Education Briefs

MindChampion Academy’s 10th anniversary commemoration

NIIT Mindchampions Academy (MCA, estb.2002) — a not-for-profit initiative of Grand Master Viswanathan Anand and NIIT Ltd, the transnational IT skills development and certification corporation, to promote the mind stimulating game of chess in schools across India — celebrated its 10th anniversary on July 20. Over the past few decades, the academy has promoted 16,600 chess clubs countrywide with over 1.5 million student members.

At a commemorative function held in Delhi, Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal felicitated five national chess masters nurtured by MCA since 2004, in the presence of NIIT MindChampion and World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. Mme Grace Pinto, managing director of the Ryan International Group of Institutions — which has promoted India’s largest chain of proprietorial primary-secondary schools (128) — was a special guest on the occasion.

“It is heartening to note that MCD has developed several masters and young players like Karthikeyan M who is world champion in the under-12 category. There are many young talents like him who make India proud, and I am confident they will script greater success stories in the years to come,” said Anand, speaking on the occasion.

Added Rajendra S. Pawar, chairman of NIIT: “This is a proud moment for all of us and it gives me added pleasure that MCA’s ten-year eventful journey coincides with Vishy’s 5th World Chess Championship win. We have been fortunate to have the wholehearted support and involvement of Vishy in this venture, and together we hope to make the movement a bigger success.”

EduAhead-ACT present Adhyapan

EduAhead, the K-Ph D education portal of the Bangalore-based OrbiNet Technologies Pvt. Ltd (estb.2011), and Academy for Creative Teaching (ACT, estb. 2006) Bangalore are organising Adhyapan-2012 — ‘an ACT that makes a difference in building a knowledge society’ — on September 13-14 at the Jnana Jyothi auditorium of Bangalore University, and at the India Habitat Centre Auditorium, New Delhi on September 17-18. Renowned educationists and academics from different countries will share their experience and wisdom at Adhyapan 2012. They include Prof. Gerard Puccio, head of the department of creativity, University of Buffalo, New York, USA; Prof. Masao Ishihara, director and facilitator, LEGO Company, Yokohama, Japan and Dr. Gururaj Karajagi, founder-chairman of ACT Bengaluru and a renowned author and scholar.

According to Karan Kumar, chief operating officer of OrbiNet Technologies, the conferences will debate the challenges posed by the Right to Education Act, 2009; managing classes with students of different learning abilities; and creativity in education.

“Primary and secondary institutions in India are part of a national transformation process and education must respond to user expectations. Over the next decade, the question is not whether technology will transform our education systems and institutions, but how that transformation will unfurl. It is time all like-minded educationists do considerable rethinking about education and learning,” says Kumar.

Mohd. Sathak-Digiterati concordat

The Chennai-based Mohd. Sathak Group of educational institutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the city-based and India’s first IT finishing school Digiterati (estb. 1991), to impart essential employment enhancing skills to 10,500 engineering students every year. The MoU covers all engineering colleges of the Mohd. Sathak Group in Chennai, Kilakarai and Siruseri.

Comments C.A. Ravikumar, a co-founder of Digiterati: “Engineering graduates from rural areas and tier-II cities and smaller towns tend to be at a disadvantage in the job market. Digiterati has a track record of training and certifying students in career-specific advanced IT and soft skills to the satisfaction of employers countrywide. Therefore, this MoU will greatly benefit Mohd. Sathak Group students venturing into the job market.”

Faizal Abudul Quadir, director of the Mohd. Sathak Trust, is equally enthused about the MoU. “Our experience shows that students who undergo training at Digiterati secure easy placements in top companies. This is a major advantage for any college since every employer looks at colleges which can produce students with specific IT skills mapped to career paths and become billable within a short time. This MoU takes our relationship forward by making advanced IT and soft skills available to all our students in a structured fashion,” says Quadir.

Sai International-Chosen Hill initiative

Eight students of the Sai International School, Bhubaneswar escorted by Mrs. Rutuparna Praharaj visited Chosen Hill School, Gloucestershire, UK under a British Council partnership initiative in June. Each visiting student from the school was hosted by an English student partner which included staying in homes of the host. As a reciprocal gesture, an equal number of students from the UK will visit SAI International School in October and Indian parents will host them. The two schools have partnered fruitfully for teacher and student exchange programmes during the past three years.

“The warm welcome extended by the host families of Chosen Hill School vindicated that friendship bonds transcend national frontiers. Our students stayed with their host families in Gloucester from June 10-15 and had the opportunity of experiencing their culture and warm hospitality,” says Dr. B.K. Sahoo, promoter-chairman of Sai International.

Saba Karim Genesis Pro Cricket Centre

Former India test player and wicketkeeper Syed Saba Karim launched the Saba Karim Genesis Pro Cricket Centre at the Genesis Global School, Noida, in Delhi NCR, on July 6. The academy offers thoroughly state-of-the-art practice and matchplay facilities. Current test cricket star Virender Sehwag, the chief guest, unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. Training sessions at the centre were scheduled to commence on July 15.

Speaking at the event, Karim, director of the cricket centre, said: “Together with the infrastructure, it is the work ethic of coaches and the passion of trainees that will shape the future of Indian cricket. We are hopeful the alliance we have formed with Genesis Global School will drive our mission forward.”

Also speaking on the occasion, Sehwag described the cricket centre as exceptional. “It’s great to see a cricket academy like this in Noida. It will benefit aspiring cricketers of this region. I see a synergy in future between Saba Karim Genesis Pro Cricket Centre and the Virender Sehwag Cricket Academy at Jhajjar, Haryana,” he said.

Change of guard at LIBA

The Rev. Dr. S. Peter, S.J, is the new and fifth director of the Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai, succeeding Fr. P. Christie.

A distinguished academic, Dr. Peter brings 26 years of teaching and administration experience at Andhra Loyola College, Vijayawada; St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai; Loyola College, Chennai; and St. Joseph’s College of Business Administration, Bangalore, to LIBA.

“I am honoured to have been entrusted the role of director of LIBA. With the support of the distinguished faculty, I look forward to nurturing this institution into the most respected B-school in peninsular India. I also look forward to working closely with alumni, students, and the local community to improve LIBA’s high standards of student achievement, commitment to innovation, faculty research, entrepreneurship and fostering partnerships,” said Dr. Peter, speaking on the occasion.

n+i Engineering Network invitation

The Paris-based n+i Engineering Network — a non-profit association run on behalf of CDEFI (Conférences des directeurs d’écoles françaises d’ingé,ieurs) representing all engineering education institutes under the French higher education ministry — invites applications from Indian engineering graduates for postgrad study in France for the academic year beginning July 2013. The network represents more than 70 French grandes ecoles of engineering in all fields of science and technology (agriculture to telecomm-unications, and including civil engineering, mechanics, informatics, biotechnology, chemistry, materials, electronics, environment, etc).

“Over the past two years, the n+i Network has developed partnerships with some of the best universities in the world in Australia, Japan, China, Hungary, Russia, Thailand, Jordan, Brazil, Mexico and India, and also with industrial multinationals including Total, FranceTélécom, Dassault, Rhodia, EDF, PSA, Faurécia, Thomson, Thalès, Lafarge, Saint-Gobain, ST Microelectronics, MacaoWater, Rockwell Collins, among others who are involved with us in the education and training of international students,” says Golda Malhotra, the Delhi-based co-ordinator of n+i Engineering Network programmes.

Currently more than 450 students from 35 countries are pursuing postgrad studies in n+i Engineering Network member institutions in France.