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Campus Mirror  

In Maharashtra's first digital zilla parishad school, no dropouts

Mumbai :MMNN:5 Sept. 2016
THE little hamlet of Pashtepada in Thane district often doesn't have electricity, but the little zilla parishad school in the village is a humming laboratory of sorts, a projector hanging from the ceiling of a classroom, speakers mounted on each of the four walls, a pile of 'talking' Balbharti textbooks sitting on the teacher's table and a WiFi router blinking nearby. In this hamlet located 90 km off Thane city, ever since Sandeep Gund (28) set up his 'Child Theater Classroom', the number of school dropouts has been zero.
On the eve of Teachers' Day, the villagers are happy to note that the children simply don't want to go home, a far cry from the 50 per cent average attendance when Gund took charge of the school eight years ago.
As Gund asks, "Who wants to write the answer on the board?", all hands shoot up. All of 10 years, Lavanya struts to the front of the class and scribbles her answer on the e-board - an interactive digital whiteboard. The remaining students follow the lesson on their tablets. Later, when the school day ends, the children linger around and practise lessons on tablets. One student picks up a 'talking' book and taps the teacher's cellphone on a chapter. A video comes alive on the screen and students huddle around to watch.
Gund says this is a typical day in the state's first digital zilla parishad school, which he helped set up in 2010 through public money, a model now being replicated in other zilla parishad schools.
Having completed an MA in Marathi and a BEd, Gund admits he was initially skeptical about his first posting in 2009, owing to the remote location. At the time, Pashtepada did not have access roads. "I was reluctant to join the school in Pashtepada," remembers Gund. After some coaxing by cluster head Mahendra Dhimte and colleague Pandharinath Dongre, he joined, and brought with him a determination to make a difference.
"The biggest challenge was getting children to attend classes," says Gund. With the help of Dongre, he conducted awareness workshops and health camps with the parents. "Even though the parents were convinced, the children were still not interested enough," he says.
Then the hamlet got its first television set, and Gund cracked the problem. "The children would spend hours in front of the TV even if they didn't understand the language or the content," he says. Gund approached an NGO and set up a second-hand desktop in a classroom. This led to an immediate spurt in attendance, inspiring Gund to develop a fund-raising model. The plan was to convert the school into a digital school.
Undeterred by his meagre pay of Rs 3,000 a month, the teacher, along with the village sarpanch, approached parents, NGOs and corporate philanthropists. Putting social media to good use, he raised enough funds to set up a projector, buy a few tablets for the children, install a solar panel and compile a digital library with 1 TB worth of content.
"The villagers helped in whatever way they could. They helped in the renovating - construction and painting - of the school building," says Gund. "We were touched by the villagers' gesture."
The digital classroom established in August 2010 elicited a further rise in attendance. The response spurred Gund's research on the impact of digital schools on children. He spent the next six months documenting the rise or fall in students' attendance, attention span and academic performance. He then compared his findings with results from traditional methods of teaching.
"It traditionally takes two months for children in Class 1 to learn alphabet strokes, but with the tablet, they picked it up in a week," says Gund.
His research observations were hailed by the State Council of Educational Research and Training and Gund was entrusted with the task of training teachers of zilla parishad schools. In time, other recognitions came. In January 2015, Gund received the Innovative Teacher Award from former President APJ Abdul Kalam and, in March, President Pranab Mukherjee conferred him with the Srishti Samman.
Today, Gund's training has helped set up 11,200 digital schools across Maharashtra. "In total, all the schools have been able to raise Rs 110 crore through public contribution," says Gund.
Gund's enthusiasm has survived the test of time. Two days a week, he trains teachers in remote villages. The rest of the time he is teaching and researching. "I had always wanted to be a teacher," reminisces the teacher who hails from Anna Hazare's hometown Ralegan Siddhi.
"I have learnt a lot from Anna Hazare. He always tells me that one should never stop learning or sharing knowledge," says Gund.
The 'talking books' is one of the many methods he has created. He has used Near Field Communication, available in the market for 50 paise a chip, and programmed them to play videos related to chapters. Another model he plans to propose to the government would cost around Rs 30,000 per school. "If each school is provided with one tablet and one projector, it will make a lot of difference," proposes Gund, who hasn't given up on research work.
His ongoing research has found that digital classrooms render better results with an activity-based learning model. "Digital schools need not be restricted to pre-recorded content. Teachers should plan the content instead of just playing a video. They need to modify the content and engage students in exercises," explains Gund. According to him, the biggest challenge for a teacher is to keep up with technology.
"During the training workshops, we come across many teachers who are resistant to change because of an inherent technophobia," Gund says. "There is a need to bridge that fear and look at the various possibilities."
State Education Secretary Nand Kumar said Gund is one of the 'star' teachers in the state. "Thanks to the pro-active measures of such teachers, we can hope to change the education machinery for good," said Kumar.
Kumar said the state in September 2015 issued a resolution for cluster heads to identify innovative teachers in all of the 6,170 clusters across Maharashtra. "Two teachers have been selected from each school for further training," said Kumar. The state has now built a network of 39,000 such 'tech-savvy' teachers who are learning from each other and implementing innovative teaching techniques in their schools.

Lecture series inaugurated at Sanchi University

MMNN:2 Mar. 2016
"Bhagavadagita can help a person to understand the self and realize the universe in true sense of words. The teachings of Bhagavadagita are eternal and can uplift our souls. It is very difficult to be extraordinary but matter of fact only ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Ordinary people need to acknowledge their hidden traits and potentials." said by Swami Sukhbodhanand in his inaugural speech on the topic "Form Ordinary to Extraordinary" during inaugural ceremony of Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies Lecture Series-Tattvabodhani. Swami Sukhbodhanand is the Head of Prassana Trust and a renowned author of more than 100 books related to religion and spirituality. This lecture series is being organised under the aegis of SUBIS at RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration & Management in the city from 1stto 9th March.

Welcome speech was delivered by Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Shashiprabha Kumar. She highlighted the objective behind organising this lecture series and stated that lecturing is an age old tradition and art that involves the intelligent interpretation of thoughts, arrangement of words and skilful presentation before the gathering when it fused with knowledge; it becomes a treasure house for the seekers of knowledge. The first inaugural session was chaired by Sri Rakesh Aggrawal, Additional Chief Secretary of Government of MP. He emphasised need of spiritual awakening in the society. Registrar of the University, Sri Rajesh Gupta also graced the occasion. Scholars from various walks of life, retired officers and common people were present in large number to listen to the speakers.
On the second day of the lecture series, the noted Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Shashibhushan Mishra will be delivering his lecture on the topic "Dhyan Ke Veghyanik Pahlu". The eminent Yoga Guru Shri Ramesh Kumar Dhanoriya will chair the session. On 3rd March the topic is the universal message of Upanishada which will be delivered by Vice Chancellor of SUBIS Prof. Dr. ShashiPrabha Kumar. Vipashyana & personality development is the topic on 4th March and the speaker will be Bhadant VimalKirti. Noted Former police commissioner .

Vinoba Bhave University (VBU) host 68th All India Commerce Conference 2015

MMNN: 26 Aug. 2015
Vinoba Bhave University (VBU), Hazaribag to host the three day 68th All India Commerce Conference 2015 from 6 to 8th November 2015. The conference theme would be based on Prime Minister Modi's campaign of "Make in India-The Road Ahead". It would be an academic event of National importance, as it will bring together nearly 2000 delegates from all over the country and abroad. The event is India's biggest and the most comprehensive gathering of its kind. Hon'ble PM Sri Narendra Modi's presence is expected during the inauguration of the Conference. Hon'ble Governor of Jharkhand cum Chancellor of Universities,Jharkhand State, and Hon'ble State Minister of Finance Sri Jayant Sinha, Government of India has already confirmed their gracious presence to inaugurate the event.
The conference will be attended by renowned Commerce Academicians, Economists, Management Experts, Government Representatives, Industrialists, researchers working in Behavioral Finance, E-retailing, Social Media, Skill Development in Business Education and Undergraduate, post graduate and doctorial students from across the country and abroad. Representatives from different industries including ISDC (International Skill Development Corporation), London (UK) will attend the panel discussion on "Skill for tomorrow-Re-define in the Commerce Education".
The primary activities of the ICA include organizing of seminars, workshops, conferences and meetings; promoting research; helping with technical assistance and consultancy to clientele world and the publication of books, periodicals, journals, etc. The ICA, has successfully organized a total of 67 Annual Conferences throughout our country till date. Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribag, Jharkhand a renowned and prestigious university of Jharkhand is organizing its 68th Conference. Dr Gurdeep Singh, Vice Chancellor, VBU and & Shri Yashwant Sinha,,former union minister of finance & external affairs,GOI is the Chief Patron of the conference.
Prof(Dr) M.P.Sinha,Pro Vice Chancellor,VBU,Sri Gopal Singh,CMD,CCL,Ranchi & Sri Harvinder Singh,Vice President,Jindal Steel & Power,Ranchi would also play a key role in organizing this mega event.
Prof M.K Singh Conference Secretary, VBU, Hazaribag said that the conference will be highly informative and of academic importance of national level and international standard. With the wider topics including Behavioral Finance: Emerging Dimensions, E-retailing: Challenges & Opportunities in Global Scenario, Social Media: HR Interventions, Skill Development in Business Education, the forthcoming conference to be discussed during the conference, will pave the path for the economically strong nation. Participation from the academia and different industries would make the event an amalgamation of academic knowledge and practical experience.
The Indian Commerce Association (ICA) one of the oldest professional bodies founded in the year 1947, stands as the cohesive group of economists, management experts, technologists, business community, and so on, with multifaceted objectives to serve continually as a forum of exchange of experiences, ideas, collection along with dissemination of the information on trade, business, commerce and management; for promoting research activities and to permit coordination in the curriculum of Commerce and Management at the national level. Members of this excellent professional association include a team of academicians, administrators, business industrialists, management experts, students, economists, educational institutions and such other interested professionals.
Dr M.K. Singh is the conference secretary along with the team and patrons and working day and night to make the event grand.

Weltweit College Hazaribag ropes in Star Cricketer Shubh Lakshmi Sharma as the brand ambassador

Ranchi:MMNN: 26 Aug. 2015
Weltweit College Hazaribag announced the signing of Shubh Lakshmi Sharma, Star Cricketer, Indian Women Cricket Team as the brand ambassador here today. This is an important milestone in the institute's journey. Weltweit College is an instructional activity of Weltweit Foundation, New Delhi centered for giving training in the field of business administration, computer applications and journalism. The institute is focused to train students, essentially by giving them industrial exposure through real ventures in the field, along with conventional classroom teaching in the modern infrastructure.
Affiliated to the renowned Vinoba Bhave University Hazaribag, Weltweit unites experienced educators and a decent companion gathering to make a dynamic on - grounds involvement in the very heart of the Jharkhand. The organization is prepared to roll out noteworthy improvement and put resources into a student, where desire leads them and make the next move to follow their dreams, to get the best out of their lifetime opportunities.
CA Manoj K Pahwa, Chairman, Welt Weit College,said that "Virtues like passion, hard-work, sincerity and commitment are what we would like to inculcate in all our students. Our main objective to introduce the star cricketer as the brand ambassador is to make the young generation aware of the institute's academic features and teaching methodology. We have only one target to prepare each student with the assistance of the best brains as the faculty members".
Abhishek Sinha, Managing Director, Welt Weit College said, In Shubh Lakshmi Sharma, we see a "go-getter". She with her passion and commitment has crafted her own space in the highly competitive sports arena. He added" Introduction of Ms Shubh Lakshmi Sharma as the brand ambassador is part of our expansion strategy to make young generation aware of our unique training system through a popular face of Jharkhand. The reputation of an institution is, in large part, measured by the excellence of its students. The Weltweit College will help the students to push boundaries of their development, and expand their potential to deliver their best".
Ms Shubh Lakshmi Sharma, Star Cricketer, said that "As a person I have always worked towards excellence. In Weltweit College Hazaribag, I see the same commitment towards their students, faculty and external stakeholders. I'm happy to get associated with the iconic institute like Weltweit College and would definitely spread the positive steps taken by the institute to train the students in the field of business administration".
Weltweit College Hazaribag has always lived up to its motto of - Advancing Knowledge, Transforming Lives.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Awarded CRISP for excellent work done in Skill Development

Our Correspondent, 3 Aug. 2015
Honorable Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has awarded appreciation certificate to CRISP for excellent work done in Skill Development activities. The award was received by Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mukesh Sharma.
A function was organized to distribute appointment letters to SC students trained by CRISP. The training was sponsored by Department of SC Welfare, Government of Madhya Pradesh. CRISP has trained 300 youth from Scheduled Caste category and around 50% of them got employment.
Mukesh Sharma, CEO, CRISP India says " CRISP is inching closer to its vision of being the most admired learning and skill development training centre , enabling sustainable transformation.
Centre for Research and Industrial Staff Performance, (CRISP), Bhopal has been established in the year 1997 as a Society under the Indo -German Technical Cooperation agreement.
Ministry of MSME, Government of India was the line ministry for this project whereas the Department of Technical Education & Skill Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh and German Technical Cooperation agency (GTZ) were the implementation partners.
It is head quartered in Bhopal with national & international operations dedicated to human resource development & organizational development. These activities are targeted at Government, Industries, Academic Institutions, Developmental Organizations as well as the Civil Society.

CRISP India inked an MOU with Symbiosis University Pune

Our Correspondent : 27 Jan. 2015
CRISP Bhopal & Symbiosis University Pune has joined hands for offering Academic, Professional & Skill Development Programme & Consultancy. CRISP which is a pioneer Institute for Training & Skill Development & Symbiosis, known for Quality Management Education has signed a MOU for partnership. Symbiosis Chairperson Dr. Swati Majumdar & CRISP CEO Mr. Mukesh Sharma has inaugurated Skill Development Training Programme in Pune where 200 unemployed youths from rural places will be trained in skill areas and will placed in Industries.
These trainings are sponsored by Power Finance Corporation, New Delhi under CSR. Symbiosis is setting up a University in Indore & has signed a MoU with M.P. Government in Investor Summit 2014. Both Symbiosis & CRISP will bring expert resources. On this occasion, Mr. Rajesh Maheshwari, AGM, CRISP presented a detail plan for partnership.
Centre for Research and Industrial Staff Performance, (CRISP), Bhopal has been established in the year 1997 as a Society under the Indo -German Technical Cooperation agreement. Ministry of MSME, Government of India was the line ministry for this project whereas the Department of Technical Education & Skill Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh and German Technical Cooperation agency (GTZ) were the implementation partners. It is headquartered in Bhopal with national & international operations dedicated to human resource development & organizational development. These activities are targeted at Government, Industries, Academic Institutions, Developmental Organizations as well as the Civil Society.
The organization has excellent infrastructure in terms of sophisticated laboratories in the field of Industrial Automation, Mechatronics, Production Technology, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Multimedia Technology etc. CRISP is one of the most preferred service providers in the areas of Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET), Training Institution Management and Entrepreneurship development.