Education Briefs

Education Briefs

Student film festival awards

The ninth Mumbai International Festival for Documentary and Short Films (MIFF ) organised by Films Division, a subsidiary of the Union ministry of information and broadcasting, featured a wide range of student films, spotlighting contemporary issues ranging from food and comedy to gender discrimination.

The films screened comprised the best student productions submitted by Film & Television Institute, Tamil Nadu; Jamia Milia, Delhi; Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune; Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute of India, Kolkata; the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; Biju Patnaik Film & Television Institute, Orissa and the government Film & Television Institute, Bangalore. A large number of students of films and media from across the country attended the festival in early February.

Hitesh Kewalya of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad was awarded the best fiction film prize for Nothing Happens on this Turn (upto 75 mins/ national competition) which included a golden conch and a cash prize of Rs.1.5 lakh.

Another NID student Amit Shah was awarded the National Jury Award for his documentary film Hoon with a cash prize of Rs. 50,000.

Witty Kids international centre status

Witty Kids High School, mumbai has been awarded international centre status by the UK-based University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Witty Kids High will now teach and examine a range of internationally accepted syllabuses including CIE’s IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education).

"We are delighted to announce that Witty Kids High School has become a registered centre and look forward to a long and productive relationship which will be of great benefit to students throughout this region," says Tom Eason, CIE’s director for international education.

As a duly certified CIE Centre, Witty Kids High will offer students in India internationally renowned qualifications recognised by education institutions and employers round the world. A seminar-cum-multimedia presentation on the scope and benefits of the IGCSE curriculum was staged by the school recently. The keynote speaker was Mark Bartholomew chief executive of CIE (South Asia). Bartholomew commended the teaching pedagogies, infrastructure, and safe and hygienic environment of the school.

Kidzee’s new teacher training programme

Kidzee, a pre-school education initiative of Zee Interactive Learning Systems Ltd which offers its curriculum to 350 franchisee schools across India, has conceptualised a one-year International Early Childhood Teachers’ Education Course diploma programme for pre-school teachers. The content of the training programme is based on international standards for teachers of children in the age group 0-8 years.

"The IECTEC programme has been designed to develop professionals in the field of early childhood care and education with a balanced blend of theoretical awareness and hands-on experience derived from kindergarten, day care centres, pre-schools and schools for special children. Trainees are also given exposure to children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, for broader understanding of children, sensitivity and empathy," says a Kidzee spokesperson.

Moreover with effect from February 26, all Kidzee centres in Delhi have been authorised to discharge the duties of pulse polio booths of the Union ministry of health and family affairs.

ISB’s rolling placements gathers momentum

Rolling placements, a programme of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad (ISB), has started on a positive note with the school campus experiencing considerable activity and excitement since early January. The placement process will peak in March and culminate in early April when the Class of 2006 graduates.

Spread over several months, the rolling placements process requires corporate recruiters to visit the ISB campus for pre-placement talks, meeting and interviewing students in several phases before final offers are made, ensuring the best fit for individuals and business organisations. "The extended time-frame assists recruiters to make well-considered hiring decisions for their middle and senior management positions," says V. K. Menon, director of career advancement services at ISB. "ISB students offer a rich combination of real life industry experience and world class management education and recruiters appreciate this. Companies that have already visited ISB this year include A.T. Kearney, Boston Consulting Group, Citigroup, HLL, Infosys, ITC, McKinsey, Microsoft, Tata Motors and several others. ISB has pioneered the concept of lateral hiring and companies are increasingly recognising the value of hiring students with previous work experience in senior and mid-management positions. Last year, lateral placements accounted for almost 97 percent of offers at ISB."

According to Dr. M. Rammohan Rao, dean of ISB, students are becoming more savvy about making career decisions: "I see a healthy trend among students in the way they make career choices. They are beginning to accord greater emphasis to the quality of company, job profile, and career progression rather than monetary considerations. It is a mark of maturity to understand the importance of finding a fulfilling, long term career." The Class of 2006 has 345 students graduating this year. The average industry experience of the class is five years.

Hriday-Shan’s Students Parliament

Hriday-Shan, a Delhi-based NGO, organised a Students Parliament in the capital on February 8. Over 1,500 school students enacted a simulated session of Parliament on health and related issues. The students were given roles of president, prime minister, members and leaders of ruling and opposition parties.

Hriday-Shan organises the Students Parliament every year with the objective of inspiring youth to act as agents of social change, especially in areas related to health and development and leadership skills. "This is a platform for students to present innovative ideas and develop advocacy skills for protection of their future," says Monika Arora, director of Hriday-Shan.

This year the Students Parliament focused on financial allocations to the health sector, agriculture policies, provision of safe drinking water, nutrition and healthy environments for children, safety, community participation in health programmes and the Indian Tobacco Control Act. Two resolutions were passed and presented to officials of the Union government and World Health Organisation for necessary action. Hriday-Shan was awarded WHO’s Tobacco Free World Health Award in 2002 and trains NGOs in ten states to spread awareness on health issues.

Solaris University Challenge

In early February the Bangalore-based Sun Microsystems India Pvt Ltd announced the launch of its Solaris University Challenge, offering students from around the world cash and prizes for developing innovative projects on the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) and Open Solaris, Sun’s open source software for Solaris developers. Participants have to leverage Sun’s $500 million investment in operating systems to create innovative projects.

The Solaris University Challenge is open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and IT staff in accredited universities in select participating countries. To participate, log on to

An individual or one team of four participants from each university will be awarded the Grand Prize — US$5,000 per individual, plus a Sun Ultra 20 Worstation. The winner’s university will receive a credit with a retail value of US$100,000, towards the purchase of Sun Microsystems products including Sun Fire x 64 servers and UltraSPARC ® processor-based systems, to help the campus expand its technology capabilities.

"With OpenSolaris we’ve enabled students from around the world to share in the collective work of the most innovative engineers on the planet," says Kim Jones, vice president (global education and research) of Sun Microsystems. "The University Challenge encourages students to capitalise on free access to the advanced technology of Solaris 10, letting them take their projects to the next level. We are enthusiastic about this programme and excited to see the submissions."

All projects must be based on the Solaris 10 OS or OpenSolaris operating system and will be judged by a panel of experts on the following criteria: usability, quality, innovation, including uniqueness and originality, effective use of technology, and benefits to the Solaris 10 OS end-user or OpenSolaris OS community.