishna, of Athletics Federation of India. In addition, we have for you regular columns such as Thought Leader which features an interview with Nancy Silberkleit, Co-CEO of Archie Comics Publications; Study Abroad, VC Speaks, interaction with Vasundhara Das, Indian singer, actor, composer, entrepreneur, speaker, songwriter and environmental activist; article on Montessori Method of Education, and many more… Have a happy read!



Infographics informative Sometimes pictures and graphics can convey a lot more than words. The infographics titled ‘Education keeps hunger away’ was helpful in knowing the social and economic condition of the people around us. –Micheal James, Goa

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Cover story great The cover story ‘Dare to be different’ was a great attempt by Team Education Insider. It shed light on life and the role of education. Keep going! –Sujith Vasudev, Kasargod

Avoid mistakes I am a regular reader of Education Insider. Unlike the previous issues, the latest issue had some grammatical as well as spelling errors. One hopes such mistakes won’t recur. –Sharon Peter, Bengaluru

Corporates and Education The new segment ‘Corporates and Education’ is great. It was useful to know more on the CSR practices of our corporates and how they serve the underprivileged. I am looking forward to the coming issues. –Sunayana Gupta, Kolkatta

Privatisation of education The interview with Pritha Gopalan on privatisation of education was good. She is a great visionary on education. Education Insider has made the right choice by opting her for the Edu Expert segment. –Rahika Rai, Delhi

Education Insider has to improve a lot I came to read the previous two issues of Education Insider magazine. It’s one with great potential, but sorry to say that you are not utilizing its possibility. The stories have to be focused and language should be reader friendly. Being an education magazine it should provide language and knowledge benefits to the readers. Also need to focus on layout. You are following the same colour tones and picture placements. You can try innovative layouts and graphics. Also make sure that, it reach reaches all major cities and make the marketing more competent. –Renuka C Shekhar, Bangalore



20 COVER STORY 44 Current Affairs Panjab University has made it big in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries university ranking after beating Indian premier institutes, including IITs and IIMs

THE REGULARS 10 Edu Capsule 56 Edu + Tech

48 Edu Trends 29 Corporates and Education NR Foundation, a charitable trust under Mysore based NR group, considers supporting education as a great serve to society. It aims to touch people’s lives by its efforts of corporate responsibility

Sports education: Where does India stand?

Interview with Chander Kapoor, founder and managing director of College of Digital Marketing

India is a country with a great sports culture. From the epic times to the modern world, Arjuna to Rathore, many people have proudly held aloft the banner of the land before the world. However, over the years, India’s representation in the Olympics and other major sports events has become poor and inconsistent


31 Edu Expert Rajeshwari Kannan heads Media Technologies Lab at Nokia Research Center, Bengaluru, which focuses on computational imaging research by exploiting novel camera optics, sensors and signal processing techniques to capture and visualize information in new ways


After winning Bharat Ratna, in an exclusive interaction with Education Insider, CNR Rao,eminent scientist, speaks out on the influence of politics and funding in the growth of science R&D in India

16 Exclusive interview For Nancy Silberkleit, Co-CEO of Archie Comics Publications, education is all about the excitement of discovery and the tumultuous experience of ‘Failure’ as an important part of one’s learning process. Nancy says that comic books enable children to internalize options, opinions and decisions

54 VC Speaks Dr S M Sajid, ViceChancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

COLUMNS 37 T P Sethumadhavan Varied jobs beckon students of botany

65 Pavan Soni The dark side of the IT industry

76 Sunitha Perumal On getting into top foreign varsities


62 CAMPUS VOICE Has Tejpal issue hit media credibility? The Indian and foreign media were recently shaken by the sex assault case against Tarun Tejpal, founder of Tehelka magazine. In this month’s Campus Voice, we collected the opinion of MA Convergent Journalism students of Jamia Milia University, New Delhi

53 Montessori Method of Education Through a series of articles, Lakshmi Krishnakumar hope to encompass various factors that influence human development and the principles of the Montessori Method

64 What education taught me

Celebrated singer and actress Vasundhara Das reminisces about her school and college life and how it helped her in shaping her career

13 Edu memoirs A key purpose of schooling is to acclimatise children to the present environment and prepare them for the future. In that construct, education is evolving on the continuum of bridging the present to the future, says Kumble.



EDUCAPSULE India 2nd biggest supplier of overseas students to Australia

New Delhi: India has come up as the second largest supplier of overseas students to Australia, according to a new study. The total number of enrolment during JanuaryOctober 2013 increased to 15,800 as compared to 12,062 a year ago. The data indicated that, even if the total number of enrolments dropped, India emerged as the second top supplier of international students to Australia.

Dubai students to don role of UN ambassadors Dubai: The students of Dubai will get the chance to enact the role of ambassadors at the first UN simulation conference in the Middle East, which will be held in 2014. The five-day programme, which was launched by Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN), in partnership with Gems schools, will be open to registration for students aged 9-15 and will take place at the Gems World Academy from February 7-11, 2014.

9 Indian institutes among Top 50 BRICS Universities New Delhi: In all, 9 Indian institutes have found a place in Top 50 BRICS Universities during 2014-2015. A survey, conducted by the Times Higher Education’s BRICS & Emerging Economies Ranking 2014, ranks universities from Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and 17 other emerging economies. Panjab University


came in the 13th position. The other institutes in the list are: IIT Kharagpur (30th), IIT Kanpur (34th), IIT Delhi (37th), IIT Roorkee (37th), IIT Guwahati (46th), and IIT Madras (47th). Other prominent institutes include Jadaypur University, Aligarh Muslim University, and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

e-learning initiative for underprivileged students

Mumbai: Wockhardt, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company headquartered in Mumbai, recently introduced e-learning initiative in 26 publicly funded schools. The initiative will benefit over 22,000 underprivileged students. This initiative, the first of its kind in Aurangabad, has been launched in 14 zilla parishad schools, 10 Aurangabad Municipal Corporation schools, one ashram, and one private aided school.

Dubai to have special-needs school Dubai: A specialneeds integrated school will be opened in Dubai. The institution will reserve 30% of its seats for autistic children. The school is being launched by Autism Trust Foundation in Dubai. The institution also aims to produce the best environment for effective teaching for the autistic children.


30 extra minutes for CBSE open-book exams

11 IIMs scrap group discussion for admission

New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will give an extra 30 minutes to class IX and Class XI students attempting the Open Text-Based Assessment (OTBA) in the March 2014 final examinations. The current examination and question paper system will be maintained along with the extra 30 minutes. Out of the total 100 marks, 10 marks are allotted to the OTBA segment. The concept of open-book examinations removes the principle of memorisation. The students will be provided with textbooks during the examination, and, based on the textbooks, they will have to answer questions using their analytical and reasoning skills.

Rs 1-cr pay offered to 12 students of IIT Kanpur

Kanpur: IT giant Oracle has offered a pay package of Rs 1.3 crore a year to three students, and Google has offered a package of Rs 1 crore to six students in IIT Kanpur. LinkedIn has offered two students a remuneration of Rs 1 crore each. Tower Research has offered one student a pay package of Rs 1 crore a year. The number of students to have bagged placement offer of Rs 1 crore or above is expected to increase three-fold, since out of 250 companies, only 90 have participated in the placement drive till now, according to an official of IIT Kanpur.


CAT results, cut-off New Delhi: The countdown has begun for CAT (Common Aptitude Test) 2013 results. Most of the IIMs have taken their previous year cut-off as selection criteria. IIM Raipur, IIM Lucknow, IIM Udaipur, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Ranchi, IIM Trichy and IIM Kashipur will be admitting students to their respective management programmes with a cutoff of 90%. The highest percentile cutoff declared so far is from IIM Calcutta, with an overall cut-off of 95%, and the lowest percentage cutoff will be used by IIM Shillong, with 70%.

New Delhi: As many as 11 Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) among the 13 IIMs in India have removed the group discussion section for management admissions from the 2014-2016 batches. Formerly, admission was based on CAT/GMAT scores, individual institute written aptitude tests, group discussion and personal Interviews. Only IIM Lucknow and IIM Kozhikode will retain group discussion as a part of the selection procedure. The remaining IIMs will base selection on written aptitude test and personal interview, in addition to CAT/GMAT scores. All the IIMs will, however, take into consideration work experience and academic records.

British Council scholarships for Indian students New Delhi: Aiming to attract more Indian students to the United Kingdom, the British Council has launched 370 scholarships worth 1 million pounds ($1.6 million/Rs 102 million). According to Rob Lynes, director of British Council, India, “by introducing the scholarships, we aim to empower aspiring Indian students to choose the right course in the UK. We are committed to

helping Indian students make the best educational choices and offer them up-to-date information on studying and living in the UK.�


news plus

Young Women’s Leadership

Summit held in Dubai The leadership programme conducted by GEMS Our Own English High School, Dubai, opened up a wide vista for the students to take up the challenges to be the leaders of tomorrow by EI Bureau


EMS Our Own English High School, Dubai, the single largest girls school in the Gulf region, hosted the ‘Young Women’s Leadership Summit’ on November 30, 2013, on the school premises. It was an initiative of the school council, and was inaugurated by guest of honour C N Radhakrishnan, senior executive director, head of chairman’s office and board member of GEMS Education, and chief guest David Wilson, chief academic officer and director of Asian Schools. At the Summit, GEMS provided an opportunity to discuss and debate issues based on the theme ‘Women’s Empowerment.’ “I am happy that the initiative taken by the School Council last year to organize the Young Women’s Leadership Summit was very successful. It provided a platform to young girls from different schools to interact with women of substance, and their peers to share their thoughts, ideas and concerns to seek possible solutions to some of the many issues, unfortunately, concerning women all over the world. I am sure that the second summit would take the cause further and Our Own Dubai would contribute positively in years to come and would make a difference” says Aziz Akhtar,


Executive Principal It also gave the students a platform to interact with experts like Ida Tillisch (directorgeneral of Emirates Wildlife Society), Shurooq Al Banna (Noor Dubai and winner of the third place – World Championship – Toastmasters – the USA), Neena Nizar, (founder and director of ABILITY – Drama group showcasing the talents of young adults with special needs), and Julie Lewis (professional career trainer and certified NLP practitioner). The Summit helped the students strengthen their leadership qualities and motivate them to become ‘contributing’ members to society. The persistent efforts of the staff and students of the school made this event possible. The main sponsor was National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Through the panel discussion following the format of Mock United Nations Conference, documentaries, mime shows, dance and painting, issues and concerns relevant to women were examined in all its dimensions. Aiswarya Kishor (president – school council), Shivani Ramachandran (head girl) and Aishwarya Vaithyanathan (secretary– school council), who chaired the panel discussions, were of the view that this Summit was a great learning experience

and provided the right platform to sensitise the students to the various issues and concerns faced by women all over the world. Bobby Naqvi, chief guest for the evening and Editor of Xpresss Newspaper, congratulated the management for having taken the initiative to conduct the Young Women’s Leadership Summit and also the winners. His thoughtprovoking speech on the role of women inspired the young leaders. The first position in ‘My Voice’ – Discussion was bagged by GEMS Our Own English High School, and the runner-up was Our Own Indian School. The winner’s trophy for Shakti – Painting Competition went to GEMS Our Own English High School, Dubai, and the runner-up trophy to Our Own English High School, Sharjah. ‘Crossroads’ – Documentary and the runner-up was GEMS Our Own English High School, Dubai. The first place for ‘Rainbow’ – Group dance went to GEMS Our Own Indian School, Dubai, and the runner- up was GEMS Own English High School, Dubai. GEMS Our Own English High School secured the maximum points, but, being the host school, did not vie for the overall trophy. The overall trophy went to Our Own Indian School, Dubai, and the trophy for the second position to The Millennium School, Dubai. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Anil Kumble Edu memoirs

Prepare students for life, not just career A key purpose of schooling is to acclimatise children to the present environment and prepare them for the future. In that construct, education is evolving on the continuum of bridging the present to the future by Anil Kumble



Edu memoirs Anil Kumble


t is, therefore, appropriate that education has developed so many dimensions since my school days. Looking at today’s kids, in the light of expectations on them and numerous distractions around, it is impressive to see them handling them all with such aplomb, and a lot of the credit goes to schools. In our days, the emphasis was on academics as being of the utmost importance since we were headed for a future that secured individuals with a solid educational foundation. This led me to acquire an engineering degree, alongside my dream of being a sportsperson. The importance of academics is paramount even today, and it shapes my decisions even as an


Today’s schools have adapted to the prevailing context and impending future in several ways. Firstly, teaching techniques are adapting to formats where learning by rote has been replaced with learning by doing. An example of this is the increasing use of technology in teaching and learning administrator in allowing young cricketers to focus on examinations by creating flexibility in

their sporting calendar obligations. Schools like mine were also forward-thinking and allowed children with interest in areas like sport to balance these pursuits along with meeting academic commitments. This made it possible for youngsters like me to find our paths in alternative careers that we had a passion for. Moral education In those days, it was not mandatory that a school take up the duty of imparting moral education and values among the children. However, in all my institutions, there have been teachers who believed that they were custodians of the values of the next generation and took it upon themselves to shape the children’s value systems. Today’s schools have adapted to the prevailing context and impending future in several ways. Firstly, teaching techniques are adapting to formats where learning by rote has been replaced with learning by doing. An example of this is the increasing use of technology in teaching and learning. Secondly, academics are not structured towards solidity and security


There are schools in India that are grounded firmly on these fundamentals, and, having seen it up one and being associated with it, I can say that one such example is that of the Pearson Schools which integrates global standards, technologybased experiential learning, holistic curriculum and a strong foundation of values and culture

alone, but aimed at building excellence and making the child a global citizen, in line with the future that waits for him/her. Thirdly, there is emphasis on extracurricular activities to create a well-rounded individual. As schools envision a future where ‘unconventional’ careers will thrive and children can build their life on unique capabilities in various fields, schools are providing them with the space and support to explore these. Lastly, schools are stepping up and systemically delivering on the added responsibility of imparting the right kind of morals and values to the children as a part of education. There are schools in India that are grounded firmly on these fundamentals, and, having seen it up one and being associated with it, I can say that one such example is that of the Pearson Schools which integrates global standards, technology-based experiential learning, holistic curriculum EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

and a strong foundation of values and culture. Here are a few things, in my opinion, that schools must incorporate into the system: • Students must be prepared for life, not just for careers. Given the vagaries of life, it is a key to developing young adults who are capable of adapting to the world as it may be years from now. • What ought to be taught is not thought, but the process of thinking. The students must be encouraged to think for themselves and approach problems and situations in their own ways, thus ensuring that their minds are well-formed and not well-filled. This goes towards the role of a teacher being a facilitator, rather than an instructor. • Acceptance of heterogeneity is essential in today’s world. Schools are one place where

the child begins to see what is not his/her own cultural, economic or social background, and hence schools must inculcate in the students respect for those who are different from them. • While delivering on curriculum, teachers should drive applicationbased, creative and innovative thinking. They should encourage students to move beyond textual learning and explore the practical implications of what they read in their books. Just as schools have responsibilities, as parents, we are accountable for making the right choices of our children’s education and future, and keeping the right framework in mind towards this will go a long way in making these decisions.

(Anil Kumble is a former international cricketer and captain of the Indian cricket team)


Thought Leader Nancy Silberkleit

Children + comic books = Reading, knowledge & confidence For Nancy Silberkleit, Co-CEO of Archie Comics Publications, education is all about the excitement of discovery and the tumultuous experience of ‘Failure’ as an important part of one’s learning process. Having been at the helm of one of the longest-running brands in the history of the comic books business, Nancy Silberkleit says that comic books enable children to internalize options, opinions and decisions. Excerpts from a recent interview with her… by Dipin Damodharan



ou have been an educator for many years. What is your approach to education? It is always imperative to think of different means of engagement to keep a student interested in learning. Creativity is the essence. My approach has always been ‘sensory’: explained by the use of captivating visuals, enchanting music and emphatic slogans – all backed by an engaging narrative. A teacher must come equipped with a toolbox filled with whatever that may ignite a student’s curiosity by drawing his or her attention into what is being taught. Education, to me, is all about the excitement of discovery and the tumultuous experience of ‘Failure’ as an important part of one’s

learning process. The richness of learning comes with being challenged to find answers. I see excitement in education through pursuing your mistakes that lead you to paths that you never knew existed. As an educator, what do you think are the biggest challenges before children today? Students are meant to become not only problem solvers and solution seekers but also creative thinkers. The present education system is on good track as it recognises the type of thinkers today’s schools need to produce. However, the issue that I see is that the natural process of education is being interfered with owing to the education model of standardised testing and

following the school concept of the past, which has been preventing the students from becoming creative thinkers. The education system was structured for a different time! I feel that it is afraid to start from ground zero. I do not see the extant model working towards the type of minds we need now and for the future. Just look at the environment we have placed the children in. For hours on end, every day, they are confined in a non-creative environment, being coached to be creative thinkers. Teachers can open those walls. It takes a teacher who has the drive to bring the world to the child in an entertaining way to do so. Remember what Plato said: “Do not force a child to learn, but see what harnesses his mind.”

The richness of learning comes with being challenged to find answers. I see excitement in education through pursuing your mistakes that lead you to paths that you never knew existed.


Thought Leader Nancy Silberkleit

You have said ‘Children + comic You are now promoting comic are induced to weigh the pros books = Reading, knowledge and books as a medium of community and cons and can formulate for confidence.’ Could you elaborate activism. Could you explain how? themselves where they stand on on this? History has borne witness the issue, based on their own value Cultivating reading as a habit to multitudinous instances of systems. The advent of the internet is sine qua non to amassing and the way social media has knowledge. With wellproliferated in our lives has given researched facts and stirring children several platforms for thoughts, you can networking and exchanging instill a sense of opinions, ideas and thoughts confidence about the issues we among children face today. Many now Graphic literacy is the best tool to get a child to find collaborate to work hooked onto the love of reading. Comic books answers to on public service have a visual appeal that resonates well with questions. announcements children of all age groups, making reading all How do we get (PSAs) and even the more pleasurable an experience. The visual our children reach out to language allows one to be interactive. to enjoy reading? publications with Graphic literacy is Op-Ed columns. It is the best tool to get a these children who child hooked onto the would initiate the love of reading. Comic change at homes, bringing books have a visual appeal that about a change in the resonates well with children of all mindset of families, colonies, age groups, making reading all the community communities and nations. more pleasurable an experience. activism that has ushered Please tell us more The visual language allows one to in change. Presenting a social about your passion to be interactive. The limited word or ecological issue in a graphical communicate today’s and the rich graphics create what format is not only a means of global issues to the I call the grey area, where the creating awareness but also helps change-makers of tomorrow. What reader expands on the story, giving shape critical thinking towards were the driving factors behind scope to critical thinking which the issues on hand. Young readers this thought? comes into play. The reader I was at an event that would find satisfaction in was presenting facts on being allowed to become a plastic, which spurred me to part of expanding the story, cut immediately my use of the visuals play a huge part plastic – be it by stopping to in pushing him or her to purchase drinking water in elaborate further on the plot plastic bottles and placing and personally internalizing a filter on my water supply information provided. at home to making sure I How do comic books enable children to become more creative? A visual medium like comic books enable you to internalize options, opinions and decisions. It is a very personal experience, something that makes you imbibe the visual information, comprehending it in your own terms and expanding on it. This is how creativity, especially in thinking, is sparked.


always had a canvas sack for my shopping. That’s when I wondered if my actions were going to be of any help, and how I could expand the movement. Being the publisher of an iconic and globally recognised brand like Archie gave me the medium to reach out to the youth and paved the way for me to sow the seeds of change through the power of visuals. I then reached out to our writers


and artists and asked them to create a story that would present the facts that I learned. The first story that addressed this topic was called Bottle Battle. The most recent story, Getting Drastic with Plastic, has been penned by Batton Lash. I am confident that, through titles such as these, we shall be successful in saving our environment, because when Archie speaks, people listen! Through titles like Getting Drastic with Plastic, we see Archie and his friends through the narrative, urging readers to refuse, reduce, reuse or recycle plastic in order to achieve the goal of improving our environment. How would you measure the results of such initiatives? I am hoping that articles like these will encourage teachers to appreciate the importance of comic books with such stories and utilise them in the classroom. The children will take their knowledge out of the classroom and into their homes and communities and be the ambassadors to improving our environment. My measurement is within my belief of the children, their actions that will be the force for us adults to stop delaying on the issues we are faced with regarding global warming. We no longer can wait for someone to fix the problem! There are many organisations and efforts that have been on the scene, but it takes a bigger effort. What we need is a global movement. We are ALL in this together and we must all be accountable for our actions. What is your success mantra? ‘Never question if you can only question why would you ever think you cannot!’ Archie Comics has evolved along with the times. Is getting into new genres more of a rule than an exception? What are your EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

The education system was structured for a different time! I feel that it is afraid to start from ground zero. I do not see the extant model working towards the type of minds we need now and for the future.

company’s immediate priorities? We are more than a publishing company. We are about entertainment. Technology has

Nancy Silberkleit Nancy Silberkleit is the daughter-in-law of Louis H Silberkleit, one of the founders of Archie Comics Publications. Archie is one of the most successful, longest-running brands in the history of the comic business. Nancy stepped into her role as Co-CEO of the company, based in Mamaroneck, New York, in 2009, with a vision that the comic book, as a graphic novel, is a valuable tool for developing literacy among first-time readers and instilling a love of reading in everyone. Nancy, a school educator for the last three decades before taking on the position of leading the iconic brand, believes immensely in the power of a teacher and acknowledges that she could not have gone to become a Co-CEO without her teaching experience. As someone who champions literacy, Nancy has not taken off her teaching hat and counts herself as a

pushed us forward in many new ways that expanded how one interacts with our brand. I would not say whether it is a rule or an exception, but Archie is a solid brand that is based on people and which reflects people; so our characters are just staying in tune with today’s trends. Archie and the gang are almost lifelike. Our characters are following the beat of people no matter where they are on planet Earth! Our priority is to continue to listen to our fans around the globe and give them that ‘I Love Archie’ experience whenever and wherever they want it. part of the fictional Riverdale High School with Mr Weatherbee as her principal! She sees comic books as another genre to one’s choices in literacy and a powerful tool to stimulate and build today’s children into strong, creative thinkers, who are prepared to approach complex situations. In Nancy’s own words, ‘Children + comic books = Reading, knowledge and confidence. While Nancy is closely focused on preserving the legacy that she has inherited, she is also making sure that she uses comic books to make a contribution to society. “When Archie speaks, people listen,” she says. Nancy has also established a foundation named Rise Above Social Issues Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit entity that addresses challenging social issues, such as childhood obesity and other chronic medical conditions, as well as bullying, discrimination and environmental concerns through comic books.


Cover Story Sports education

Sports education: Where does India stand? India is a country with a great sports culture. From the epic times to the modern world, Arjuna to Rathore, many people have proudly held aloft the banner India before the world. However, over the years, India’s representation in the Olympics and other major sports events has become poor and inconsistent. This is not because India lacks great sportspersons and eminent coaches. Then, what is preventing India’s growth in sports? Is something wrong at the school-level or university-level? Why the country’s performance is pathetic in the Olympics? Is the young people’s passion for sports only a passport to a government job? Is infrastructure or attitude holding back the development of a sports culture in our country? The cover story – Sports education: Where does India stand? – is an inquiry into these aspects. by Lakshmi Narayanan, Neethu Mohan


Sports education Cover Story


he basis of sports education starts at the school-level in the form of physical education, which develops the health of the students and encourages them to be a part of sports. But, physical education is often neglected in India; many schools do not seem to realise the value of physical education in the curriculum. Wrong notions Many other schools maintain physical education in the syllabus only nominally. For them, physical education is a ‘rest period’ between academic hours and they consider that anyone can teach physical education, without the required training. There are schools which believe that only delinquent children need to be taught physical education! This wrong notion must be removed in order to bring talented children to the next level of physical education – that is, sports. Physical education and sports not only create healthy individuals but also a healthy society. Therefore, sports culture can contribute to the nation-building process. Today, most small and big nations are making their entry to sports, based on this philosophy. However, India, despite a population of over 110 crore, has not yet made significant presence in the world of sports, including world championships and the Olympics. This is true of both individual events and group events. We have not done well in hockey at the global level, though


hockey is considered as the national game of India. In the case of other games also, our condition is rather pathetic. Why is it so? Being active in sports is primarily the responsibility of the youth, but

There is nepotism in the sports sector, which results in the denial of opportunity to many a qualified sportsperson at the national sports events. This also deters many talented young people from taking sports as a career, forcing them to seek jobs to make a living. We also see dismal cases of under-qualified people, who fail to win medals for India, getting government jobs. This must change the government should provide them with all possible facilities for their development. When these young men and women represent India

in world championships, they need to uphold the pride of the

nation. The budgetary allocation for sports, comes under the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, is not sufficient compared to the countries that excel in the Olympics and other international sports events. There is nepotism in the sports sector, which results in the denial of opportunity to many a qualified sportsperson at the national sports events. This also deters many talented young people from taking sports as a career, forcing them to seek jobs to make a living. We also see dismal cases of under-qualified people, who fail to win medals for India, getting government jobs. This must change. Other hurdles in the way of progress of sports in India include lack of modern facilities like playground, equipment, strategies, techniques, qualified coaches, talented trainers, and sports-related physiotherapists and psychiatrists. Lack of scientific approach towards the development of physical education and sports education is also to be blamed. When it comes to sports as a subject of study, research is woefully wanting. There are over 250 universities in India, but none of them is exclusively for sports education. No university provides even exclusive courses in sports. Look at the situation in China or Japan – these countries consistently excel in sports. Why is it so? This is because China and Japan, like many other countries, have exclusive training institutes for sports and games,


Cover Story Sports education

and sports is a compulsory part of the academic curriculum. Sports management Consider the case of Australia, where the concept of sports management has matured over the last 30 years, with dedicated and educated professionals in the field. India’s sports sector can benefit a lot from Australia’s expertise and experience. But, are we ready to do that? For most Indians, sports mean just cricket and hockey. This is a result of peculiar social situations as well as the attitude to sports on the part of both

society and governments, thereby narrowing people’s outlook on sports and sports education. India’s performance in sports management is poor. ‘Youngest’ country With 50% of the population below the age of 25, India is the ‘youngest’ country in the world. So, if the young people in India are properly trained in sports, the country can come out as a role model to the entire world. But, what are we doing? We give only 1-2 hours of physical training in schools, and, when it comes to colleges and universities, even that

is often lacking. Excellence in some form of sport or physical activity will provide the children with selfconfidence. Introverted children will be able to express themselves through sports, and this is one of the main advantages of physical education. Participation in sports enable introverted children to be able to consider themselves as being a part of a group, which, in turn, will help a lot in their future. It is a sad fact that, knowingly or unknowingly, our education system is ignoring this crucial aspect.

No proper curriculum Different reasons are being cited for the underperformance of athletes and other sportspersons in our country. Lack of proper curriculum is one of the main reasons that lags the development of sports in India


ccording to M A George, Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach, educational institutions in India do not have a uniform curriculum. “The curriculum varies from institution to institution. The benefits of implementing a fixed, uniform curriculum will ensure the all-around development of the children. It is mainly because of


the top-class facilities provided to sportspersons that countries like the US and China excel at international events.” Milka Singh, former ace sprinter, once said that India needed sports academies in every state in order to train the youngsters. According to him, there is a lack of dedication on the part of many coaches. Sports Authority of India has

about 1,500 coaches, with 300 posts lying vacant. The United Kingdom produces around 3,500 coaches every year, of whom many opt for voluntary service. The chief problem with the existing sports federations in our country is that they do not have clear-cut plans for the talented youngsters. This problem, one hopes, would be solved in the near future. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Sports education Cover Story

Learn from China, Japan


hina Japan and India, the three Asian giants, have one thing in common – a rich heritage of traditional sports, be it sumo of Japan, or karate of China, or the ghusthi of India. Each of these sports is popular in the respective country. As time passed, all these countries developed their own sports culture and also adopted global sports like football, basketball and cricket. However, among the three countries, India lags behind considerably vis-à-vis sports. The lack of infrastructure and a clear-cut plan to popularise sports among the people could be the reason for this. In a country with so much diversity, sports could be an effective tool to inculcate the feeling of nationalism among the citizens. India has the second largest population in the world (1.237 billion). China tops the list, with a population of 1.35 billion. At the Olympics, China does well with a bagful of medals. Most of the times,


In China, physical education is a part of curriculum. InJapan, the students have tests in the social and cultural aspects of sports. Where as in India, physical education is given the least importance, and priority is given to education based on academics people attribute this to China’s population. If that were the case, one should expect India to win the second position. And, we all know that is not the situation. Least importance In India, physical education is given the least importance, and priority is given to education based on academics. Only few students in India (who have the privilege to study in a school of international standards) get proper training in physical education. And, majority of them are trained under insufficiently qualified physical education teachers, who consider their job only as a source of income. In China, physical education is a part of their curriculum and it is a compulsory course from the primary-level to the second year of graduation. In Japan, the students have tests in which they

are examined on the social and cultural aspects of sports. Misconceptions In India, we have many misconceptions about physical education, like physical education classes being considered as ‘freeplay’ periods. Our country allots only 1% of its budget to sports. The physical education course in China is divided into theory and activity classes, and theory is given importance. We lack proper physical education syllabus at primary, secondary and even at college levels. What is the remedy? We should appoint qualified coaches in schools and colleges. Teachers and trainers of physical education should be respected on par with the teachers of other subjects. We must realise that proper physical education gives character and moral fibre to a person, through concepts such as fair play. In this scenario, we need to learn a few lessons from countries like China and Japan, so that we can create better sportspeople and a happier and more productive generation.


Cover Story Sports education

Indian sports poor in professionalism We are a nation with a very large population, but after many years of participation in the Olympics and other international sports events, all we have bagged is just a handful of medals. Different people cite different reasons for this. In an interview with Education Insider, Ram Murali Krishna, of Athletics Federation of India, speaks out his views and opinions on the matter. Here are the excerpts: by EI Bureau


espite the fact that India’s ratio of youth is much higher than in many other countries, what is preventing our younger generation from participating actively in sports? This is a big question, but this is entirely incorrect. Most of our youth are actively taking part in sports. The problem is that they don’t get proper guidance. Participation is there, but most participants are not serious about what they are doing. What about the importance of building a sports culture in India? India lacks a sports culture which could be solved only by bringing in changes in the education system. When we talk about sports culture, it is basically the physical fitness, which cannot be taken as a competitive sport. If you have more number of people with physical fitness like in China and other countries, then it is an asset to the country. The education system should be revamped. A proper sports curriculum should be implemented in the schools and colleges. This will not only help the students take part in any kind of sports they want to in a better way but also will help them stay healthy. Do we lack a sense of nationalism


and use the talents just to get government jobs? Like the athletes in other countries, Indian athletes are also looking for opportunities. Only in a few countries do people take sports as a profession. In India, let us take Viswanathan Anand as an example. He has dedicated his entire life to chess. Let us take the case of athletics; most of the legendary athletes in India are from hamlets. These people cannot dedicate their entire life to a particular sport. Most of them will not be able to get good training. The government should support deserving athletes. Physical education is often considered to be a ‘rest period’ between academic classes. How can this attitude be changed? The sports curriculum in our country varies from schools to schools and from college to college. In a country like India, where millions of rupees is allotted for so many other things, it is very important to mention that not more than 1% of budgetary allocation is directed towards sports. Let us take China as an example. In China, physical education takes the forms of class teaching extra-curriculum activity, after-school training

and sports competitions, hiking, travelling and others, of which class teaching is the basic. The physical education course is the main form of physical education in Chinese educational institutions. It is a compulsory course from primary school to the second year of undergraduate programme in institutions of higher learning, with 2 or 3 class hours a week. Some schools even have physical education class every day. In schools where physical education course is compulsory, if a student fails to attend classes for one-third of the total class hours in one semester, he/she will not be given final scores for the course and will not be regarded as having reached the national standards for physical education qualification. We should adopt good things from other countries. What are your suggestions to improve the physical education in India? As I mentioned earlier, the physical education curriculum in our country should be revamped thoroughly. A council of experts should be formed in every institution to monitor physical education, and the physical education department in every educational institution should be headed by a trained professional. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Sports education Cover Story

Politicians shouldn’t

head sports bodies In the wake of erosion of ethics and values from sports in India, Mercy Kuttan, former Indian trackand-field athlete, speaks to Education Insider about the changes that have occurred in the sports culture and her suggestions to improve the quality of sports education in the country. Mercy is the first woman long-jumper to cross 6 metres and the first woman from India to participate in the Commonwealth Games by EI Bureau Have the sports field changed? Do you see an improvement in the sports culture in our country? During my times, all the students were hardworking and dedicated. Individuals participated in sports events out of interest and they were very committed to sports. But, the scenario has changed today; kids are being forced to participate in events. School authorities and parents consider the participation of a kid in a sports event as an addition to their dignity. When it comes to facilities, today’s kids are getting proper training and proper food, but that was not the condition in our days; we lacked systematic training and proper food was not available to us. Today, in general, an athlete is moulded just for participating in


events. An athlete is being trained since childhood, which is a wrong method. Do you think that India is lagging behind in sports? What is the difference between athletes in successful countries and in India? What are we lacking? The attitude of the Indians generally towards sports is not good. Most athletes are coming to the field with an aim to secure a government job. Regarding training, most of our athletes are trained for the sake of just participating in events. In other countries, extensive training is given to an individual for about 4-5 years. Only after this, they are introduced to the field. The Indians should change their attitude. What is lacking in the new-

generation sportspeople? Commitment and dedication, according to me, are lacking in today’s sportspeople. In our times, we had a certain goal to be achieved. During our coaching, be it in India or abroad, we accepted the training and tips given by our coaches. However, the young people, in general, seem to be reluctant to accept advice from coaches. What are your suggestions to improve the physical education and sports scenario in India? We have to find out talents. Don’t mix politics and sports; these two are different categories, and the Government has to realise that fact. Politicians should not head sports organisations; instead, those posts should go to experienced sportspersons.


Cover Story Sports education

What they say R


any parents are prejudiced about sports. They should change their mindset and should treat other sports equal to cricket. According to me, the Sports Authority of India, which has the authority to recruit coaches in the country, should appoint coaches on contract basis. Give them a task and then evaluate their work before renewing their contract. The coaches have now used to working like in government departments. Coaching is not a job; it is a passion, a coach should try to produce excellent athletes.

ight now, the people involved in sports are getting proper training. India lags behind countries like China and Japan when it comes to international sports events. One’s achievement doesn’t depend solely on the training and hard work he/ she is putting in; it also depends on hereditary factors and the situations one is brought up. – K M Binu, Athlete

– Milka Singh, Former Sprinter



fter many years of experience in athletics, I am convinced that what we lack in India is not talent, but the basic, modern and scientific facilities. If we train our young Indian sports talents, nothing -- even many Olympic medals -- is unachievable. Everyone thinks that bagging an Olympic medal is a difficult task. It is not.

he children of CBSE schools also should be allowed to participate in the school sports meet. We should not discriminate between the students of CBSE schools and state-run schools. The Government should be more cautious in appointing physical education teachers. The recent trend is that physical education instructors are not keen on coaching the students; for them it is like any other job, and they lack dedication. –K P Thomas, Former Athlete and Dronacharya Award winner

PT Usha, Former Indian Sprinter


ndia lags behind the US in terms of performance due to a lack of long term planning. Nations like UK and China had begun preparations for the 2012 Olympics back in 2002. Another major problem in Indian sports is the early retirement of sports persons. Bobby Aloysius, Former Athlete



ricket enjoys a better fan following in India due to extensive encouragement of the BCCI. Similarly, India has shown excellence in shooting due to better training and infrastructure provided by the shooting federation. If all other sports were to enjoy the same amenities, Indian sports will scale great heights. Ashwini Nachappa, Former Athlete

Sports education Cover Story

Strong sports culture needed Why should we enhance sports culture in India? Since sports and sportspersons contribute substantially to the nation-building process, we need to cultivate a healthy sports culture. We need to have winners at the Olympics and other international events


ndividual games and athletics as well as team games like cricket, football, hockey, basketball and volleyball play a great role in boosting nationalism and patriotism. Our all-time favourite heroes of sports, including Sachin Tendulakar, Leander Paes, Sania Mirza and Anjali Bhagavath, came to the limelight with support and inspiration from different quarters. Here, the role of sports associations is important. To develop a great sports culture, we have to provide top-class facilities to aspiring young people. Providing good infrastructure at the school-level can help a lot in this. While many of our students excel at schoollevel and state-level, a majority of them fare badly fail at nationallevel events. India spends only 1% of its budget for the development of sports. More should be set apart for sports. In South Africa, world-class sports training and educational facilities are provided side by side, resulting in South African Test players having good academic degrees, too. If an underdeveloped country like Africa can do this, why can’t India? Rahul Dravid, former captain of the Indian cricket


team, said recently that sports administrators should invest all their efforts only in two relevant stakeholders – sportspeople sports fans, because, without one, the other becomes irrelevant. According to Rahul Dravid, “the sacred role of sports federations is to find the right talents, give them the best possible platforms to learn, grow and perform and then ultimately connect the talents with the sports fans in an accessible and identifiable way.” We can use the services of veteran sportspeople to train the youngsters. This would make a great impact on youth and attract more youngsters to mainstream sports. Sports events should not be organised as mere competitions; they should be a part of a person’s social life. States like Gujarat are trying to cultivate a vibrant sports culture. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has announced the year 2013-14 as the year of sports and that the state government would soon come up with a sports policy to encourage the participation of the youth in sports. Winning medals in the Olympics could be set as a dream and a goal – this would help enhance the sports culture.

What next? Here are some suggestions to develop sports education in Kerala: •

• • •

• • • • •

• •

Include sports as a major subject in the curriculum starting from schools up to university-level Establish exclusive universities for sports and sports education in the government sector Ensure public- private participation in sports academies Get corporates involved in physical education Glorify sportspersons Encourage structured competitions and championships and strictly follow the age limits Enhance the quality infrastructure Delink politics from sports Encourage sports scholarships in the state Ensure active participation of sports authorities Increase the funding for sports and related activities in the Budget Ensure that the funds reach the right persons Set a clear sports policy and plan of action focusing on the next Olympics and other world championships



Abu Dhabi to host TOFE Technical, Occupational and Further Education (TOFE) based on creating highly talented professionals will take place at Abu Dhabi in January 2014. The exhibition will serve as a platform for creating better proficiencies to address national skill shortages by EI Dubai Desk


n response to the increasing demand for industry-ready education in the UAE and across the region, TOFE (Technical, Occupational and Further Education),an advanced training and professional development exhibition,will hold its debut edition from January 29 to 31, 2014 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) in the UAE capital.The exhibition will highlight the importance of occupational education in developing local talent and enhancing expertise at the workplace. Organized by International Conferences and Exhibitions (IC&E), one of the longest standing international exhibition houses in the region, TOFE will feature an array of professional certification options ranging from business and accountancy, engineering, medicine, nursing, dentistry, arts & photography, filmmaking, architecture, jewelry making and fashion design. With employability criteria rapidly evolving and skill


shortages still present within the UAE job market, technical and occupational education has become highly significant in providing Emirati and expatriate job seekers with competitive advantages. Abu Dhabi alone is likely to generate more than 600,000 new jobs over the next decade based on a projected 7-9 per cent annual economic growth rate.All of these economic factors affirm the strong need for TOFE education to cultivatethe required talent pool. Anselm Godinho, Managing Director, International Conferences and Exhibitions (IC&E), commented on the increasing need for a show dedicated to vocational and occupational training within the region, “Competition is fierce in the UAE job market with fresh graduates increasingly feeling the pressure of securing employment to match their qualifications.” “TOFE will be an excellent platform to highlight the proficiency gaps within the UAE job market and offer students career-oriented courses to

students, job seekers, young working professionals.The opportunity help them gain deeper insights on specialized degrees, courses training programmes and certifications available which can add value to their existing skills and qualifications in the job market. We are hopeful of garnering a positive response for our debut edition of the event,” said Godinho. More than 100 educational institutions offering over 500 academic, vocational and training programmes will be represented at TOFE 2014. Universities from more than 30 countries, including the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, India, Lebanon, Turkey, and Malaysia will be represented at the event. More than 8,000 visitors from across the Middle East are expected to attend TOFE in search for education and training options that will place them ahead of competition in the job market, build skills, and enhance employability and contribute to the existing skilled workforce. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

nr group Corporates and Education

Fragrance of philanthropy NR Group, founded by N Ranga Rao, is the maker of the Mysore-based Cycle Pure Agarbathis. NR Foundation is the philanthropic arm of NR Group. The Foundation considers supporting education as a great serve to society. It aims to touch people’s lives by its efforts of corporate responsibility. Education Insider tries to bring out the contributions of NR Group in supporting education within the country, through an interaction with Arjun Ranga, managing director of Cycle Pure Agarbathis

by EI Bureau


ith the motive of serving society, NR Group has always worked to support social cause since the inception of the company. Education has been the most important in its philanthropic activities. NR Foundation touches people’s lives through its initiatives on corporate responsibility and women’s empowerment, with emphasis on education. Arjun Ranga says on NR Group’s education initiatives: “Considering the present times, education is one of the most essential elements in the growth of a country. Education helps individuals in every walk of life, be it politics, IT, fashion, or business. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Education also helps one develop one’s skills that are needed to make a living as well as run a country successfully.” Under NR Foundation, there are four initiatives focused on education. They are: • School for the visually challenged girls, Classes 1-10: This has been running for 25 years now and giving education to 100 girls. • Project Prerepana: This is a 5-year project to mainstream dropout children in slums of Mysore city. Project Prerepana provides awareness on health issues among the slumdwellers. The project aims to undertake participatory

community programmes targeting women, youth and children. The project has successfully brought nearly 300 dropout children back to school. Similarly, Youth for Development programmes are held, which involves the youth who are trained to take up leadership roles at communitylevel. Project Prerepana, started in August 2006, promotes schooling in the age group 3-16 years and has been very successful till date. The project, which focuses on women and child welfare, has brought in sustained development of slums this one year. The project was


Corporates and Education nr group

implemented in 6 slums in Mysore, which has about 600 children in the age group of 3-16 years. • Project Unnati: This project funds shop-floor workers’ children for higher education. • Cycle Scholarship Programme: Education for the needy has always been a subject dear to NR Foundation. Scholarship programmes for school students are yet another tool for the same. The NR group identifies students from different schools in selected area and gives them free education. It gives scholarship to five students in one school, and, till date, it has given scholarship to over 60 students in Pune, Hyderabad and Mysore. This is has been NR Foundation’s annual programme for the last two years. The schools selected for the scholarship programme were Sarojini Naidu Memorial Mehbub College High School, David Memorial Upper Primary School, Princess Durru Shehvar, Government City Model School, St Batool School, Government Girls High School, Sterling School, Government City Model Primary School, and Government Girls City High School. School for disabled The NR Foundation’s education initiative search for visually challenged girls below 10 years is a fully established programme. It reaches the entire state of Karnataka. The team from NR Group education initiatives convinces parents about the training imparted to the girl child, which helps her take care of herself. By the time the girl passes out of the school, she would be capable of helping her parents and siblings in their domestic activities. “Among our education initiatives,” says Arjun Ranga, “Ranga Rao Memorial School for the Disabled (RMSD), established in 1988, gives us much satisfaction. RMSD is a non-profit organisation that reaches out to


visually challenged girls from the economically weak sections. Recognised by the Karnataka Government and the Central Government, RMSD provides free education, boarding, lodging, healthcare and social security to visually challenged girls.” RMSD, with the help of various governmental agencies, search for visually challenged girls below 10 years across Karnataka for enrollment. Currently, there are 52 girls in the school. In addition to their academics, the students of RMSD are taught to make baskets and other objects. They are also trained in pottery, crafting eco-friendly bags, gardening, and developing interactive skills – thus preparing them for life as independent individuals. At RMSD, the emphasis is not only on academic excellence but also on the overall development of children. Academically, schooling is provided up to class 7, and the curriculum at RMSD is the same as in any other school. The school has a good library, an impressive collection of audio-communication

Arjun Ranga resources and books written in Braille language. With 100% pass every year, the school also boasts of competent faculty members. The technology used in the school is in tune with the needs of the visually impaired. NR Group sets apart a certain percentage of its turnover to set up education development programmes across Karnataka. It has, indirectly, provided source of revenue to about 10,000 women. The education initiatives are spread across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and the North- Eastern states. Plans NR Group is planning many other initiatives, like being a key promoter of education in Karnataka. Some of the other activities under this project include creating a generation with awareness through sensitisation programmes, establishment of learning centres, career guidance and counselling, and strengthening of community-based institutions. The Foundation also targets self-help groups, youth groups, adolescents and parents. The learning centres would focus on school dropouts and child labourers. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Rajeshwari Kannan Edu expert

India needs innovative

scientists, not just researchers “The quality of research is an output of innovation and perceptiveness. We need to enhance this, we need to concentrate more on developing creativity that eventually would generate good ideas and later on develop the base of scientific research,� according to Rajeswari Kannan, eminent scientist at Nokia Research. Rajeswari recently invented Light Speak, a new technology in mobile, which can read hidden data incorporated in an object with the support of lights in the atmosphere. Here are excerpts from an interview with Rajeswari Kannan: Rajeswari Kannan

by EI Bureau Recently, eminent scientist C N R Rao stated that the quality of science and research in Indian universities is not up to the mark. Being a senior scientist at Nokia Research, a top-notch industrial research centre, how do you respond to this comment? I agree with this in a way, but there are also many good opportunities in the field of research in the Indian universities. Over the last three decades, things have changed a lot. Earlier, the students who wished to do research in science-related subjects needed to go to the US or other Western countries for quality research in science. But, when the EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Indian economy boomed, a lot of opportunities cropped up, especially in the field of education. Now the Indian researchers can do joint research programmes with other countries while staying in India. We have developed multimedia labs in India in collaboration with foreign universities. We have a lot of talented student population here and a vibrant educational atmosphere, too. What we want to do next is to incorporate these opportunities in the correct ratio to get a perfect output. We should set our goal to produce innovative scientists from our country instead of the present goal of creating just researchers.


Edu expert Rajeshwari Kannan Science that is oriented to research and development in technology, it is far better than pure science subjects. Bangalore, famed as India’s Silicon Valley, is rising as a hub of technology-oriented research. In my opinion, a lot of other places should come in this category.

vital to the research fellows at the

Do you think that innovation is lacking in research done in India?

corporatelevel; this will help them come out of narrow perspectives. The second thing is the opportunity space, which should be neither too long nor too short. If you are interested in research, whatever the subject, you need to travel a lot to enhance your creativity. There should be space for developing one’s own perspective also. Industry interaction and study classes can add much to this. One develops research ideas through oral interaction. Of course, the role of research material is accountable. Creating ideas for research is as

Do you think that science and research in the Indian education system are satisfactory? I won’t completely agree with that, but, in a way, we are good. There are a lot of opportunities here from the kindergarten-level to the higher education-level. Of course, we are improving in the field of science and research, but the setback is that we are unable to attract talented students towards research-oriented studies. This is a big shortcoming. According to recent surveys, only less than 1% of the students are going for Innovations come from your research in the last few years. This has to change. Compared patience to observe problems with the old generation, the around you and find solutions to situation has changed a lot. those problems. When one does Now we are not lacking in opportunities; what we lack is this, one slowly converts this dedication and research. situation into opportunity. In such What does the word ‘education’ mean to you? For me, education means perspectives. The teachers are responsible for giving perspectives to the thoughts of children. Giving perspective is needed to mould the character of a child; it is about empathy, it is about helping the child understand the world. As a senior scientist at Nokia Research, what are your suggestions to improve the quality of research at corporate-level and university-level in India? There should be space for creative freedom in order to develop research activities. It is


The future of the world could be influenced by technology, but there is a great human dimension to it. I don’t think that the future of the world will be completely technology-driven. Technology should be applied for the growth and development of humanity.

way, anybody can be an innovator important as developing research space. What is your idea of technology and entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship is the thing that helps in the growth of an individual and of society. It is the reflection of ideas. It is very much appreciable that many youngsters have come to technology-oriented entrepreneurship. I think that can certainly make a good impact on society. Do you think that the future of the world is based on technology?

Innovation in any field comes as a result of perceptiveness and the mindset to listen and observe. Innovations come from your patience to observe problems around you and find solutions to those problems. When one does this, one slowly converts this situation into opportunity. In such a way, anybody can be an innovator. All of us are basically good innovators unless we think we can’t. So I think there won’t be a great formula for innovation; what we need is a passion for this.


Could you describe Light Speak, your recent innovation for Nokia? It is the latest technology to connect the lights around you with your mobile. All the lights that you see are blinking at a very high speed. This blinking pattern is in the mode of onoff, on-off – that is, 1-0, 1-0. That 1-0 could mean data. So we are hacking the power of the light source to send data. That is the fundamental principle behind Light Speak. The ordinary sensor on your mobile can catch this data. We exploit this opportunity. Since lights are all around, you can make good use of it for video sharing and the like. We can feed data on posters, things, etc., and when you operate Light Speak in your mobile on these objects, it will display the whole data behind that. It can transform everything around you. I collaborated on this research with a professor at MIT. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Ireland overseas Education

Making students

work-ready and world-ready Despite the economic difficulties, the Irish government is committed to ringfencing funding for higher education and research. In an interview with Education Insider, Dr Christopher Shepard, International Coordinator, University College Cork, Ireland, speaks about the steps taken by the Irish government to ensure quality education to the foreign students, relaxed visa norms, and many more. Read on… by EI Bureau


ow much stress does the Irish government place on reviving the education

sector? I think that reviving is perhaps the wrong word. The policy of successive Irish governments over the past 30 years has been to invest heavily in education and training. Despite the economic downturn, this policy has not changed. One of the reasons for this is that the government realises that Ireland’s world-class education system has been vitally important not just in attracting foreign direct investment but also in Ireland’s development as a knowledge economy. Just to underline this point, an OECD survey of international companies


actually ranked Ireland as the best in Europe in terms of its educated workforce and second for the skills of its workforce.

so that the system is not overly rigid and bureaucratic, but rather that it enables innovation and the development of new curricula.

Do you think that there is an urgent need of a systematic framework to improve the standards of education? I think that most individuals would agree that education must be of a high standard if it is to be of both value and relevance to the students and society at large. The question, therefore, is how to ensure the best delivery of highquality education. I would agree that there needs to have some framework in place in order to maintain standards. However, this needs to be carefully balanced,

What steps have been taken to attract the Indian students who wish to study in Ireland? For aspiring Indian students who are looking to Ireland for education, Irish universities collaborate to participate in the Irish Student Education Fair in four different cities in India. At the education fair, universities bring in staff members – lecturers and professors of particular course, so that students can ask them questions related to the course they are looking to study, discuss the modules being taught, teaching methodology, internships


overseas Education Ireland

opportunities, career prospects, fees structure and about employability options. Further to this, we at University College Cork (UCC), bring our Indian students from the university to the fair, so that aspiring students can ask them questions relating to studying in Ireland. We try to give aspiring students a wholesome view of Irish education. Ireland has relaxed visa norms. The one-year stay-back policy allows the students to look for work after their graduation. University College Cork has tieups with companies for campus recruitment. Most of our finalyear students are provided with opportunities for paid internships. These internships help the students experience the real world. The Irish government is working along with Irish firms to make fund transfers for international students easier and cost-effective. All these factors together play a role in attracting Indian student to come to Ireland for their education.


Ireland has relaxed visa norms. The one-year stay-back policy allows the students to look for work after their graduation. University College Cork has tie-ups with companies for campus recruitment. Most of our final-year students are provided with opportunities for paid internships What are the steps taken by the Irish government to maintain quality and standard in the education sector? The Irish government is, despite economic difficulties, committed to ring-fencing funding for higher education and research. This is because Ireland, as a small and open trading economy, understands that world-class education and cutting-edge research greatly increase its ability to be globally competitive. Development of research facilities help in maintaining quality and standard in the education sector. UCC has defined and aligned its research strengths to those

areas identified as of national strategic importance and priority, including: • Biological and Medical Sciences (including Food and Health) • Environmental, Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences (including Energy) • Physical Sciences, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (including ICT) • Arts, Humanities • Business and Law This year, Science Foundation Ireland, the main governmental funding agency, announced €300 million in funding for seven centres of excellence, five of which are being led by UCC. The UCC centres of excellence include Photonics (Tyndall National Institute, UCC, Ireland’s leading research institution); Food and Health (the UCC Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre); Health Sciences (the Irish Centre for Foetal and Neonatal Translational Research, with UCC specialising in researching high risks during infancy); Engineering (Marine Renewable Energy); and Ireland’s


Big Data and Analytics Research Centre (INSIGHT), a national research centre that is co-hosted by UCC, UCD, DCU, and NUIG. What is unique about this programme is that it is co-funded by the government (€200 million) and industry (€100 million), demonstrating the commitment of the government and the university to collaborate closely with industry and meet future challenges in innovation. What about the relaxed visa norms for Ireland and the special visa stay-back programmes for Indian students? Ireland offers Indian students with a more relaxed approach to visa norms than some neighbouring jurisdictions. The Irish government has made the visa procedure more transparent by providing a new website, which includes a document checklist and explanations of the various criteria by which applications are assessed. The government also brought in a one-year stay-back option during which students can pursue fulltime work, apply for jobs and gain vital international experience. The current student visa allows students to work for 20 hours EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

during their course time. During holidays and after the completion of the course, students can work full-time, that is 40 hours. Should one of our students find suitable employment following his course, the employer can then apply for a long-term work visa on behalf of the employee. Please give us an overview of the situation in Ireland regarding education prospects, employment and cost of living, compared to other European countries. Irish universities offer students the opportunity to pursue a wide range of course at all levels. Students who choose Ireland for their studies will learn on historic campuses with access to worldclass researchers, technology and infrastructure. Ireland’s prestigious and comprehensive universities, including UCC, offer courses which range from the medical sciences (medicine, dentistry, nursing and midwifery), genetics, computer science, biotechnology and engineering to humanities/social science. Ireland is host to over 1,000 multinationals companies. Global companies such as Accenture, Boston Scientific, Coca-Cola, EMC,

Google, Intel, KPMG, Microsoft, Novartis, Oracle, Pfizer, Pepsi, Paypal, IBM, Facebook, and LinkedIn have their European headquarters in Ireland. This provides students with numerous opportunities after graduating. The Irish government’s Visa Office requires that students show access to a minimum of 7,000 Euros a year to cover living expenses while in Ireland. The actual amount of money that the students spend over the course of a year depends largely on lifestyle, and could be either more or less than the government requirement. Students who come to University College Cork benefit from much lower costs of living than those who choose to study in other Irish universities such as Dublin. Students will also find that many shops and services (including transportation) offer student discounts of 10%-30% off published prices. Ireland is fast coming up as one of the best options for higher education, especially for students from India. What about the tie-ups with the Indian universities / IITs / IIMs and the benefits the Indian students get


overseas Education Ireland from this collaboration? University College Cork is collaborating with esteemed universities, IITs and IIMs to strengthen research collaboration, to increase joint programme collaboration, and student and staff exchange programmes between universities. This kind of collaboration will bring many exciting opportunities for the students and staff members and thus expand their experience and horizons. Which are the programmes that the students prefer most in Ireland? In Ireland, particular at University College Cork, we see Indian students enrolling in: • Genetics • Nursing Studies • Biotechnology/ Molecular Cell Biology and Bio-innovation • Computer Science • Engineering (both Sustainable Energy and Electrical Engineering programmes) • Innovation, Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship How can a student decide if a particular programme is good for him/her or not? A student is directed towards a particular course depending on his/her educational background, interest, grades and recommendations (entry to UCC programmes is highly competitive). When a student enquires about a course, we give him/her complete guidance on what can be expected from the course, the career opportunities and further study


options available. While we can advise the student, it is ultimately up to the student and parents to decide if the course is the right fit. The number of foreign students has increased. What do you think is the reason for this? International students are increasingly drawn to University College Cork because of the outstanding standard of education they receive. UCC prides itself on moulding graduates who are not only work-ready but also ‘worldready.’ Our courses are taught by academics (professors) who are internationally recognised leaders in their chosen fields. Our connections to industry ensure that our students are exposed to the latest technology and innovations, while our internship programmes provide real-world experience. In this digital age, when a large number of young entrepreneurs come up with successful ideas, what steps are being taken to encourage the young talents? University College Cork recognises the surging young entrepreneurs of today’s world. To nurture these individuals, a programme called IGNITE has been initiated. IGNITE is an incubation centre for higher-education graduates of any discipline. The programme encourages young entrepreneurs to submit business idea to IGNITE, after which they would receive funding to start their business. IGNITE aims to nurture young entrepreneurs, accelerate business startups, and help turn innovative ideas into innovative

products and service and later introduce them to the market. University College Cork also offers a course on Innovation, Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship for students at various levels. How much does Ireland cater to a foreign student? Ireland has a long tradition of welcoming international students. Each year, University College Cork welcomes nearly 3,000 international students to its historic city-centre campus, many of whom come from North America, Europe and Asia. International students are encouraged to get involved in campus life by joining sports clubs and student societies (we have a very active Indian Society on campus) which offer opportunities for travel, competition and volunteering. UCC Careers Service aims to provide practical work experience through on-campus and off-campus programmes for all students, including our international students. The student experience offered by UCC and its International Office is second to none. Surveys conducted among international students have placed UCC among the Top 3 universities globally for the past 5 years in terms of international student experience and support. More broadly, international students benefit from widespread discount schemes, with many shops and services (including transportation) offering student discounts of 10%30% off published prices.


career in Botany

T P Sethumadhavan

Varied jobs beckon students of botany A recent analysis of job prospects of biology students revealed that, among life sciences, botany is emerging as one of the potential areas for career and research within the country and abroad. Botany graduates are working with private sector consultancy firms, the mining industry, government departments (such as Agriculture and Food, Environment and Conservation), botanical gardens and research agencies (CSIRO) that either work in, or are interested in, the environment, conservation, restoration and horticulture in Canada, the United States and European Union.


otany encompasses different specialties. Those who have mathematical skills may opt for biotechnology, bioinformatics, biophysics, developmental botany, genetics, ecology, tissue culture, medicinal plants, and plant physiology. Typical employers for life science-related jobs are universities and clinical research organisations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, private hospitals and NHS trusts, national and global health and environmental charities, scientific and technical consultancies, schools and colleges, and outreach organisations such as museums, science centers and broadcast companies. Related jobs Jobs directly related to life science degree include clinical molecular geneticist, higher education lecturer, nature conservation officer, pharmacologist, research


scientist (life sciences), research scientist (medical), secondaryschool teacher and soil scientist. In addition to subject-specific knowledge of biological systems and concepts, candidates require communication skills (through report writing and presentations); team working skills (through group projects and seminars); organiational skills; ability to handle confidently masses of diverse data and to draw conclusions; problem solving, project and time management skills; and self-reliance, initiative and business awareness. Environment sector, pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, The Biopharma Skills Consortium (BSC) and Cancer Research UK are some of the subject-specific sectors for life science graduates. Major employers of plant biologists are educational institutions,

Government and industries. Job opportunities usually depend on educational training and experience. Growing world population continues to increase the need for better food supplies. Environmental concerns such as air, water and soil pollution will create openings for ecologists in government and industry. The search for new drugs and medicines and useful genes for improving crop plants will continue to create a need for botanical explorers. Colleges, universities Most positions for professional plant scientists are in colleges and universities. Almost all colleges and universities offer courses in plant science and there are faculty positions for botanists who have different specialties. In addition, educational institutions employ botanists as researchers and as administrators. Industries like


career in botany drug companies, oil industry, chemical industry, lumber and paper companies, seed and nursery companies, fruit growers, food companies, fermentation industries (including breweries), biological supply houses and biotechnology firms will hire men and women trained in botany. Recently, genetically modified research opens a new career field for botanists. Popular combinations with botany are agricultural science, Chemistry, conservation biology, environmental science, genetics, landscape architecture, marine science, natural resource management and zoology. Botany graduates can associate with research institutions like KARI, KEMRI, universities, ILRI, NMK, veterinary laboratories, ICIPE, ICRAF, ICRISAT and consultancy firms. Graduates can write articles for science journals, news magazines, local or regional newspapers. They can also write or edit (editor) textbooks for any level. Other careers in this field include broadcast and telecast journalism, such as writing or consulting for environmental dramas or serving as a host of television shows about environment, public health or plants, and creative writing such as writing stories with a plant science, molecular biology, environment and microbiology background. Researchers can associate with national governmental agencies such as National Council of Science and Technology (NCST); project managers in government ministries, NGOs, universities and international organisations like FAO, GEF of UN and World Bank; CGIAR organisations like ILRI, ICRISAT, ICRAF, US Fish


Jobs directly related to life science degree include clinical molecular geneticist, higher education lecturer, nature conservation officer, pharmacologist, research scientist (life sciences), research scientist (medical), secondaryschool teacher and soil scientist and Wild life, and International Elephant Foundation. Higher education M Sc microbiology, marine biology or biotechnology is available in select colleges affiliated to Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, Calicut, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Fisheries and Allied Sciences, and Kannur universities. Postgraduates can appear for UGC-CSIR National Eligibility Test

(NET) for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Lectureship and do research leading to Ph D, with fellowship. Meritorious and qualified candidates in botany may become botanists, ecologists, foresters, conservationists and taxonomists. Those who have passed Plus-Two with physics, chemistry and biology are eligible to go for B Sc in microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology and medical microbiology. Bachelor’s degree holders in science (B Sc) and biosciences can apply for M Sc microbiology, biotechnology, bioinformatics, biochemistry, phytomedical science, and food science. All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi conducts M Sc programmes in anatomy, biochemistry, biophysics, pharmacology, physiology, urology technology, and medical biotechnology. For more details, visit B Sc (botany) graduates are eligible for M Sc in environmental biotechnology, coastal aquaculture, marine biotechnology, marine food technology, and marine microbiology being offered by Annamalai University, which also conducts five-year integrated M Sc programmes in microbiology, environmental science, biotechnology, bioinformatics, ocean science and technology, zoology, plant sciences and technology for Plus-Two students with physics, chemistry and biology as higherstudy options. Microbiology, applied microbiology, molecular biology, biostatistics, animal sciences, biochemistry, dairy science, wildlife studies, and animal biotechnology are some of the higherstudy options life science graduates. Mahatma Gandhi University, Calicut University,


Popular combinations with botany are agricultural science, Chemistry, conservation biology, environmental science, genetics, landscape architecture, marine science, natural resource management and zoology. Botany graduates can associate with research institutions like KARI, KEMRI, universities, ILRI, NMK, veterinary laboratories, ICIPE, ICRAF, ICRISAT and consultancy firms. Graduates can write articles for science journals, news magazines, local or regional newspapers

Kannur University, and Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University offer postgraduate programmes in these disciplines. For more details, visit www.kvasu., and www. School of Life Sciences, Guindy campus of University of Madras, conducts M Sc industrial microbiology, biomedical science, biomedical genetics, molecular biology, and biotechnology courses. Bharathiar University (, Bharathidasan University ( in) and University of Delhi ( in) offer M Sc in microbiology and biotechnology. The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, conducts M Sc Forestry course for life science graduates. Entry qualification is B Sc degree with subjects of study includes any one among botany, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics or zoology, or B Sc agriculture or forestry. The institute also conducts M Sc environment management for graduates in any branch of basic EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

or applied sciences. For more details, visit The Amrita School of Biotechnology offers B Sc and M Sc courses in biotechnology, microbiology and bioinformatics. Biology background is required for biotechnology and mathematics and computer science for bioinformatics. For more details, visit Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies, Thiruvalla ( offers M Sc in plant biotechnology and bioinformatics. The Department of Bioinformatics of SRM University, Chennai, offers five-year integrated M Sc biotechnology and bioinformatics for Plus-Two students. M Sc biotechnology and bioinformatics courses are also available for life science graduates. The University of Delhi offers postgraduate studies and research in biomedical science at B R Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research. The courses offered are M Sc and Ph D in biomedical sciences (full-time two-year, or part-time four-year). For details,

visit Cochin University of Science and Technology offers M Sc in industrial fisheries and marine biology for life science graduates. ( Marine biology, bacteriology, virology, cell biology, genetics, immunology, horticulture, plant taxonomy, ecology, conservation science, developmental biology, environmental science, parasitology, pharmacology, developmental biology, and physiology are some of the research areas in plant sciences. Botany graduates and postgraduates from India can write GRE and TOEFL and do higher education and research in the US universities. IELTS is required for higher education in the UK and European Union. Those with Ph D can apply for post-doctoral programmes in foreign universities without any proficiency tests. Meritorious students can apply for scholarships/fellowships. Most of the universities provide assistantships too.


Trends in physics education

Ambient backscatter:

Power of ‘no power’ Ambient backscatter is a technology that exploits ambient signals of TV and mobile phone transmission by which the devices can communicate with one another

by Linoy A Tharakan


oday, we are encircled by data and information by reflecting things (IoT) a reality, devices in wireless technology. Tiny ambient RF signals. and around need to be able to computing devices are more communicate with the internet Internet of Things and more embedded in various and with each other. All of them We are moving towards a objects and environments such need to be powered by battery or newfound paradigm of computer as watches, apparatus, books, any other sources of energy that and information technology, furniture and even implantable would be difficult at least in some the Internet of Things (IoT). The medical devices. applications. Ambient backscatter Internet of Intelligent Things and As computing gadgets has become so imperative become smaller and more and crucial in this scenario. in number, it is challenging Backscatter Ambient backscatter is a technology to power them with wires According to Wikipedia, that exploits ambient signals of TV and and bulky batteries, which “in physics, backscatter mobile phone transmission by which add to the weight, cost (or backscattering) is the the devices can communicate with one and size of the devices. reflection of waves, particles, Moreover, it requires another or signals back to the frequent charging or direction from which they replacing and it increases came. It is a diffuse reflection the maintenance cost. systems has immense potential due to scattering, as opposed to A brand-new communication in machine-to-machine, machinespecular reflection like a mirror.” technique has been developed by to-environment, and machine-toAmbient backscatter is a the researchers of University of infrastructure communication. technology that exploits ambient Washington, which can exchange To make the internet of signals of TV and mobile



phone transmission by which the devices can communicate with one another. In this infocommunication world, the ambient RF signals from television and cellular towers are widely available indoors and outdoors, round the clock. These signals can power up, according to researchers, wireless devices with hundreds of microwatts. Those devices can exchange information and interact with users and also with other devices without using batteries but by reflecting pre-existing radio signals. Scientists have already built a battery-less small device with antennas to capture and reflect a RF signal. Developments A credit card-sized prototype has been developed by researchers of University of Washington to test the Ambient Backscatter technology. Each test device has an onboard LED light, which flashes as it is placed within a considerable distance. The device was tested by placing them half a mile away from the TV tower. It was tested across Seattle inside and outside of the apartments and garages, too.

To make the internet of things (IoT) a reality, devices in and around need to be able to communicate with the internet and with each other. All of them need to be powered by battery or any other sources of energy that would be difficult at least in some applications. Ambient backscatter has become so imperative and crucial in this scenario develop functionalities like carrier sense that are not available in traditional backscattering devices. Applications Researchers of Washington University created the prototype design to evaluate Smart Card

applications. Here, passive batteryless cards can communicate with each other. At present, customers swipe the credit card on the machine to pay the bills, but, with this technology, cards can simply be placed in close proximity of the e-bills and funds can be transferred. You could transfer funds to another account by just placing two cards one over the other. Such an application has very high value in various real-time circumstances like money transfer between credit cards, and lots of futuristic applications in digital paper technology. In future, the ambient backscatter will become the spinal code of ubiquitous and pervasive computing with zero maintenance.

(Linoy A Tharakan is Associate Professor of the Department of Computer Applications, Mar Thoma Institute of Information Technology)

Advantages RF backscattering requires no special power infrastructure like RFID as it harvests energy from existing RF signal. This eliminates installation and maintenance cost to an extent. RF backscattering consumes no additional energy beyond which is already in the air, so it has a negligible environmental footprint. Moreover, RF ambient backscatter gives device-todevice communication in contrast with RFID. RFID tags only support oneway communication from tags to RFID reader and are not able to exchange information between tags and tags. Besides, like RFID reader, the ambient backscatter has no centralised mechanisms for overall monitoring and control. Thus it must follow multiple access protocol and EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014


Study abroad Spain

Lots of reasons to study in Spain The inclination towards overseas education is getting trendy. Every year, thousands of Indian students seek admission in universities abroad. After, Russia, China, the UAE and the like, now it is the turn of Spain, beckoning the youth around the globe for degree courses with international standards at low cost.

by EI Bureau


elcome to Spain, the land of bullfight and tomato festival. Besides the cultural specialties, the country offers a wide range of opportunities for students to do their education abroad. According to the recent studies and surveys conducted by educational institutions on the higher education destination, Spain secured a place in the Top 10 study destinations. There are plenty of reasons to study in Spain. The international outlook of the Spanish universities is one of the main reasons. Another one is the attractive lifestyle offered by many Spanish cities. Spain’s quality of education is comparable to that of the world’s best universities. The choice of degree courses, Master’s and Ph D are aplenty here.


Why opt for Spain? Like many other countries, Spain has many educational programmes to attract international students. The country has set an official target to increase the percentage of international students from 4.9% in 2012 to 10% by 2015. The current educational data from the country shows positive growth. Spain already receives large numbers of international students, especially from the Spanishspeaking Latin American nations, and from non-Spanish-speaking nations such as the United States. Now the trend has changed a little, and many Asian students are interested in studying Spanish and related courses. This has stimulated the country to expand its international courses to Asian and European countries.

According to the 2012 Open Doors report, Spain is the third most popular destination for students from the US. Spain is also the most sought after study destination for European students who study abroad through EU’s Erasmus programme. Spain has diverse attractions, beginning with the well-built reputation of its universities. In the 2012/13 QS World University Rankings, 18 Spanish universities rank in the World’s Top 700. The country has a literacy rate of 97.8%. School education system The Spanish school education system is significant as it is categorised into many sections such as Spanish preschool, Spanish primary school, Spanish middle school, and Spanish higher education. There are three EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

categories of Spanish schools in the Spanish education system: public schools (colegios públicos), statefunded private schools (colegios concertados), and private schools (colegios privados). Spain consists of hundreds of attractive cities, which have great potential in terms of travel and tourism. The major places in Spain are Madrid, the capital city, Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba, Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Valencia and Granada. They are top tourist destinations, too. With long and beautiful beaches, amusing nightlife, national parks, etc., these cities open up a wide range of opportunities for tourism-related studies. Spanish Studies Abroad has been helping the students learn the Spanish language and culture since 1969. International universities There are many leading universities in Spain, which have produced highly intellectual as well as talented international student communities. The universities like Universidad de Alcalá, Universidad de Navarra, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) are worldclass. The universities here focus on developing their courses to reflect an international outlook so that all students can acquire greater inter-cultural competencies and benefit from inter-cultural dialogue. Many universities, including the famous Cesine University, offer many English-taught programmes, which are in great demand. All the universities in Spain are keen to attract international students. Sticking on to this, Spain has identified teaching in English as a part of a national strategy for higher education. The courses in English enhance Spain’s appeal as a study destination. Besides this, Spanish is a major attraction here.

According to the 2012 Open Doors report, Spain is the third most popular destination for students from the US. Spain is also the most sought after study destination for European students who study abroad through EU’s Erasmus programme. charges fees on credit basis. Like in other universities, the fees vary depending on the subject and duration of a course. A Master’s degree course has duration of two years, and Ph D has duration between three and five years. Living costs in Spain can also vary significantly, with cities like Madrid and Barcelona tending to come with a higher price tag. Every university in Spain offers hostel facilities to the students. The University at Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) charges an international student €700 to €1,000 (about US $900-1,300) a month to cover accommodation, travel, food and other expenses.

The students coming from European countries need not get a visa to join for higher studies in Spain, but they need to apply for a Foreign National Identity Number on arrival. This will help them open bank account and access health services. Students from all other countries need to get a visa if intending to spend more than three months in Spain. The visa can be taken via the nearest Spanish embassy or consulate once an official offer of a place has been received from a university.

Top universities • Autonomous University of Barcelona • Autonomous University of Madrid • Complutense University of Madrid • University of Barcelona • Polytechnic University of Valencia • University of Granada • University of Pompeu Fabra • University of Valencia • University of the Basque Country

Fees and visa The fees for Master’s and Ph D programmes in public and private universities are controlled by the government of Spain, which



Current Affairs BRICS ranking

Panjab University

tops Indian institutions Panjab University has made it big in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries’ university ranking after beating Indian premier institutes, including IITs and IIMs. It ranked 13 in the list of top 50.With this, India has improved its position in the world’s definitive university rankings, with 5 Indian universities entering the Top 400 list, up from 3 in 2012

by EI Bureau


t is Panjab University’s first appearance in the Times Higher Education ranking table. In the long list of the world’s best 400 universities for the year 2013-14, in ranks 226-250 are included 5 Indian universities, which are accompanied by 2 new entrants – Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee. IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur are already in the table. Panjab university is


Panjab University has left behind IITs and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to become the highest-ranked educational institution of the country in the firstever ranking of universities in BRICS and emerging economies. Nine Indian institutions find a place in the Top 50 ranks.

number 13 in the BRICS ranking. According to Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, “these results should encourage the Indian education sector. While no Indian institution makes the Top 200, India now has 5 representatives in the Top 400 – a sign of growing commitment to the global rankings.” Panjab University, spread over EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

a 550-acre campus in Chandigarh, the 5 BRICS countries, there Panjab, offers 75 teaching and were universities from 17 other research departments and has over emerging economies in the rank 190 affiliated colleges across the list. According to the ranking, China region. Panjab University is one of India’s oldest universities, In the list, Indian universities take 10% with 131 years of experience in providing but do not make the cut for the Top 10. All quality education. It has of the Top 10 are occupied by universities contributed many eminent from China, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey personalities to society, and Russia. Other than the 5 BRICS including Prime Minister countries, there were universities from 17 Manmohan Singh and other emerging economies in the rank list. NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla. Panjab University has has improved its position and left behind IITs and Jawaharlal become one of the top hubs for Nehru University (JNU) to become education. China has emerged as the highest-ranked educational the higher education superpower institution of the country in the among BRICS economies, with first-ever ranking of universities 23 institutions in the ranking. in BRICS and emerging economies. Nine Indian institutions find a place in the Top 50 ranks. The 6 IITs which find a place in the list are IIT Kharagpur (30), IIT Kanpur (34), IIT Delhi (37), IIT Roorkee (37), IIT Guwahati (46) and IIT Madras (47). IIT Madras shares its position with Jadavpur University, while Aligarh Muslim University stands at 50, and JNU at 57. In the list, Indian universities take 10% but do not make the cut for the Top 10. All of the Top 10 are occupied by universities from China, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey and Russia. Other than


Five South African institutions, 4 Brazilian institutions and 2 Russian institutions are there in the ranking. California Institute of Technology maintained its place at the top of the ranking table for the third consecutive year. University of Munich, Germany, falls out of the Top 50; and it is a similar tale of woe for Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and Austria. Harvard University has ranked in the second place, sharing the position with University of Oxford, the UK. Country-wise, the US leads the table, with 77 institutions at the Top 200 level, the UK in the second position with 31 institutions, followed by the Netherlands, which has 12 institutions. Europe has disappointed this time with a marginal representation. Among the Asian countries, Japan has the highest number of universities in the list. Japan leads with 5 universities. Singapore and China maintained a safe place in the list. Peking University, China, moved up one place to 45th. Tsinghua University rose two places to become 50th. University of Tokyo, Japan, maintains its rank as Asia’s number one and the world’s 23rd. National University of Singapore, Singapore, won the second place in the country by improving its rank from 29 to 26. It has overtaken University of Melbourne, Australia.

Global Ranking The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013- 14 India’ s top 5

In the group

Last year

Panjab University


New entry



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Universitys below 200 ranking have been put in the group World’s top 5




Country US

Harvard University



University of Oxford



Stanford University








Dr B Ashok IAS

Can the IAS

reinvent itself? Every effort to reform might encounter the Civil Servant’s pen stroke citing rules infinitum, denying the optimal organisational design


he emerging evidence in recent Social Science and Management literature combined with hundreds of field reports confirms the serious challenges the Indian Administrative Service is facing. It is closed Weberian hierarchical structure with a highly secretive screening for the Government of India’s senior positions only inhibits innovation at the policylevel and the development of strengths in field programme management. The tendency of the service to deploy itself in the departments and state ministries clearly retards the development of meaningful local self-government. With the broad consensus across the political spectrum on the desirability of the panchayathi


raj and devolution, the District Magistrate is to lose his primacy as the omnibus implementer and total manager of all that

In the thrill to emerge as the end-all and be-all of field administration, and prove a quick point (‘the knights in the shining armor’) development of strong competence is given a goby. Short initial tenures add to the poor incentive structure he surveys. Barring the law and order function for which the police is a more professional and suitable agency, the key task of the district officer has already moved towards facilitation,

planning and coordination, as the development activity is to be now managed wholly by the local selfgovernment. A redefinition and reinvention process is on. Conflict One of the fundamental tensions underlying this premise is the generalist-specialist conflict. From the times of the Appleby Report, the thinking within the service has preferred the super generalist role to any significant functional specialisation. After 60 years, it is amply clear that the deficits in the social services and infrastructure, which are binding constraints to growth, rise primarily from the ultra-generalist approach at the cutting-edge level. The growth of the projects involved at the cutting-edge-level development EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

services – education, drinking water, sanitation, roads, and agricultural – has extension has been explosive and it is virtually impossible for any individual, however endowed he/she may, be to be master of all. This weakness with an implicit hierarchical predisposition keeps the young officers away from thorough learning in the first few critical years. In the thrill to emerge as the end-all and be-all of field administration, and prove a quick point (‘the knights in the shining armor’) development of strong competence is given a goby. Short initial tenures add to the poor incentive structure. All this leads to a shallow competence in many development-related fronts without the necessary wherewithal to deliver the goods. At the middle-level, he is a policy supporter and advisor. His generalist views are hardly contested in a state by subservient heads of departments and state general services. He is checked only by Press, unions, courts and the political boss. He is unable to make systemic changes in the large bureaucracies apparently serving state governance. Even in matters of generalist interest like personnel services and procurement, most states operate highly dated formats, delaying and denying service provisioning at lower levels. The lack of basic services in health and education in most parts of the country are also due to unimaginative personnel and procurement policies and poor incentive design. Obstacles to reform Every effort to reform might encounter the Civil Servant’s pen stroke citing rules infinitum, denying the optimal organisational design. Inherently suffering from a pay structure at 25% -35% of the comparable private-sector benchmark, he would also inhibit the Government from hiring EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Every effort to reform might encounter the Civil Servant’s pen stroke citing rules infinitum, denying the optimal organisational design. Inherently suffering from a pay structure at 25% -35% of the comparable private-sector benchmark, he would also inhibit the Government from hiring quality manpower in market terms citing his own pay quality manpower in market terms citing his own pay. In its present structure, IAS could also prevent development of state-level competence. Many states have cornered most external training opportunities and inhibited the growth of state cadres. Mentoring and development of personnel development is not certainly a strong point. All this, while the global public administration practice is moulded into the new public management phase of competitive and cooperative partnerships, has been regressive. The argument here is not for the IAS to become specialists overnight, which is not possible without complete overhaul of the selection process but by redefining

its core functional competence. As custodian of overall state policy and coordination skills, the IAS officer needs to focus on transformational skills. Changing from hierarchical supremacy, he needs to function for objective-led results. TORs need to be developed by all report-receiving authorities, who then evaluate the performance of the reporting officers on a quarterly basis and publish the results of executive performance for the knowledge of the public and local governments. Changes needed The present system of post facto public audit hardly suffices to be a performance audit, nor does it offer an executive a chance for mid-course correction. Set targets, measure, analyse and improve. This would also require radical revisiting of our development project design. Especially in Central Government schemes, the first year’s grant to a district needs to be released with a condition to develop specific goals, methods and process for the district with the freezing of the organisational structure. By developing the template of implementation, the district officers would own the format, and, over a period of time, develop competence in programme development and reporting. Any generic templates issued from top level are irrelevant for one-third of the country and potentially inhibit programme goals. A guideline-based approach for local programming by formulation and freezing the movement of key personnel implementing the same would help specialise in teambased programme management. Along with concurrent assessment, a bi-annual contest like the World Bank’s development mart must be organised among field officers by a suitable agency. This would identify practice winners and also provide an incentive structure in the initial years.


Edu Trends Digital marketing

Producing professionals

in digital marketing Chander Kapoor is founder and managing director of College of Digital Marketing. Kapoor, the mastermind of Creative Neurons, Singapore, started his career at a very young age. He has worked in various sectors, including print media, MT, outsourcing, IT, education, and digital marketing. Excerpts from an interview with Chander Kapoor

by EI Bureau

What is the concept behind an institution called College of Digital Marketing? If I talk about the basic idea, our parent company, Creative Neurons, Singapore, has been in the digital marketing industry for over half a decade now, with international exposure and corporate clientele spread in North America, Singapore, Canada, etc. When we were planning to come to India, our main plan was to outsource employees, and education was never our objective. When I started interviewing people, I realised that there is something lacking in them. All of those who claimed to have industry experience of 2 to 5 years lacked basic knowledge, so we


decide to train them for a month and then absorb them in our firm. We started training them rigorously for a month for about 8-9 hours a day. What are the new trends in digital marketing? In 2012, internet penetration in India was 79 million. In 2013, it is 118 million. There is a projected growth of internet, and it is estimated that, by 2014, there will be 465 million internet users in India. Mobile internet users are about 100 million in our country, so there are many smart devices available. The latest trend, video marketing, is popular already, but the popularity will rise by 2014.

Face book, YouTube, and instagram can be used as effective platform for video marketing. Locationbased marketing and social media diversification are some of the latest trends in digital marketing. Do we have enough digital marketing professionals in India? That’s what I said earlier. We have a number of intelligent people, but they don’t know how to use their talents effectively and there are some who might be in the field for many years but lacking in basic knowledge. We do lack sufficient number of digital marketing professionals, but the gap can be filled with effective training. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

What about your courses and curriculum? We have the two-year Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing. The core objective of this programme is to create a bridge between global platform and local platform and bring digital marketing to a common stand. The duration of the programme is two years, with two semesters (first semester and third semester, or 12 months) having classroom sessions and 2-hour classes every day, 5 days a week. The one-year Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing programme has six-month classroom sessions and 2-hour classes every day, 5 days a week. The three-month Certification Programme in Digital Marketing focuses on various aspects and tools of digital marketing – tools that are used to promote any product on various platforms on internet. The one-month Certification Programme in Internet Marketing focuses on various aspects and tools of internet marketing. Compared to the conventional marketing strategies, what are the advantages of the digital marketing platform? Digital marketing costs less than the traditional marketing strategies. Digital marketing has far greater exposure, and an individual’s business can be seen anywhere in the world through one marketing campaign. Could you name some companies that use digital marketing strategy effectively? All the e-commerce sites and real estate sites use the digital marketing strategy effectively. Two examples are and makemytrip. com Could you elaborate on EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

We have a number of intelligent people, but they don’t know how to use their talents effectively and there are some who might be in the field for many years but lacking in basic knowledge. We do lack sufficient number of digital marketing professionals, but the gap can be filled with effective training College of Digital Marketing? College of Digital Marketing is the first institute in the world to offer niche and core, indepth

knowledge of the subject. Being a relatively new and yet untapped sector, digital marketing is a young industry with a very promising and bright future and having wide opportunities, thus translating into millions of jobs and entrepreneurial platform. The parent company, Creative Neurons, Singapore, has been in the digital marketing industry for over half a decade now. It has international exposure and corporate clientele spread in many countries, and it is planning to bring to today’s youth a profession that is not only recession-proof but also offers a skill set that can never go wrong. Every successful organisation or enterprise must have been an idea at some stage; all one needs is conviction, confidence, and commitment to take that idea to where it deserves to be and rest becomes history for others to read and follow. We, at College of Digital Marketing, intend to work in the direction of ‘Giving Digital Wings to Your Ideas.’ Right training, a good mentor, precise path, positive attitude, and commitment are the main ingredients to shape up successfully your ‘IDEA’ into tangible, measureable success. We have the first four with us. All you need to bring is positive attitude and commitment, and together we will create the change that world will experience in the near future. What is your advice to the students who wish to enter this platform? One needs to have patience. Ideas need to shape up. Energy should be channelised. Knowledge is there, opportunities are there.


Dubai Knowledge Village

DUBAI KNOWLEDGE VILLAGE MARKS 10 SUCCESSFUL YEARS This year, Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) marked its 10thanniversary. Established in 2003 as a home for corporate training to support the Government of Dubai’s vision to transform the Emirate into a knowledge-based economy, DKV’s initial focus was on catering to the immediate HR needs of the booming industries in the region. Today, it has evolved into a premier destination forvarious human resource management functions such as training and development, HR consultancy, compensation and benefits and executive search. Education Insider caught up with Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster, which includes DKV and Dubai International Academic City, to provide a unique insight into the world’s only free zone dedicated to the development of human capital. by EI Bureau Where does DKV stand today? DKV has achieved remarkable growth over the past 10 years, and we really mustthank our dedicated business partners for this achievement, as it is they who have helped us create what is now a thriving global hub for human resource management. The business park was originally conceived in 2003 to cater to the training and development needs of expanding industries in Dubai Free Zones and the region. We started with 50 companies and now the total stands at an impressive 500. We achieved this by strategically growing DKV’s offering to cover all


human resource management functions such as HR consultancy, executive search and training and development. Today, DKV continues to meet the needs of ambitious individuals and businesses by attracting organizations and companies who will train, develop and effectively manage the EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

region’s future workforce. It also provides a home for recruiters who can then match these new skills to the needs of local employers. Going forward, DKV will remain focused on being a center of excellence for human resource management by providing a wide variety of relevant training programmes in line with the market’s requirements. Research and development plays a vital role in terms of innovation. Can you please comment on this? There are numerous R&D initiatives within Dubai today, but they are all quite disjointed. There needs to be some kind of unification in research activities through the implementation of a national strategy. Therefore, the country should increase its R&D budget in line with developed countries through which they allocate somewhere between 2-5 per cent of their GDPs. Having said that, I strongly believe Dubai should follow the footsteps of Singapore, which allocated around 2.65 per cent of its GDP towards research last year. In the UAE, we need continuous and sustainable funding for research activities. The


Today, DKV continues to meet the needs of ambitious individuals and businesses by attracting organizations and companies who will train, develop and effectively manage the region’s future workforce. It also provides a home for recruiters who can then match these new skills to the needs of local employers. development of a nation can be assessed by the amount of funds being poured into research and development. At present, the UAE is contributing less than 1 per cent of GDP towards research and development. We need a minimum threshold of 2 per cent to be categorized alongside developed countries. What areas are you focusing on in the future? We are focused on tailoring our offering to the needs of employers. With that in mind, science, technology , engineering, and mathematics – the so called STEM subjects –are our main focus,

which helps to boost the future prospects of both Dubai and the UAE’s economy. That is not to say, we are ignoring soft skills subjects such as social science, arts and history. These are all an important part of the overall mix. However, clearly our main thrust is on STEM subjects and we are working hard on further streamlining our offering around these key areas. What kind of human resources are needed for Dubai to succeed? Earlier this year, DKV’s education partner for higher studies – Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) - launched the region’s first Workforce Planning Study that highlighted 64 skills currently in high demand across a range of sectors in the region. The skill requirements include those skills sets required for vocational industries. There is potential to address some of the skill gaps identified by creating well-qualified vocational education and training programmesin collaboration with academic partners and the industry. Additionally, in the UAE, we have seen that the HR market has grown from supporting a predominantly corporate and financial industry fuelled by


Dubai Knowledge Village

expats, towards an increasingly diversified economy where locals are developed and empowered to play a much greater role in the development of their countries’ economies.However, the private sector has been ignored by the UAE Nationals. A recent study by Gulf Talent revealed that 86 per cent of Emirati male graduates and 66% of females would prefer to work in the public sector upon graduation. Multinational corporations are the second most popular choice, whilst UAE’s private sector companies are the least popular. This trend is prevalent not only in the UAE but also in the GCC countries. This is where HR sector and training institutes have a crucial role to play in helping to engineer a shift in perception to both attract and retain Emiratis within the private sector. The private sector is the main engine of economic growth. We need the right mix of both Emiratis and expatsin our


In the UAE, we need continuous and sustainable funding for research activities. The development of a nation can be assessed by the amount of funds being poured into research and development. At present, the UAE is contributing less than 1 per cent of GDP towards research and development. We need a minimum threshold of 2 per cent to be categorized alongside developed countries workforce. What are the new recruitment trends? The current focus is on

executive search. We are planning to launch an online portal that will act as a comprehensive database on the various services offered by DKV’s business partners. Through this platform, we will also enable the working professionals avail the services of our DKV business partners, including language certificates, training programmes, personal development courses , employment opportunities using executive search firms and many more. Dubai’s GDP is dominated by the non-oil sectors, so mainly trade, financial enterprises, transport, communications, tourism and hospitality, real estate, construction and manufacturing. These are the key sectors and the contributions made by Emiratis to this sector are valuable. We need to strengthen these sectors – and the future economy – by attracting Emirati talent and nurturing human resources through the academic providers here. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Montessori education

Lakshmi Krishnakumar

Pioneering a new

era in pedagogy I am not a natural writer. That’s a confession. My thoughts flow so rapid that I find words missing when I begin to write! Many who have heard me say that speaking is my forte. However, I decided to make an effort and here is a humble submission to capture the essence of the Montessori Method


hrough a series of articles, I hope to encompass various factors that influence human development and the principles of the Montessori Method. When I looked up the word ‘education’ as it has been spoken by many great people, I found many that sounded truthful, funny and sometimes even trivial. Here is a sample of a few of the interesting quotes: “Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten” “Education not only prepares you to govern but also be governed” “What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul” “Establishing lasting peace is the


work of education; all politics can do is to keep us out of war”

The limits for education can neither be set as completing the years of formal schooling nor achieving only the obvious goals. The last in the list, which is a quote by Dr Maria Montessori, touched my heart. Fundamentals of education There are three things that need to be addressed when we define

education – the beneficiary, the content, and the method/system. The beneficiary in this case, the child, is universal in nature. The content of education must be fundamentally universal, too. With these two elements being invariables, the only differing factor is the method or means of imparting education, which has to be customised to suit the culture, race, time and place of existence. Most methods consider only the immediate and the future with a total disregard to the past achievements. There is also a tradition of taking an isolated stance conceding to the obvious and the superfluous needs and


Montessori education

ignoring the innate qualities and urges of the being. The human species is set apart from the other living organisms. With no scope for hereditary adaptation, the human being has to construct himself as an individual, which is itself the result of an unconscious creative activity and develop as a conscious and dependable member of society. This dual task needs input in the form of ‘education’ offered by the living society. Child-centric The limits for education can neither be set as completing the years of formal schooling nor achieving only the obvious goals. It has to take into cognizance the deeper goals which are mainly meant to help a child (seen often as a miniature of a grown adult, but, in reality, he is the adult in the making) to prepare himself for facing his destiny in the surrounding society in the near future and the cosmos at large eventually. Cosmic responsibility is tantamount to preparation for mutual dependency among the members of the human society and the

acceptance of the interdependence between Man and Universe. This entitles that education should be acknowledged as the primary basis for assuming the cosmic responsibility. This is not the case with the other living beings. By virtue of their natural behaviour patterns, which they biologically inherit, they submit themselves for maintaining the Cosmic Harmony. Maria Montessori The facts stated above are the most fundamentals of all forms of education. It is vital to the development to capitalise the natural interests of the child for the world that surrounds him. Montessori Method not only

advocated it but also successfully brought it to the child’s reach. Reiterating this, education has to be child-centric so as to help build and develop within the child a natural curiosity and interest towards a permanent response to life. The period was the early 1900, and the woman who spoke in a firm and strong voice of conviction about such an education was none other than Dr Maria Montessori, a scientist, a doctor of medicine – indeed the first woman to have graduated in Medicine from Italy. Even today, objections are put forth and criticisms are heard; first and foremost, the comments are not so much about the credibility of the philosophy and the methodology but are doubts centred on the capacity of the teachers whether they can justifiably offer continued dedication as advocated by Maria Montessori. Knowing certain events of Dr Montessori’s life and the details of her work would definitely help understand the breadth of her discoveries in the field of pedagogy even as they highlight the depth of their meaning for the future of mankind. Montessori was a woman of great intelligence

at intelligence Montessori was a woman of gre tstanding and courageous spirit. Her ou sion for all characteristics were her compas the needy and forms of life and sensitivity to She was trained deprived and underprivileged. ry the aura of as a scientist and so did not car d the challenge mysticism when she approache completed her of education for children. She s not trained to medical degree in 1896. She wa ention to enter the be an educator nor had any int field of pedagogy



and courageous spirit. Her outstanding characteristics were her compassion for all forms of life and sensitivity to the needy and deprived and underprivileged. She was trained as a scientist and so did not carry the aura of mysticism when she approached the challenge of education for children. She completed her medical degree in 1896. She was not trained to be an educator nor had any intention to enter the field of pedagogy. Chance encounter It was a chance encounter! Beginning her career as a medical doctor on an enthusiastic note, she was assigned the responsibility of a group of about 20 children from the city’s mental asylum. The institution was called ‘Orthophrenic School.’ Though Dr Montessori initially considered and referred to them as mentally defective, sooner she was unsure of this kind of labelling as the inhuman conditions under which these children were housed seemed to have brought about the less than normal behaviour. Though she had studied many of her predecessors in the field of science, medicine, and pedagogy, it was indeed a blessing in disguise that she did not have a definite plan. It led her to found her approach on her study of Jean Itard (1775-1838) and Edouard Seguin


(1812-1880) and work out a means best suited to educate the children in the asylum. The children not only showed great improvement but also passed the examinations on level with normal children of the regular traditional schools. The startling results woke her up and take notice that the normal education seemed

Even today, objections are put forth and criticisms are heard; first and foremost, the comments are not so much about the credibility of the philosophy and the methodology but are doubts centred on the capacity of the teachers whether they can justifiably offer continued dedication as advocated by Maria Montessori to be lacking in calibre. It also gave her a great impetus to approach objectively the child to understand his innate nature. And, this was the beginning of a new century in the field of education as far as Maria Montessori was concerned. Even if it needed finer adjustments, the method was already sculpted.

Her work with the children of the asylum was so successful that she was recognised as much an educator as a physician. At this stage, she left her work with the children of the Orthophrenic School. Even as she waited for providence to bring the opportunity for her way of working with the normal children, she prepared herself further by enrolling herself at the University of Rome for many more courses such as Anthropology, Pedagogy, and Psychology. All these areas of study eventually equipped her for future work and approach education in its totality, taking a holistic attitude.

Lakshmi Krishnakumar is a well established teacher in Montessori education. She has started the Montessori Training courses with The Montessori Training and Research Trust, Hyderabad in 1997, which gives training to 500 students in 13 courses. She had the privilege of being the AMI appointed chief Examiners at other Training Centres. She also helped establish about 15 Montessori Houses of Children in Andhra Pradesh and other states of India. At present, Lakshmi concentrates more on freelance work and offer Education about the ‘Montessori Philosophy’ to people from all walks of life.


Tech + Education

Android based

mobile app programme @ Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT), with the support of AICTE, conducted a mobile application development programme – ‘Using Android: A next-generation platform’ – from December 2 to 13, 2013, on the college campus. Faculty from various AICTE-approved engineering institutions/diploma institutions/ other institutes/industries located in Pune, Amravati, Nagpur, Sangamner, Aurangabad, Karaad and Raichur participated in the workshop.



by EI Bureau


he 12-day workshop provided insights into the Android application development platform by covering the environment concepts and hands-on experience on Android Software Development Kit. Experts from industries and research institutes, including faculty experts of PICT and other institutes, conducted the sessions. The programme provided a platform to the faculty members to explore product developments, identify problems in the area of mobile platforms like user interface, basic building blocks, media and Web homescreen widget, broadcast receivers, sensors, accelerometer, GPS, NFC, animation and 2D graphics in Androids. The major topics discussed at various sessions included concepts of open source operating systems, open source developments on mobile platforms,


Android platform architecture, Android application design essentials, development of Android applications, research topics in Android platforms, hands-on experience on applied research, algorithms, high-performance computing using Android, serviceoriented architecture and its implementation for the Linux kernel, concepts of open source operating systems, open source developments on mobile platforms and Android platform. In all, 60 faculty members participated in the programme and

developed 18 mobile applications under the guidance of the industry experts. Among these, PICT facilitated top three apps on the closing day on December 13, 2013. The winner of the Android application workshop was ‘Note Writer’ app; the second runnerup was the food application app ‘Ruchira’; and the third runners-up were ‘PayCal’ app and ‘Pressure Unit Converter’ app. Other applications that were developed at the 12-day gathering were Temperature Convertor, Time Tracker, Unit Convertor, EMI Calculator, e-learning material for Kids, Horoscope Reader, Word Digger, EasyBookShow, and Work Load Reminder. The Faculty Development Programme would help various institutes and the faculty to keep pace with syllabus updates and prepare the students to meet industry challenges in the domain of Mobile Operating System. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Dr S M Sajid vc speaks

Capable faculty crucial

for varsity’s overall growth Dr S M Sajid is Officiating ViceChancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He started serving as Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the same organisation in 1988 and became Reader (Associate Professor) in 1994. With 30 years of teaching experience both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, Dr Sajid has taught courses such as Community Work and Social Action, Social Research and Welfare Administration, Social Welfare Management, Economic and Political Institutions, Human Resource Development, Human Rights and Social Justice, Theory and Practice of Communication, and Organisation Theory and Practice. “Responsible citizenship has to be at the kernel of a university, which should be able to impart this sense along with expertise in a particular discipline,” Sajid tells Education Insider by Shalet James With a great legacy of over 90 years, what makes Jamia Millia Islamia still retain its sheen and glory? Jamia, as an institution, has grown step-by-step through years of sacrifice and commitment. All members of the university community have contributed to the growth of Jamia through their hard work and sustained efforts. In Jamia, there is a sense of ownership and this sense of ownership makes the teachers, students and administrative staff members have a special stake in EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

the university that lead them to contribute to the building of the institution in their unique way. The greatest challenge that universities and colleges face is the shortage of quality faculty members. As Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, what do you think is the solution to the problem? We are fortunate to have excellent faculty members, but the way in which one can address the issue is by making sure that there is mentoring of faculty members

by those more experienced. On the part of the administration, one has to extend all support and make sure that one motivates them to excel and achieve their best, and they should have opportunities to develop their potential. Do you think the syllabus at present is adequate to match the present-day requirements, or is there a need to revamp the education system? We, in our university, keep revisiting our curricula in a timebound fashion and there is a


vc speaks Dr S M Sajid constant need to do so periodically. Not only does one have to keep up with the changes in our disciplines but also with changing modes of delivery and pedagogy. In this era of globalisation, is Jamia Millia Islamia planning any collaboration with foreign universities? We have a long history of collaborations with several foreign universities and, in fact, with some we have very active collaboration such as University of Erfurt, Germany; York University, Canada; and Sciences Po, France. Could you tell us about the reforms introduced after you became VC of Jamia Millia Islamia? Reforms in any university are an ongoing process. I joined the administration as Registrar four years ago, thereafter I have been Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and now I am Vice-Chancellor. In this period, the university has moved towards much greater transparency. A major academic shift has been the introduction of the semester system in the university, which calls for a completely new philosophy of education, with its own mode of syllabi formation, delivery, assessment, and unique practices of credit transfers across departments.

I think it is very important to develop resources for faculty members, that is the key to the overall development of the university. The transactional methodology also needs a paradigm shift with changing needs of the times. Will the year 2014 present any new challenges to the higher education sector? If so, what will they be? I think there are three major challenges before us. They are: • How to make sure that we, in universities, are able to pass on marketable skills to our students so that they may have good careers • How to produce thinking minds which are capable of lateral thinking as well • How to make way for the implementation of innovative ideas What is your suggestion to improve the quality of education in Indian universities? I think it is very important to develop resources for faculty members – that is the key to

Jamia Millia Islamia Jamia Millia Islamia derives its name from the Urdu language, in which ‘jamia’ means university and ‘millia’ means national. This university, an offshoot of the Indian National Movement and patriotic fervour, was founded in response to a call by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 to boycott government-supported institutions. The story of its growth from a small institution in the pre-Independence India to a central university located in New Delhi – offering integrated education from the nursery to research in specialised areas – is a saga of dedication, conviction and vision of the people who worked against all odds and saw it growing step-by-step. Today, it has 9 faculties, 39 departments, 33 research centres and nearly 18,000 students. The university has the distinction of offering education from nursery school to the doctoral-level. It is moving towards the significant milestone of completing 100 years, in 2020. the overall development of the university. The transactional methodology also needs a paradigm shift with changing needs of the times. The role that the university needs to continue to play is to ensure that it can create such opportunities for its diverse student body, so that they get a level-playing field to perform. What is your vision about education? I am reminded of what John Ruskin said: “Education is not for knowing more but for behaving differently.” Responsible citizenship has to be at the kernel of a university, which should be able to impart this sense along with expertise in a particular discipline.



cnr rao Exclusive interview

Leaders’ decisions




‘Politicians in India should be clever enough to make decisions on research and development science. We have missed great opportunities to become a world superpower in this field only because of low investment in the higher education sector. What we need to do is to invest more in the right field at the right time for the right result.’ After winning Bharat Ratna, in an exclusive interaction with Education Insider, C N R Rao, eminent scientist, speaks out on the influence of politics and funding in the growth of science R&D in India by Lakshmi Narayanan You said recently that politicians are not giving importance to promoting R&D in India. Could you elaborate on this? What I said was that many of their decisions are idiotic and not productive regarding R&D. We have great opportunities in this field, and we need to invest more in the right field at the right time for the right result. When you look at the past,


have our politicians missed the opportunities to make India a knowledge superpower? India has missed opportunities to become a superpower because of our low investment in the higher education as well as in science and technology. Countries like South Korea have invested so heavily in education that they have emerged as significant global powers in science, technology and innovation.

Let us not forget that South Korea got independence at the same time as India. This is related to the question of the importance that we give to education, science and technology. Despite whatever problems we may have in the country, it would be difficult for us to compete with other nations if we don’t invest more in education, science and technology. How do you evaluate the quality of


Exclusive interview cnr rao

research and development in India? Is it satisfactory? If not, why? The quality of research in India is poor. There are a few individuals and institutions doing well. However, the average quality is not that satisfactory, when we look at the global scenario. India’s contribution to the top 1% of world research is less than 1%. I think that we should be doing much better. How we can link more universities with industry for quality research in science education? Industry must take greater interest in universities and other institutions and support research in these institutions. Right now, the support of industry to research is marginal. Universities and institutions also should work towards greater cooperation with industry. The important point is the need for greater investment in science in these institutions by both industry and the government.


Is there a need of compulsory graduate internship programme to connect students with industry? If so, can we make a big change? I do not think that compulsory internships are necessary. Take the case of the United States, where there is a successful relationship

India has missed opportunities to become a superpower because of our low investment in the higher education as well as in science and technology. Countries like South Korea have invested so heavily in education that they have emerged as significant global powers in science, technology and innovation between universities and industry. There is no internship programme there. Industries themselves offer such opportunities for research and development, and there is an organic link between the two types of institutions. When we look back at the last

three decades, we can see a lot of changes in science education and its growth. How do you evaluate it? When I look at what we have done in the last few years, I am pleased in many ways. I cannot forget that when I was a young boy, there were hardly any universities giving opportunities to postgraduate education. There was one university in my state (Karnataka), but, today, things are different. In fact, there are too many engineering colleges in Bangalore and other places. The problem is one of quality. More than numbers, India has to worry about quality, so that in the next two or three decades, we would be able to cope with the enormous competition as well as rush for higher education. There will probably be close to a billion young people in India in another 20 years, and we will have to see how best to cater to their needs and help them in developing their professional expertise. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

What is the science policy direction that you would prefer for India? In terms of science policy, what is required are the following: a) We have to do science at the very cutting edge, so that the needs for tomorrow’s technologies are met. We have to fund science in a big way, particularly the capable individuals, on a long-term basis. In this process, we may have to prioritise certain important areas of immediate concern such as energy, water and so on. b) We have to realise that it is the small science done in small laboratories that is really responsible for the progress in science. Supporting only big agencies will not help the progress of science. c) It is high time that we had at least a few institutions which are as good as some of the best institutions in the world. There is no point in lamenting that there are only very few

We need to support modern chemistry in a big way. The oldfashioned chemistry has now given way to the new, highly inter-disciplinary chemistry, which deals with biology, medicine and materials Indian institutions in the Top 100 or Top 200 institutions in world ranking. I think that we should fund our institutions in such a way that they have the infrastructure and other facilities comparable to the best. What are your views on chemistry education in our country? Why

are not many inventions taking place in this sector? Of all the science subjects, chemistry seems to be doing the best in terms of research. This is not to say that we are on the top of the world, but it is better than many other areas. We should also remember that it is the chemical and pharmaceutical industries that have been successful in India. We need to support modern chemistry in a big way. The old-fashioned chemistry has now given way to the new, highly inter-disciplinary chemistry, which deals with biology, medicine and materials. What is your opinion about science education in Indian universities? Do we need to follow the West? If everything goes well and if we make the right investment and take the right decisions, India can be a global player in science, technology and innovation and be a knowledge powerhouse. In fact, our only hope is to become a knowledge powerhouse.

C N R Rao Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao, popularly known as C N R Rao, was born in Bangalore. He has excelled in science research in India and as Linus Pauling Research Professor. He was chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council when Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister during 1985-89 and director of International Centre for Materials Science (ICMS) in Bangalore. Rao founded Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bangalore while serving as director of the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to promote world-class research and training in science and engineering. He is the first Kannadiga to have won Bharat Ratna, for his contributions to the field of science.



Campus Voice

Has Tejpal issue The Indian and foreign media were recently shaken by the sex assault case against Tarun Tejpal, editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine. Tehelka magazine informed its staff members that Tejpal was stepping down as editor for six months, after a female colleague alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by him. People came up with differing arguments about the incident. So, in this month’s Campus Voice, we collected the opinion of MA Convergent Journalism students of Jamia Milia University, New Delhi by Bureau


strongly feel that the media has not lost its credibility with the Tejpal sexual assault case that has been making news. Surely, Tehelka has had to suffer as an individual organisation and so have the members of the organisation because of the way the management paid heed to the complaint of the victimised journalist. But, having said that, the entire media fraternity has maintained its objectivity and accuracy in reporting facts and produced a two-sided story of the whole issue. The issue of women not being safe in workplaces is true for all women and for all workplaces, be it in the judicial surroundings or within the eyes of the media, but the credibility attached to the profession as a whole, to me, should not be under question. Individual rights and responsibilities as well as their duties come under the ambit of personal morality and conduct. –Yusra Hussain


edia as an ethical entity and a crusader of truth cannot be questioned by the action of one particular person. Tejpal is a perfect example of someone who failed to practise what he preached, which can, in no way, be used to define the entire media industry. However, it definitely calls for introspection and putting in place proper mechanism while dealing with such issues. –Zoya Rasul



hit media credibility? T

he Tejpal issue, according to me, does not bring down the credibility of media per se, but it lays bare the hypocrisy of the people running it. The so-called ‘feminists’ have shown how little they believe in what they preach. The incident reflects how insecure the men in society have become after women began entering the mainstream of economics. – Garvita Khybri


think the case of Tejpal has not destroyed the credibility of the Indian media, which is not a monolith and has different levels and stages, and the people know this. Though Tejpal’s brand of journalism might have been affected, media itself will not be affected. –Raghu Kalra


y answer is, to an extent, yes, but you cannot judge the whole media by just one incident. Tejpal and Tehelka represent only a minor part of the Indian media. What is shocking is that Tehelka had always spoken out the truth, and such an action from them was not expected. –Sheezan


he media has not lost its credibility, but people have lost faith in ‘media gods’ like Tejpal and Shoma Chaudhary. They are the people who have stood for truth always. Shoma tried to cover up the sexual assault case. As the managing editor of a media house, Shoma should have stood with the victim. In a mail sent to her colleagues, Shoma said that it was an untoward incident and that it could be justified in any case. –Karan Deep


hat shocked me is not the act of Tarun Tejpal, but a respected female journalist and feminist like Shoma Chaudhary arguing that the sexual assault case was just an internal issue. –Tazeen Qureshi



What Education Taught Me Vasundhara Das


in yourself According to me, education has a lot more to do with learning from life than from the classroom. I have learned more outside the classroom by Neethu Mohan

On school life School life has not contributed much to my musical life. In those times, when I was in school, the education system did not encourage arts. Academics were considered as the end of everything. People thought that music cannot be opted as a career. Most of the parents were prejudiced about music and had an attitude that it cannot be taken as a profession, but my parents were an exception. At the age of 5, I started learning Hindustani music. I got intensive music education because my parents were very keen on making me learn music. On college life College contributed a great deal to my musical career. I was clear about going to that particular college (Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru) because that college had a good music association. I knew that the college would nurture my musical career. I still remember the day when my Mom took me to the Engineering counselling. I was standing in the queue. When it was just two turns for my interview, I


seemed restless to my Mom. When she asked me the reason, I told her that I don’t want to be an engineer. What surprised me was my Mom’s reaction; she told me that I could have said it before and that there was no point in wasting our time. We left the spot. That is a distinct memory for me. In the college, I was the member of a choral group. We had a Western Music Association. I got the exposure of performing at various inter-college competitions. I won in many of them, and that gave me a lot of confidence and helped prepare my future. I was very clear about music; that was what I wanted to do as long as I was alive. Memories Too many. I really had a ball. I enjoyed college than school. My first stage performance ever in college was during my firstyear PUC. About 4,000 girls in the auditorium are booing you, because you are a junior. I started singing the song I love You, by Whitney Houston. There was pindrop silence, and, once I finished singing, there was a huge round of

applause by the entire audience. That is a memorable moment for me. Message Believe in yourself, stand for what you want to do, don’t get swayed by others.

Vasundhara Das Vasundhara Das is an Indian singer, actor, composer, entrepreneur, speaker, songwriter and environmental activist. She studied at Cluny Convent High School, Bengaluru, Sri Vidya Mandir, Bengaluru, and Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, graduating in Economics, Statistics and Mathematics. Her films include Hey Ram (Tamil / Hindi)), Monsoon Wedding (English), Citizen (Tamil/Telugu), Ravana Prabhu (Malayalam), Lankesh Patrike (Kannada) and others. Vasundhara has worked with composers such as A R Rahman, Vishal-Shekhar and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, to name a few.


Pavan Soni


The dark side of the IT industry – III

Injurious impact on society The IT industry and the host of employment opportunities it has brought in has little value unless we evolve towards being a better society


n my previous two articles in highlighted the disposition towards to the societal impact of the IT the series, I highlighted the making a living out of EMIs, industry. It goes without saying intellectual and behavioural inability to delay gratification, and that the industry, and with it negative effects of the Indian IT buildup of impatience in general. the influx of people from across industry and similar industries. I Let me remark that these ill-effects states and from outside of India, did receive mixed reactions, online are not limited to the IT industry, has resulted in the much-required and offline, as expected. However, but are symptomatic of people in cultural diversity. Diversity, I the intent remains to unearth the allied industries, too; but since a strongly believe, is quintessential often-overlooked for fostering creativity. damage the industry But, with this diversity, For starters, look at the case of Gurgaon, a suburb is causing, and not are we also bringing in of New Delhi, and indeed a rapidly developed one. just to glorify the tolerance? I wonder if. The city indeed has a confluence of people from obvious known For starters, look at facts. Among the the case of Gurgaon, a the states of New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and intellectual damages, suburb of New Delhi, Haryana, among a significant number of reverse I wrote about the and indeed a rapidly migrants from the West. However, it hardly takes you developed one. The skewed supply of talent, employees city indeed has a a few hours to sense the stress that society there often offered with of people characterises. Hardly a week goes by without hearing confluence intellectually dull from the states of New a crime episode disproportionately larger to the chores, and not much Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, of a real engineering Punjab, and Haryana, population that inhabits Gurgaon (creative) work done among a significant by our engineers number of reverse at large. The dismal number of majority of people in large cities migrants from the West. However, patents and publications by Indians are absorbed in the IT industry, I it hardly takes you a few hours to is indicative of the same. am highlighting the atypical case. sense the stress that society there On the behavioural front, I Let me now draw your attention characterises. Hardly a week goes EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

65 33

The dark side of the IT industry – III

by without hearing a crime episode disproportionately larger to the population that inhabits Gurgaon. My friends substantiate what I hear on the news that women feel awfully unsafe in Gurgaon. While there are plenty of rich people, lots of high-rises and shopping malls, the public transport is a shambles, social security is almost inexistent, and tolerance is nowhere to be seen. What is the reason for this rather shameful fate of an economically vibrant, yet socially crumbling city? I am sure that Gurgaon is not an isolated example. I could see a constant rift between local population of any of the major cities and the people who have come down from various parts

of the country and settled in (mostly) IT jobs. Whether it is Chennai, Pune or Hyderabad, there seems to be chasm between the ethnic population and immigrants (without striking any political undertone here). I believe that the rapid growth in income levels, a misplaced sense of urgency, and social isolation has led to some of these ill-effects. Not only in adults but also among kids a social distance could be felt. I am sure that this is something not to be celebrated. Let me propose two measures that could help us rebuilt


I believe that the rapid growth in income levels, a misplaced sense of urgency, and social isolation has led to some of these ill-effects. Not only in adults but also among kids a social distance could be felt our fractured societies, fractured rather rapidly in the past two decades. First community, then home The realty prices are touching vulgar figures, and, as I keep saying, there is nothing real about realty anymore. Is it not surprising that we choose to live in plush apartments, while our roads are dotted with potholes,

our communities are unsafe, the pollution is pervasive, and we fear looking out of the windows? The more we try to isolate ourselves from the environment, the higher is the price we pay for our homes! Won’t it be nice that we invest some time and money in creating a better community before buying a house? If only we could have more gardens, a better transport system, cleaner roads, and safer community that the house rents in places like Gurgaon could be justified. Else, all these are temporary measures,

and we are no different from the cages that protect animals. We are caging ourselves, rather than being one with nature. Paying taxes on time and in full is one such measure. Taking some time out for community-building activities is another. I see a lot of this happening in Bangalore, and that is perhaps one reason that society does not look that fractured. Being a good role model It goes without saying that leading by setting example is not the best way of influencing behaviour, but is indeed the only way. While our youth have demonstrated the art of making money, we have failed somewhere in demonstrating the way of leading a dignified life. It must be remembered at all times that there is always someone watching us, while we behave rudely, impatiently, and selfishly, and that is how we are crafting our future, unfortunately. What might be required is to watch our behaviour closely, and being cognizant of the fact that every step counts. Being reckless is no way out, because evolution is not single dimensional (which looks like economic currently). By not honking at the traffic, carrying a certain image of ourselves in social interactions, and taking a slightly long-term view would certainly assist us in being a better society. To sum up, the IT industry and the host of employment opportunities it has brought in has little value unless we evolve towards being a better society. Even wealthy civilizations crumble, as they disintegrate owing to weakening cultural glue. Let not our economic development and financial success drag us into an uncultured abyss.


Nelson Mandela Personalities

Mighty champion of education Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This statement of Nelson Mandela, the symbol of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, became the war cry of the entire nation. After his demise on December 6, 2013, the people of South Africa are set to pay tribute to this legend through widening the education sector in South Africa. A great honuor to a great man by EI Bureau


elson Mandela was a great believer in education and life-long learning. Being the son of a tribal councillor, he learned the art of listening, and later it helped him serve as a good leader and peacemaker throughout his life. He gave great importance to education and promoted rural education among the people of South Africa. The Nelson Mandela Institute of Education and Rural Development has contributed a lot to achieving his goals in education. Mandela always asked political leaders and social leaders to focus on education. His dream of a welleducated African society resulted in the establishment of Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development, in Eastern Cape, South Africa. He has handed a blazing baton to the public to take forward his unfinished work. Mandela also promoted reading among the people of South Africa. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

He wanted the children of South Africa to grow up in a country where reading and words were connected with loving care rather than mere school-based education. He exhorted the people to join him in building something that would contribute substantially to empowering the people who lived in the rural areas. The institute was set up to carry out work associated with rural teachers, children and parents to generate sustainable solutions to education in rural Africa. It starts schools and classrooms that work for rural children. It has association with rural teachers and communities. The classes there provide childfriendly and text-rich primary school classrooms that promote reading, writing, expression and critical thinking. Mandela’s vision also encourages research in the field of arts and science.

Man with great vision Mandela was a man with great vision. His educational policies went beyond the barriers of the racist system, which prevailed as a social evil in Africa. The Mandela Foundation has helped build over 140 schools to carry out his mission. He was a degree-holder in Law, and he always encouraged the students to opt for this subject. Mandela once said: “The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nationbuilding and reconciliation. Our previous system emphasised the physical and other differences of South Africans, with devastating effects. We are steadily but surely introducing education that enables our children to utilise their similarities and common goals even while appreciating the strengths in their diversity.”


focus Seshadripuram Educational Trust

SET to scale

new heights

Seshadripuram Educational Trust (SET), one of the oldest educational managements in the country, is continuing its educational legacy by providing quality education and creating good individuals

Seshadripuram First Grade College, Bengaluru

by Shalet James


eshadripuram Educational Trust was the fulfilment of the dream and effort of two female educational enthusiasts of Seshadripuram – Anandamma and Seethamma. Seshadripuram Group of Institutions, established in 1980, was founded in 1930. Initially, it was a primary school with about 20 children in two rooms in Mangalore. Today, Seshadripuram Educational Trust, situated in Seshadripuram, Bengaluru, stands as a global conglomerate of premier educational institutions. SET has 26 institutions ranging


from kindergarten to Ph D courses. It comprises 7 schools, 6 pre-university colleges, 6 degree colleges, one Law College and 6 other independent institutes. The Trust employs over 1,200 people and educates over 20,000 students. Rooted tradition, the vision of SET is to keep pace with changing trends in the educational scenario, facing new challenges as well as setting and meeting higher benchmarks. Dr Wooday P Krishna, general secretary of Seshadripuram Educational Trust, says: “We try to inculcate ethics in our students

at a very young age. We should not tell our young generation to be money-earning machines; instead, we should bring them up as good human beings. Originally, education and health were considered as a charitable task, but now it has become a commercial task.” Holistic development With an inspiring ambiance for learning, Seshadripuram College is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and valuebased education. Focusing on the holistic development of the students, SET gives emphasis on EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

classroom interactions, co-curricular/ extracurricular activities, sports, social service, as well as humanitarian initiatives like Bharat Seva Dal, Gandhi Study centre, Vivekananda Study Circle, Bharat Scouts and Guides, Youth Red Cross, NSS and NCC. The Trust, which has experienced and highly qualified faculty, encourages teachers to acquire higher qualification like M Phil and Ph D and to present papers at national and international seminars. Importance is given to research work. According to Dr Krishna, “the main problem that a majority of institutions face is dearth of qualified teachers. Most institutes have good infrastructure but lack good faculty. The number of trained personnel opting for teaching is less. We should be very keen in hiring teachers. Senior people having good industry exposure should be brought in as faculty.” Global reach SET’s colleges, recognised as centres of excellence in education and research, are now on the global educational map. Expanding its activities overseas, SET and its institutions have initiated student and faculty exchange programmes

Here are some suggestions from Dr Wooday P Krishna: • Combine management education with adequate industry exposure • The curriculum of MBA should be designed based on the needs of industry • MBA programme should not be an extension of undergraduate programme • We need to take a holistic approach to teaching and learning process in MBA programme • 50% of the faculty should be drawn from industry with Grimsby Institute in the UK, University of Cester in the UK, University of Central Oklahoma in the US, and Oklahoma State University in the US. There is a steady exchange of students and faculty to and from these universities. Students from many countries, especially African and South Asian countries, find SET colleges congenial to pursue their higher education. “We have global MBA programme, and, recently, 30 students left for the US. During their MBA programmes,

students study six months here and one and a half years in the US. The degree is awarded by them. We have been successfully running this programme for the last 20 years,” says Dr Krishna. Offering courses in Arts, Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce and Management, the group of institutions is at par with the recent developments in life sciences, information technology and computing – Biotechnology, Genetics, and Computer Science. “As there is rapid change in the management scenario,” continues Dr Krishna, “the syllabi need to be revamped every two years, and 50% of our MBA programme should be practicaloriented. I would like our students to spend more time in industry than in the classroom. We should not copy the Western model of education; instead, we should try to develop the Indian style of management by drawing inspiration from our cultural ethos.” Aiming higher With plans to get the institution autonomous status and then gradually upgrade the institution as a university, SET is all set to redefine the present education system in the country.

Dr Wooday P Krishna Dr Wooday P Krishna, General Secretary of Seshadripuram Educational Trust, is an engineer, educationist, social activist and humanist. After receiving his early education at the famous Sri Ramakrishna Vidyasala, Mysore, he earned Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Law. He followed this up with a doctorate in Business Administration. Dr Krishna is a Chartered Engineer specialising in Valuation of Industrial Assets and Arbitration. He is a recipient of Eminent Engineer Award for contributions to the field of Engineering, from the Institution of Engineers (India). He has served on the board of management of Engineering Staff College of India, Hyderabad, and as member of the State Disaster Management Authority, Government of Karnataka, in the rank of Minister of State. He is at present chairman of Karnataka State Centre of the Institution of Engineers (India). Dr Krishna is a noted social activist and occupies important positions in renowned service organisations like Indian Red Cross Society, Tuberculosis Association of India, Bharath Seva Dal, Gandhi Peace Foundation, and Youth Hostels Association of India. He has been conferred with Fellowship of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (the UK), which is considered as one of the top recognitions in the engineering field. He is a recipient of three State Awards from the Government of Karnataka, including State Rajyotsava Award for Social Service (2004) and State Award for Welfare of Disabled (2008).


EI at Campus Sharda University

Excellence in every department Sharda University promises to become one of India’s leading universities with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching. With its outstanding faculty, world-class teaching standards and innovative academic programmes, Sharda University intends to set a new benchmark in the Indian education system

by EI Bureau


Unique features he Sharda Group of Sharda University prides itself Institutions (SGI) has been in being the primary choice for a provider of world-class students. It has the following education since 1995. It is the unique features that attract the largest educational group based students: • in Uttar Pradesh, having 25,000 • International collaboration students and a faculty strength with over 40 foreign of over 1,200. It has over 12,000 alumni who are today leaders in their respective areas. The university believes in global With state-of-the-art campuses in Agra, Mathura outlook and a strong bond between the and Greater Noida, the faculty and students. An exposure to group has transformed the corporate world has been established perception of education with the aim of making ethical leaders by adopting a broader approach and focusing on for tomorrow. The university’s policy overall development of the is ‘Right academics with excellence in individual. education Spread across 167 acres of land and with 3.5 million square feet of infrastructure, the group’s universities, with 1,200-plus institutions have earned trust and foreign students from 34 respect as a progressive education countries provider with successful alumni • Academic tie-up with • and prolific faculty.


conglomerates like KPMG, IBM Analytics,and Oracle as well as tie-up with leading research institutes across industries around the globe Multi-disciplinary campus with 750-bedded hospital on campus • A large number of foreign teachers; 60% of the teachers are Ph D, from IIT/IIM, and alumni from overseas universities • Vibrant sports facilities, training in foreign languages and other leadership-based personality development programmes • Over 20% foreign faculty members have been handpicked from the best universities in the US, the UK, Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia to provide the students with a truly global experience National tour programmes are


a part of the curriculum, and study programmes in reputed international universities for selected students Industry interactive sessions, workshops, seminars, paper presentations and quiz are a part of the teaching methodology Focus on entrepreneurship, R & D and application-based learning The only university in India with a fully flexible creditbased system Complete Learning Management System based on world-class digital reference material with completely simulated lectures available anytime, anywhere

magazines and newspapers Apart from this, over 3,000 With state-of-the-art full-text journal titles are campuses in Agra, Mathura available in the database and Greater Noida, the • subscribed to by the library. The non-book materials group has transformed the collection includes 10,000 perception of education CDs, 50 VCDs and 05 audio by adopting a broader cassettes • approach and focusing on • There are 10 cafeterias in different blocks of the campus overall development of the that provide healthy meals individual • to the students. Food joints like Sagar Ratna, Amul Milk Parlour, Bikano, Café Coffee aim of making ethical leaders for • Day, Nestle, and Café Buddy tomorrow. The university’s policy are already running their is ‘Right academics with excellence outlets on the campus, too in education.’ • Lively ambience in the Facilities classroom, and various The university provides a new learning resources are available learning experience and a Education policy with 24-hour connectivity campus life which is vibrant with Sharda University was established • Fully Wi-Fi-enabled campus and seamless networking architecture in Sharda University offers the following courses for graduation, post-graduation hostels, classes, canteens, and doctoral courses: common rooms and sports areas Graduation Post Graduation Doctoral •

Courses offered

Campus placement The campus placement department of the university Engineering Law Dietetics & Public Health Nutrition ensures that opportunities Computer Applications Mass Communication are provided to all the Dental Clinical Research students. Faculty members Design Computer Applications also ensure that soft skills, Engineering Dental aptitude and technical Education Engineering aptitude are imbibed in the students to meet Fine Art Law the industry selection Foreign Language Mass Communication requirements. The placement Law Medical season of 2013 has just Mass Communication Physiotherapy started, and the companies Medical who visited the campus are Medical Lab Technology Vodafone, Tech Mahindra, Nursing United Spirits Ltd, Hindware, Operations Theater Technology Capital IQ, and the Trident Group. Physiotherapy In 2012, multiple with a vision to evolve a distinctive recruiters visited the premises. technology activities, theatre, system of education that increases Some of these were: ZEE TV, movie clubs, sports and games the relevance of higher education. Anchors, Audi, Pepsi, Blackrock, facilities, various eating joints, It is committed to providing place Alstom, Citi Bank, Yes Bank, etc. Here are some of the facilities where boundaries of subject ITC, Copal Partners, Capital provided: discipline fades and the students IQ Edelweiss, HDFC, Crisil • 63-acre campus, 6 are exposed to a new way of Research, Keane, TCS, VIP, amphitheatres, grounds for finding comprehensive and total, Mudra, HSBC, HCL, cricket, basketball, badminton solution. The university believes in NIIT Technologies, Birla Group, and football global outlook and a strong bond Thompson Reuters, American • The library has a collection between the faculty and students. Express, Dell, Saint-Gobain, iGATE, of over 1 lakh books, 5,000 An exposure to corporate world Indian Navy, Indian Army, Aricent, bound volumes, 100 current has been established with the BPTP, and 99 acres. subscriptions to journals, Architecture & Planning

Architecture & Planning

Business Studies

Basic Sciences

Business Studies




Interview P K Gupta

Technological education needs revamping P K Gupta, Chancellor of Sharda University and founder-chairman of Sharda Group of Institutions, is among the leading educational reformers who have given a new direction to the teaching methodology practised across India. Sharda University is set to scale new heights in the teaching world with its global outlook and international faculty. P K Gupta has a dream of making Sharda University a world-class global university focusing on entrepreneurship and venturing beyond convention. Excerpts from an interview with P K Gupta: by EI Bureau What is your vision on education? Education plays a vital role in our life. • Education helps in achieving professional excellence • Education is the key factor that creates a stimulating and flexible learning environment for the students and faculty • Leveraging academic research can form strong industry linkages What is your opinion on bridging the rich-poor gap in the education sector? Education is the right of every child. For students who belong to the economically weak sections, there should be initiatives such as attractive scholarships. Students who are bright and exceed the expectations of management should be given scholarship and the best possible monetary support. What are the reforms required to impart technological education more efficiently? There are several reforms needed to enhance technological education efficiently. Some of them can be: • Academic tie-ups with corporates • Highly qualified faculty • Tie-up with foreign universities

72 64

One of the biggest challenges that the education sector currently faces is that the teaching standard is not up to the mark. A lot of emphasis should be given to raising the standards of excellence of the faculty. What do you think of the entry of foreign universities to India? The teaching methodology is very different in foreign universities. An innovative, hybrid system of learning based on established techniques is used in countries like the USA and the UK. These countries have credit-based system and practical learning, which are essential to nurturing the students. Sharda University emphasises practical learning aspects which are similar to those in many foreign universities and thus we have international collaborations with over 40 foreign universities and academic tie-up with corporate like KPMG, IBM Analytics, and Oracle. What is the need for promoting entrepreneurship in management education? Promoting entrepreneurship in management education is very important for the uplift and development of our country. An entrepreneur contributes to

economic and social growth. We at Sharda University focus on enhancing entrepreneurship skills. We believe that it is important: • To sharpen the managerial and creative talents inherent in our students • To unleash their education in an environment that brings in professional values and inculcates modern attitude Could you define innovation, entrepreneurship and research? Research leads to innovation and innovation, in turn, leads to entrepreneurship. All these factors are crucial in the development of a country and its economy. In our country, research is dealt with in depth only in a few sectors like science and technology. We need to focus our thoughts, investments and time on rigorous research. The outcome of research can b utilised to introduce path-breaking concepts, thereby increasing the entrepreneurial endeavours. Your message to students? The students, before taking admission in a college, should do thorough research such as checking the credentials of the university. Consider yourself to be the future of the world, think strategically and believe in yourself. EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Education and Technology

IBM Think

ideal tech info tool

We are living in an era of computers, mobiles and related apps. In this technologydriven world, things are classified, categorised and scheduled by apps and software. That has made a great impact on the education sector, too.

by EI Bureau


n accordance with these developments, IBM developed an app in the beginning of 2013 for students. While completing almost one year of its journey, the app, named IBM Think, has made a great achievement by becoming a preferred education app for the students, and it is considered as one of the best education apps for students. Android app IBM Think is an Android application that enables the users to explore innovation from the Dark Ages to the present. In simple words, the app will help you know the unknown things related to the evolution of technology and science. You may not be aware that the first metal detector was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881 in order to extract a stray bullet EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

from President James Garfield’s back. Or, you may not be aware about the journey by Charles Darwin in beagle to explore the theory of evolution. In such situations, IBM think will provide you with all the required data. IBM Think is a free app that maps out the roots of technological advances. It shows the origins of a lot of the technology we are using or experiencing today, through 10-minute HD video and interactive illustrations. The app also describes space exploration, complicated computing and lots more. Various uses This cleverly designed app is a prestigious product of IBM and it was specially designed to explore the most crucial drives of progress and is an enquiry into

how they have made our world a safer place to live in. The app is the kind of mind-expanding tool that is interesting as well as understandable, to both children and adults. The app can be best used in iPads and Androids. It has been approved to be an excellent tool for imparting information on the world of science. The app stimulates the students to critical thinking. It also helps in mapping, believing, understanding and mapping of technology. According to the feedback from teachers, the app helps make the children alive in classroom activities, especially in science education. It makes the teachinglearning process easier than before. The vast data compiled in this app is useful in connecting the students with technology.

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higher education

n o i t uca

d e e c n r e h elle ig

c h x s ’ e a f i d o n I d e e n in

Can India reap the benefits of having 64% of its population in the working-age group? Perhaps not! Experts are of the view that one of the biggest spoilers of the party is the lack of excellence in India’s higher education system, which could jeopardize India’s opportunity of reaping the benefits of being the ‘youngest country’ in the world. by EI Bureau


r Sandeep Chatterjee, the working-age group. However, While India’s higher education Registrar of Jawaharlal posing a serious threat to India’s system has scored well on quantity, Nehru University and ability to reap the benefits is it is in complete doldrums member of IEF Academic Council, one enormous challenge – lack when it comes to its quality at says: “It is a 10-year the global level. window at best! If our There are alarming While India’s higher education system has scored higher educational regional imbalances well on quantity, it is in complete doldrums when institutions do not in the provision of put excellence on the higher education. it comes to its quality at the global level. There are agenda now, we may Quality colleges and alarming regional imbalances in the provision of miss the bus once universities in small higher education. Quality colleges and universities again.” towns and rural India India has an remain a distant in small towns and rural India remain a distant opportunity to amplify reality. At the same reality. At the same time, the quality of education its economic growth by time, the quality being imparted in existing institutes is poor. intensive exploration of education being of the power of its imparted in existing human capital. The institutes is poor. ‘youngest country’ in the world has of excellence in India’s higher Christopher K Ahoy, APPA only a decade to reap the benefits education system, which fuels Fellow, CEO of Performance of having 64% of its population in economic growth and innovation. Management Consulting, LLC,

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Associate Vice-President Emeritus of Iowa State University, and member of IEF Academic Council, says: “Commitment to excellence requires persistent and consistent continuous quality improvements in all areas of academic excellence: teaching, research as well as outreach that require high performance and trained faculty. Limited university research and innovation opportunities, infrastructure upgrades necessary to compete at 21st century global level, industry-academia gap, tired and old curriculum, and commercialised pedagogical approaches have shortchanged the existing educational system. Benchmarking, using appropriate metrics for raising the bar and marshalling of resource will be the pathway for excellence to the future.” Compounding these systemic deficiencies are the weaknesses in the attitude of pupil and the teacher to focus on excellence. It is this urgent need to channelise efforts on excellence orientation that catalysed the inception of Institutional

Dr. Sandeep Chatterjee, Registrar, Jawaharlal Nehru University Member, IEF Academic Council


GDA teachers will use Android tablets to teach everything from Mathematics to languages, as well as continuously evaluate students on multiple parameters. Excellence Forum, with a singlepoint agenda of ‘EXCELLENCE’ (Identify, Develop and Celebrate). Driven by passionate leaders from the fields of academia and industry, IEF is a not-for-profit organisation pledged to ideate, invoke and inspire excellence in education. Nine key areas form the core of IEF excellence initiatives for higher educational institutions in India: faculty, student intake process, curriculum and pedagogy, research and innovation, endowments and funding, alumni relations, industry interface, infrastructure, and effective leadership. IEF members are the beneficiaries of all IEF activities in India. The activities include

international seminars by thought leaders; IEF excellence agenda conferences and workshops; IEF teaching excellence fellowships and research initiatives; master classes with international firms and experts to provide a practical view of excellence tools and methods; creation of India-centric excellence training material; and faculty development programmes, topped with a range of downloadable excellence training and communication material available on our website. IEF is also in the process of setting up Excellence Chapters across India to create a vibrant network that is informed and ready to infuse excellence in higher education. For details, visit “IEF has firm plans to work with excellence-minded associates from industry, academia, the teaching community, and volunteer communities to get Excellence on India’s agenda,” says Probir Roy, co-founder and promoter-director of PayMate and trustee of IEF.

Christopher K. Ahoy, APPA Fellow, CEO, Performance Management Consulting, LLC Associate Vice President Emeritus, Iowa State University Member , IEF Academic Council

Probir Roy, Co-founder and Promoter Director, PayMate Trustee IEF

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foreign education

It’s tough getting into

top foreign varsities For a student aiming at the best universities in the US and the UK for undergraduate studies, it would need 1,000 days of preparation during four years of high school!

by Sunitha Perumal


dequate preparation is half The general practice among our January every year. Universities the battle won. We have all students is to work hard during are more interested in the grown up on a staple diet their Class XII examinations and academics scores of the students of proverbs and adages, which are start applying for universities starting from Class IX till Class steeped in centuries of wisdom abroad after the results are XII. They look for consistency in and hold true even today. History announced. The application performance during the past four speaks eloquently of wars years of high school. and battles in the past that Every year, lakhs of Indian students apply Starting at Class IX have been fought after The university preparation to the US and the UK universities for their careful study, painstaking process should rightly start undergraduate studies, but only a few strategising and an eye for at Class IX for students who detail and how they always of them are actually accepted in the best dream of getting into the yielded better and favourable top university in the US and universities. The general practice among results. Today, this principle the UK for undergraduate our students is to work hard during their can be applied even to studies. The most important Class XII examinations and start applying the case of preparing for factor is to stay competitive university studies while still for universities abroad after the results are at the international in high school. level as an international announced. Every year, lakhs of student. Every university Indian students apply to the has a separate quota for US and the UK universities for deadlines at many universities are international students and receives their undergraduate studies, but already passed by then. Many top applications from across the globe. only a few of them are actually universities have their application Choosing international accepted in the best universities. deadlines starting October to curriculum like IGCSE at Class IX

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Choosing international curriculum like IGCSE at Class IX and Class X is the best start. This serves as a good foundation for an international baccalaureate diploma or A-Levels during Class XI and Class XII.

and Class X is the best start. This serves as a good foundation for an international baccalaureate diploma or A-Levels during Class XI and Class XII. A student has to decide on the country he/she wishes to apply. Invariably, the top-ranking universities for most popular streams of education are located in the US and the UK. For the US, students have a choice of applying to as many universities as they want, unlike in the UK where a student can apply to a maximum of five universities only. Centralised system Both the countries have centralised college application systems. The application to the UK universities has to be done through UCAS system, by visiting their website Many universities in the US accept applications through EDUCATION INSIDER I January 2014

Common Application, and their website is Getting into best universities is highly competitive, and students from all over the world are chasing the best ones for admissions. A student has to have a wellresearched list of universities he/ she wants to apply early in his/her 11th grade. Many universities close admissions in October every year. Having an early understanding of the education streams and list of universities will help the

student prepare further before the application deadline and the interview schedule. The US has Grade Point Average (GPA) as the grading system and universities usually list out the international student application requirements with GPA, SAT or ACT scores. The scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) should be above 1,800 to be able to get into the best universities. The Ivy Leagues will require above 2,300 scores on SAT in addition exceptional academic GPA. TOEFL scores will be required if the student does not have English as the first language during the last two years of high school. Those 1,000 days of high school are very crucial and everything a student does – be it academics, creative skills, social projects or sports – will go to make a big difference on his/her college application. Every year, universities look at interesting students who are academically strong, unique and diverse in their perspectives and stand out from the crowd. Universities are also in the pursuit of enhancing the student experience on their campus.

(The author is Country Product Manager-India, EF International Academy)

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fresh beats

s k c o r e z y o N Rezoby EI Bureau


ezo-Noyze (‘rezo’ is Spanish for ‘the act of praying’; ‘noyze’ aka ‘noise’ is ‘the ultimate form of music’) is one of the few rock bands based in Bhubaneswar. The band was started in late 2007 with five members of C V Raman Engineering College, Bhubaneswar. It came to the limelight by winning the runner-up, best guitarist and ‘Find of the Year’ awards at Eastern Band Competition of IIT Kharagpur. Since then, Rezo-Noyze has won half a dozen Band Wars in Bhubaneswar. Currently, the band’s music genres include Indi-Rock, Vedic-Metal, Western Alt.Rock and Sufi Rock. The band line-up: Dhiren Kumar Hembram


(DK) – lead guitarist; Anurag Patnaik (RagZ) – vocalist; Kaushal Kumar Sahu (K-OS) – rhythm guitarist; Saptarshi Dutta (Re-C) – bassist, backing vocals; Durga Prasad Mishra – drums and percussion. Dhiren Kumar says: “We jam regularly almost twice a week. We give equal importance to music and education. We decided to take Hindi as our primary language for our original compositions because of the very few number of Hindi rock bands out there.” The Rezo-Noyze members are inspired by bands like Strings, Call, and Indian Ocean as well as artistes like Amit Trivedi, A R Rahman and Papa Roach.

Education Insider January 2014 RNI No: 114514 KERENG/2012/41957 Regn. No.KL/KTM/673/2012-14 Published on December 25

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