Education Briefs

Education Briefs

Ryan International’s seventh INMUN

Six hundred young leaders from 110 schools around the world convened in New Delhi between October 4-6 to deliberate solutions for world peace at the 7th INMUN (Indian Model United Nations) organised by the Ryan International Group of Institutions.

Speaking on the occasion Grace Pinto, managing director of the Ryan Group of 107 schools said students who participated in the INMUN represent hope for the future. "Their hearts are in the right place, and all participants have absorbed the ethical dimensions of democratic activism. For Ryan International, organising INMUN is its contribution to the process of delivering democracy. The future of world peace is in the hands of young students. Our contribution is to provide a platform to students to voice their solutions," said Ms. Pinto.

Fourteen schools from 14 participant countries were given awards by Vayalar Ravi, Union minister for overseas affairs; Hynek Knonicek, ambassador, Czech Republic; H.E.C.R Jayasinghe, high Commissioner of Sri Lanka; Nesim Tumkaya, UNFPA representative; H.E Rizali Wilmar, charge d’affairs, embassy of the Republic of Indonesia; Artur Piotr Lompart, minister councellor of Poland; Vincent Nicod, head of delegation, ICRC (Red Cross) and Danielle Smadja delegate of the European Commission.

Intel higher education seminar

An international seminar was convened in Delhi between October 24-26 under the aegis of the Intel Higher Education Program. Academics from India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam, Intel experts and government officials participated.

The conference showcased Intel’s technology road map, business, vision and research initiatives, particularly its collaboration project with IIT-Kanpur and the Union government’s department of science & technology. "We are working to create technology that transforms the way we educate, work and live for better and creative thinking," said Intel’s India president Praveen Vishakantaiah, speaking at the conference.

The highlight of the meet was a presentation on the research 40 nm test chip which Intel’s Bangalore lab is about to complete, and which will set the pace for the next generation of computing — teraflops.

During the three-day seminar, the Union government’s DoT and DIT (department of information technology) unveiled a plan to establish 10,000 rural IT kiosks and provide broadband connectivity to the whole country by 2012. Intel Education with $800 million (Rs.3,200 crore) of investment earmarked for India, also announced that it will actively engage in supporting innovations in higher education.

National Instruments national conference

At the 6th national conference on Virtual Instrumentation in Engineering Education hosted by National Instruments — an Austin, Texas-based company engaged in design and marketing of engineering software for more than 25,000 companies worldwide — leaders from academia and industry addressed ways and means to improve the quality of engineering education in India. The theme of the day-long conference held in Bangalore on October 26 was hands-on teaching and learning. Over 300 educators and academics from engineering colleges across India including the IITs, IISc, NIT, VIT, RV College among others, attended the conference.

Speaking on the occasion Jayaram Pillai, managing director for India, Russia and Saudi Arabia of National Instruments said: "Experiential learning is proven to be the best approach to provide quality education. This is exactly what is accomplished by the National Instruments academic program. Laboratory courses and hands-on learning with NI’s LabVIEW and NI hardware help students understand fundamentals thoroughly and become better engineers. With this approach, learning also becomes more meaningful and fun."

Dell Foundation launches Teach For India

Teach for All, a new organisation promoted by Teach For America will support entrepreneurs in countries pursuing the development of the Teach For America model. Teach For All will raise $25 million over three years for its global operations, and at the same time leverage millions more towards local programmes in each country. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has committed a $ 2.5 million grant to fund Teach For All’s support of the development of Teach for India. Moreover the Amy & Larry Robbins Foundation has pledged a $2 million grant to Teach For All. The organisation has also benefited from millions of dollars in pro bono services from McKinsey & Company.

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s support of Teach For All is focused on India, where key stakeholders engaged in a ten-week planning process, managed by McKinsey India, to debate how the Teach For America model could be adapted to address the country’s vast educational disparities.

"Teachers are instrumental for the future of children in India," says Barun Mohanty, managing director (India) of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. "The commitment of Teach For America and Teach For All in India will change the face of education, providing career opportunities for India’s best and brightest college graduates, who in turn, will have the opportunity to measurably improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of children."

Innovate-KAVI software for challenged children

IIT-Madras together with the Bangalore-based Innovate Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd and volunteers of Vidyasagar, an NGO that works with children suffering from cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities, has developed Innovate- KAVI — a hand-held communication device which helps children with neurological disabilities and cerebral palsy to express themselves.

Three children from Vidyasagar with verbal communication disabilities demonstrated the efficacy of Innovate-KAVI on September 29 in Bangalore. Dr. M.S. Ananth, director of IIT-M formally released Innovate-KAVI in the presence of Vidyasagar’s well-wishers, faculty and staff.