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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Database soon on meritorious slum girls to facilitate education in india

With an aim to educate underprivileged female kids, the health department is preparing a database of 'meritorious girls' living in slum areas. After the database is ready, the department will get people 'adopt and sponsor' the education of such girls at least till their graduation.

Adoption would primarily mean bearing the cost of the girl child's education at least till graduation.

"We are taking help of mahila arogya samitis (MAS) constituted in all slum areas of the city and other parts of the state to find out girls who have done well in academics," Neeraj K Pawan, member secretary, health department's Save Girl Child cell.

He said that recently, some doctors had showed their interest in adopting female kids. Health minister Rajendra Rathore would adopt a girl child too. "We are preparing a database of such girls who can be adopted and are willing to study. The database will help people like doctors, chartered accountants, businessmen, politicians, bureaucrats and other people willing to adopt girl child," Pawan said.

He said that after adoption, the Save Girl Child cell will start documentation of every adoption for its monitoring.

"We will keep a record of the person who has adopted a girl child and also of the girl like her age, in which class she is studying etc. It will be done to monitor the progress of girl child's studies. We will issue certificates to honour people who would adopt girls," Pawan said.

A format for documentation of adoptions has also been prepared by the health department. The officials have started sending it to doctors and other persons who have already adopted a girl child.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Devyani Khobragade aimed at promoting women education and empowerment

NEW DELHI: Diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was charged in 2013 with visa fraud by US authorities, will later this month undertake a cross-country run in her home state of Maharashtra aimed at promoting women education and empowerment.

Khobragade will try to keep pace with legendary ultra-marathon, endurance runner and former Australian MP Pat Farmer, who has undertaken a 4,600 km 'Spirit of India Run' from Kanyakumari to Srinagar to raise funds for girls' education in India, as also to improve bilateral ties between India and Australia.

In an exercise promoted by both the Indian and the Australian governments, Farmer started his run from Kanyakumari on January 26, India's Republic Day and which is also celebrated as Australia Day by the island nation, and is expected to enter Maharashtra on February 9. That's when Khobragade will join the Australian MP.

Khobragade, who has done two half-marathons and several other runs, will also help organise meetings for Farmer with schoolchildren.

Sources said Khobragade was keen to become a part of Farmer's campaign because she saw it as an opportunity to bring forth the significance of women's education, issues related to their health and also self-defence exercises meant to ward off sexual violence.

Farmer and Khobragade are expected to speak and give demonstrations on some of these issues along the route. Schoolgirls will also be encouraged to run short distances with Farmer and, in case the world champion of endurance running scampers away too soon, with the diplomat.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be unveiling the Action Plan of the 'Start-up India'

To boost entrepreneurship in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be unveiling the Action Plan of the 'Start-up India, Stand-up India' initiative on Saturday.

When we spoke to the entrepreneurs in the education sector about their expectations from the plans, here's what they said.


UpGrad is an online higher education platform providing rigorous industry relevant programmes designed and delivered in collaboration with world-class faculty and industry.

India needs many more entrepreneurs in order to achieve its growth targets, Mayank Kumar, co-founder & MD of UpGrad told dna.

"The first thing that the government should look at is encouraging entrepreneurship— it in the form of simplifying regulations around setting up a company, registering a company, raising funds, offering ESOPs etc," he added.

According to Kumar, the taxation structure needs to be simplified, especially for payment to any foreign service providers in the form of withholding tax. Though the government does not need to be in the business of funding startups, they should facilitate it by creating a seamless ecosystem for funding, he said.

"Lastly, there needs to be a concerted effort towards training and equipping entrepreneurs with the right skill sets that provides them with the clarity of thought for their entrepreneurial journey", Kumar said.


Edureka offers technology and business courses to professionals and students across the globe on a differentiated real-time instructor-led tutorial platform.

"We would like to recommend to the Government, support to the startup ecosystem in the form of more lenient regulations around setting up start-up companies, and increased visibility into requisite processes and guidelines. Additionally, assistance in the form of tax rebates and simplified processes would be a great boon," Lovleen Bhatia, Co-founder & CEO told dna.

"Support around infrastructure for startups from the government would go a long way in minimising capital risks around sustenance and human capital growth. Special incubator programmes to cater to the specific needs of the startup community will ensure quality business outcomes that will eventually help startups graduate to larger companies with global visions," Bhatia said.


Funtoot is a digital tutor for Mathematics and Science subjects for students of class 2-9.

"It is imperative that this initiative introduce an ecosystem which encourages growth. Thanks to the policies and clearances required, it takes an average of nine days to start a business as compared with six days in the US and 3 days in Singapore", said Rajeev Pathak, Founder & CEO of Funtoot.

"If international investment needs to be attracted (which should be the way; government need not act as an angel investor but just as a guardian facilitating the proceedings), new rules have to be brought it. We also hope for a favourable tax regime. We are the only country where if a start-up raises money more than its fair value (which is in most cases negative because start-ups don’t have robust balance sheets and are mostly in losses for the first few years), it has to pay taxes against the money raised", Pathak said.

According to Pathak, start-ups cannot give stock options to attract better talent as they are taxable upon vesting for the employees even before the company turns profitable and they really earn something on that. "If we need India to become a start-up nation, we need resources that are employable and productive for start-ups right after college," he added.

Hugefly Technologies

Hugefly provides search and recommendation technology solutions that help e-commerce buying experience user-relevant.

"Start Up India, Stand Up India will undoubtedly boost entrepreneurship, job creation and promote technological innovation at a large scale," Dhruv Chaudhari, founder & CTO of Hugefly Technologies told dna.

"Youth will get exposure to work on and develop new technologies. This will not only create jobs, but quality skill sets. Hence, jobs created by start-ups will have a long-lasting socio-economic impact as well", Chaudhari added.

Icustommadeit is a marketplace to buy and sell exceptional products across a myriad of product categories.

"We feel grateful that the Government of India is taking such brilliant initiatives to build foundational support for the springing start-ups in the country," said Raj Iyer, founder & CMD of told dna.

"‘Start Up India, Stand Up India’ seems to be of immense magnitude for the Indian start-up ecosystem. With this initiative, we envisage a train of opportunities in the offering; some of them being job creation, mobilising technological talent and nurturing future entrepreneurs", Iyer said.


Talentedge is a digital innovative learning solutions provider.

We are anticipating clarity and assurance on the subjects of taxation policies, regulatory approvals, technological and infrastructural support along with knowledge enhancement, said Aditya Malik, CEO & MD of Talentedge to dna.

"We are hoping the stance and policies that will come to the fore from this campaign will propel India into the big league of celebrated startup nations, globally. We expect the policies to propel economic growth, empower entrepreneurs across domains while opening avenues of job creation for our large talent pool, leveraging our democratic dividend,” Malik said.

First-Generation Immigrant Youth and Parents About Education

The opportunity to convene an intimate meeting at the Department of Education (ED) with a group of first-generation immigrant students and parents for a conversation with former Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Acting Secretary John King to discuss their experiences as they try to assimilate to their new country and education system. As a first-generation American whose own family emigrated from Brazil sixteen years ago, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to shine a light on stories of other immigrant families. While their personal experiences and perspectives differed, they all shared a common thread: the desire to achieve the American Dream through obtaining a good education.

Immigrant students and their families face numerous hurdles in our nation’s schools including integration, English language acquisition and access, and cultivating quality parent/teacher relationships. Although ED has worked to ensure that all students have equal access to school resources and that all parents, regardless of the language they speak, are equipped with the information necessary for their children to fully participate in and benefit from their educational programs, some families still face hurdles in their quest to thrive within the education system.

Zoila Fajardo shared a story that was not much different than what my mother experienced when trying to matriculate my siblings and me into school. When she first arrived in the United States, Zoila attempted to enroll her kids in school. Her limited fluency in English, however, caused communication issues with school administrators. They told her that they could not understand her and therefore could not enroll her kids. Zoila was able to turn to her community for support and they directed her to a new school, where her kids were welcomed with opened arms. They not only provided Zoila and her family with all the information she needed to ensure her kids were successful in school, but they also continued to keep her engaged in her children’s learning.

During the meeting, former Secretary Duncan and Acting Secretary King also heard from local high school students, who, in addition to navigating the system with limited to no English proficiency, had to adapt to different social norms. Despite the challenges they faced while trying to assimilate to a whole new culture, the students said they understood that their education was the foundation of their bright future.

Supporting immigrant families is crucial to ensuring our country’s long-term prosperity and is a key part of ED’s mission to ensure equity and opportunity for all of our nation’s children. We will continue to encourage students and their families to share their ideas on how to increase dialogue and the visibility of their experiences through future meetings, like Student Voices sessions, webinars and conversations with advocacy groups. These ongoing conversations have been the foundation of many resources, including the EL Toolkit, which we released with the Department of Justice in September, 2015.

This session was a part of the ongoing “Student Voices” series at the Department through which students engage with senior staff members to help develop recommendations on current and future education programs and policies.

Melina Kiper is a confidential assistant in the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.

Experts deliberated on the idea and execution of sustainable development, especially in India

Experts deliberated on the idea and execution of sustainable development, especially in a country like India, at a panel discussion held at Indian School of Business, Mohali, on Friday.

At Shaping Davos – A Glocal approach to Sustainable Development, the focus was in a world that is grappling with fundamental issues of hunger and poverty, where clean water and sanitation is the desperate need of the hour, where gender equality, health and education are missing in action, will the United Nations member states and their governments and civil societies ever meet the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?

For the uninitiated, the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), as undertaken by the UN member countries, is aimed at ending poverty, fighting inequality, protecting the planet, tackling climate change and ensuring prosperity for all through 169 targets to be achieved in the next 15 years.

Organised by Learning Paths School and ISB Big Leap, and hosted by Global Shapers Chandigarh, panelists, including Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW); Ishteyaque Amjad, VP, public affairs and communication for Coca Cola, India and South Asia Region; Sarika Panda Bhatt, manager, Cities and Transport with WRI India and Devinder Sharma, food and trade policy analyst; journalist Jyoti Kamal and moderator Venkat Matoory of Junior Achievement Worldwide delved over the issues of sustainability facing India.

Concerned about the widening gap between haves and have-nots, Sharma raised valid points on surplus food, crazy growth and alarming hunger in the world. “We are obsessed with growth, yet we are facing disparity. In a world of 7.2 billion people, 800 million go to bed hungry every night. We produce double of what is needed. In 2014, the food produced could feed 14 billion. Where is it all going? The problem that needs to be addressed is that of wastage and of ineffective distribution systems,” he said, stressing equitable distribution.

When it comes to energy conservation, Ghosh felt it is about how you manage your common resources. “It is also about involving citizens, the civil society in sustainable development projects because a common man may not understand the economics of it, but he understands his household expenditure and we need to respect that,” Ghosh said.

This is where Bhatt’s brainchild, the car-free Raahgiri concept, has been a hit in Gurgaon. “Any change offers resistance. We faced ours too, but for any sustainable project to stick people’s participation is a must,” said Bhatt, stressing on education, enforcement and engagement.

The core issue, felt the panelists, was to comprehend the stakeholders’ mindset and problems. “One of the biggest problems is of the mindset and their snobbish attitude,” said Amjad.

For instance riding a bicycle is considered low standard. “It’s when riding a bike is become cool, can we reduce pollution and traffic. We can’t be building highways and roads, we need to reduce the vehicular traffic,” said Bhatt.

From striking a balance between capitalism and socialism, respecting economics as a driving force for any change, pricing resources smartly so that there is a sense of equality, empowering the cities to focuses on the trade-off viz what will the developed nations do or give up for the developing, observing the demand, the problem on the horizon and working in advance, transforming into ‘presumers’ (producer and consumer), the panelists took the discussion through various motions.

“Like UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said ‘we need a radical overhaul of the economic system, the market ideology has to undergo a huge change, only then will we witness change’. We are too worried of being marginalised, too concerned with local politics, but it is time to question, to stand up and speak up for change,” said Sharma.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Digithon at Uppal Zilla Parishad School by TITA-NNRG Leaders in Telagana State

Nalla Narsimha Reddy Engineering College - TITA Student Chapter team organized Digithon at Uppal Zilla Parishad School.

TITA True Innovation at Nalla Narsimha Reddy Group of Institute. Session by Mr. Sridhar Tirumala, CEO, Trupik

Monday, 21 December 2015

Toyota expands its technical education programme in India

Toyota Kirloskar Motor in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation and its nationwide dealer network has launched its training model of the General Technician Toyota-Technical Education Program (T-TEP) at Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Industrial Training Institute, [SDM] Venur. This is the third General T-TEP program in Karnataka, the previous ones being with Deshpande Pvt ITI in Haliyal and Government ITI in Peenya, Bangalore.

T-TEP, a special training module in which Toyota has tied up with ITis, was launched in 2006 in India. The program aims at providing training on the latest automotive technology and service techniques every year to ITI students across India along with providing hands-on, real-time experience within Toyota dealerships.

In its first year, the program was implemented in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hubli. It was subsequently introduced in Bangalore, Mysore, Lalru, Pune, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Ghaziabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Indore, Vizag, Ludhiana, Cuttack, Haldwani, Nalbari, Gurgaon, Satara and Paramakudi.

After a span of 10 years, TTEP is now associated with 42 training institutes under the program. The General Technician T-TEP training syllabus imparts training on basic automotive fundamentals, Toyota’s way of service and technologies in the company’s cars which can help the students to get jobs in the automotive general repair industry.

According to B Padmanabha, VP – customer service group, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, "The future of our nation lies with the youth. Providing the necessary advance skill and knowledge will ensure increased competency to meet industry and market expectations. When we first established this training module back in 2006, we were essentially compelled by the fact that there were inadequate trained and skilled manpower available in the industry. The purpose of TTEP is to contribute as a sustainable growth partner to automobile industry such that it can grow the technical capability of young India. Our 42nd association with an ITI institute has further reinstated our objective to carve out opportunities for talented students from the rural areas and make them more employable for the Indian automobile industry."

Also present at the occassion was Padma Vibhushan Veerendra Heggade, president, SDM Educational Society. Ujire said "The Make in India initiative will boost economic growth and pave the way for large scale employment opportunities, which will create demand for skilled manpower in the country. With the rise in industrial activity in the region, there will be a significant requirement of more technical and creative skills to sustain in the competitive environment. It is an honour to associate with Toyota Kirloskar Motor which will promote successful industry-institute interaction to bridge the industry- academia gap that persists in India. The unique training model by TTEP will contribute towards increasing the availability of skilled manpower for the Indian automobile service industry in the coming years."

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a programme to train two million Android developers

India could reward risk-taking a bit more and, perhaps, its education system could emphasize more creativity, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told a group of Indian editors, but once there is a big enough market — and that is what the internet is providing —there is no reason why Indian innovation won’t take-off.

On his first visit to India after taking over as Google CEO, Pichai was reluctant to set timelines for this transformation or give numbers on when the India operations could become more important than the US one, but he did say that Google already had 1,500 people in India as compared to around 10,000 in the Bay area — India, he said, will be a bigger market for Android phones than the US sometime in 2016 and it has already has more internet users. “And that’s when there’s still a billion more people to connect to the internet”.

As part of Pichai’s visit, Google announced a programme to train two million Android developers over the next three years by working closely with over 30 universities.

Earlier, Pichai said, when you developed products for India, you did that in the US and imported them … now, we develop them here and take them to the rest of the world where they do well. By way of an example, he spoke of taking YouTube offline, where a lot of the work was done in India. FE

‘Loon is a mobile BTS, essentially’

New Delhi: While Google’s Project Loon has faced uncertainty with the government saying it could interfere with transmission signals of mobile telcos, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the firm partners with existing telcos, to help boost their ability to service. It will use airwaves the telco has and, becomes a mobile Base Transmitting Station which transmits signals to/from the phone.

To use technology and promote education in India: President Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday exhorted Google CEO Sundar Pichai, along with a range of business leaders, which included Kunal Bahl, CEO, Snapdeal; and Sunil Munjal, joint managing director, Hero Motor Corp; to use technology and promote education.

At an event at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday, which came at the fag end of Mr.Pichai’s visit to Delhi, Mr.Mukherjee said that in spite of possessing “brilliant minds” and top technical talent, Indian universities weren’t among the top 100 in global rankings.

Post a media event on Wednesday, where he mentioned plans to provide Wi-Fi with helium balloons and bring several railway stations under a reliable internet network, Mr. Pichai’s meeting with Mr.Mukherjee was centred around ways in which education could be made more accessible with technology.

“We can create a new India,” said Mr.Mukherjee, “by harnessing these resources (young minds) and not by mere speeches and some allocations (in the Union Budget).”

Others present at the event included senior technocrats from the telecommunications and information technology ministries, National Association of Software and Service Companies and CEOs of e-commerce companies including Practo, Paytm and InMobi. Some of them gave presentations on the initiatives taken to promote entrepreneurship, bring more women into leading positions in companies and make education more accessible to all.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

We need to get comfortable with sex education

My first experience of sex education was scary – and over very quickly. I left the lesson worried that if I went anywhere near a penis I would end up either pregnant, with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or dead.

When I divulge this to Goedele Liekens – the Belgian sexologist who presents Channel 4’s new show Sex in Class – her response is, unsurprisingly, one of horror.

“It’s terrible and understandable,” she says. “Your teachers would have had the same goal as me: they don’t want young people to rush into things they’re not ready for. But teaching abstinence doesn’t work because young people love risk. If you tell them not to do something because it’s dangerous, it just makes them curious.”

This straight talk is typical of Liekens, whose mission to improve sex education in the UK has already won her legions of fans. She is currently filming in the Hollins Technology college, in Accrington, Lancashire, where her frank style – which includes bringing vulva puppets into class and giving female students mirrors to examine their vaginas – has won praise from students and teachers.

“Britain is opening up,” she says. “If you see the tweets I get after the show, there are thousands of people saying that they need this in schools but don’t know how to get it. They need help to develop a better approach to sex education.”

But talking candidly about sex can be tough for people in Britain, says Liekens. “There are still too many who think if you shut up about sex it won’t happen,” she says. “We think by doing sex education you’re stimulating kids to start having sex at a younger age, but that’s nonsense. The more sex education you have from an earlier age, the later people start having sex.”

But her lessons are not only about tackling tricky topics, such as STIs and unwanted pregnancy. Liekens believes that we need to approach the subject in a holistic way, talking about the emotional dangers of unprotected sex as well as the physical.

“The emotional dangers and feeling forced into things, not always physically, but emotionally through peer pressure, is a big part of it, especially for young adults – it’s the part we’ve forgotten for far too long.”

For this reason, Liekens says, sex education needs to involve discussing pleasure and knowing your body. “It’s not for a joke that I sent the girls home with a mirror – you have to get to know your own body and feel confident touching it and exploring what you don’t like. This means you can say stop when you don’t enjoy something.”

Liekens suggests that this confidence is especially important in a world where most young people’s – especially boys’ – views about sex come from pornography.

“Porn gives lots of young people misconceptions about how to be a good lover,” she says. “We have to tell young adults that porn is made up. When children watch violent films we tell them when the blood is fake and the violence isn’t real but no one does that for porn. Adults know it’s not real but children don’t.”

Liekens says it’s “now or never” in terms of providing effective sex education – young people are picking up misinformation from the internet, so the adults around them have a duty to address it. Some of their misconceptions, however, can at least raise smiles. Liekens remembers one group who thought that there was a little ball inside you that looked like a cherry, and that the first time you had sex it popped and blood came out.

“They thought that’s where the expression ‘popping your cherry’ came from,” she says, “all of them”.

A lack of effective teaching materials can also be a problem, but Liekens says organisations such as Rutgers in Holland and Brook in the UK can help. The Dutch approach involves using props such as board games and vagina cushions, as well as sequences from feature films. This adds an essential element of fun, Liekens says. “Teachers have to make it a bit humorous, without causing too much giggling. Lighten it up. That’s why I bring a cushion and throw a ball around.”

But approaching sex education in a light-hearted way isn’t always easy. “Once a 16-year-old asked me if I gave blow jobs to my husband,” she recalls. “You have to be prepared for these questions. I asked him right back, what would you think of women who do it? Or of those who don’t? That puts the topic itself back at the centre of the discussion and flips the question back to them.

“Students will test and tease the teacher, especially with personal questions. The best answer is always to make that question a topic of discussion. So if you’re asked about how many sexual partners you’ve had, ask the group how many they think is OK. Is the answer the same for girls and boys?”

Does she have any other advice? “Make sure your voice doesn’t crack when you say the words penis or clitoris. Teenagers will feel your embarrassment. If you find it embarrassing, just say so. Tell them it’s awkward for you to talk about it too.”