Education Briefs

Education Briefs

Entrepreneurship awareness drive

The Bangalore-based National Entrepreneurship Network (estb. 2002), a non-profit initiative of the US-based Wadhwani Foundation celebrated its first Entrepreneurship Week between February 24-March 3. "India offers amazing opportunities for entrepreneurs today although the culture and ecosystem still poses formidable barriers. Entrepreneurship Week has been initiated as both a celebration and a call to action — a week during which people come together to improve the climate and supports necessary for entrepreneurs’ success inside companies, in new ventures, government and academia. The spirit of E week is ‘We can. We will’," says Laura Parkin, executive director of NEN.

According to Parkin, NEN’s E-Week partners included leading corporates, associations and over 160 academic institutions across 25 cities and towns who have also planned a variety of activities to build on this momentum. Among the corporates and institutions supporting the E-Week initiative are HSBC, Symphony Services, Himalaya, Mahindra & Mahindra, TechTribe, Microland, PVR, Yahoo! India, and Business India as corporate partners. In addition, E-Week has also received support from associations including TiE and IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association).

Established in 2002 by the Wadhwani Foundation, NEN is a not-for-profit initiative working to inspire, educate and support new and future entrepreneurs in India. "NEN’s goal is to help launch thousands of new entrepreneurs who in turn will create hundreds of thousands of much-needed valuable jobs in India," says Parkin. NEN is currently working with 160 top-tier academic institutes in 12 regions of India, reaching over 165,000 students.

NES’ Connected Learning Programme

he Mumbai-based NES International School, NES National Public School and NES Group of institutions have launched a Connected Learning Programme for the 43 education institutions in the 25-year-old group to enable them to implement modern systems and pedagogies, administration and teaching. The objective of this programme is to transform NES schools and colleges into centres of interactive learning which connect teachers, students and parents.

"In a growing number of progressive schools and communities around the world , the concept of Connected Learning Programme is taking root. Today a multiplying number of schools around the world are getting connected," says Subrajit Bose a spokesperson of the NES group of institutions.

Adds Dr. R. Vardarjan the promoter chairman of the NES Group: "We will erase the traditional divide between student and school, teacher and parent, the insitution and community, technology and potential. Our schools will establish seamless communications within the learning community using new computing devices and powerful software to enable learning without limits."

Anti-reservation motion defeated

At a full house at a debate sponsored by EducationWorld in St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, the motion "Reservation for OBCs in institutions of higher education is not in the national interest" was overwhelmingly defeated.

The motion was proposed by Aditya Sondhi, counsel of the Karnataka high court, while the lead speaker against the motion was Dr. G. Thimmaiah former member of the Planning Commission and author of Power Politics and Justice for Backward Classes in Karnataka (1994). These lead speakers were supported by four speakers of St. Joseph’s College — Jyothsna K.S and Rushil Fernandes for the motion and Priayanka Samy and Immanuel Raju against. Dilip Thakore editor of EducationWorld presided over the hotly contested debate which lasted two hours.

DRS International roll out plan

The Hyderabad-based DRS group promoter of the DRS International School (DRSIS) Hyderabad, announced plans to replicate its international school model across India, on January 22. After successfully launching DRS Kids — a pre-school model in 32 centres in 14 states across the country, the group now plans to promote 50 international schools countrywide through its franchise business model.

Under the DRS business plan, DRS International will provide support on curriculum, affiliation process, development of infrastructure, design model, and training of faculty members. DRSIS is affiliated with the Geneva-based International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and follows the curriculum of its primary years programme (PYP), the middle years programme culminating in the Plus Two stage IB diploma. IBO currently has 1,895 schools in 124 countries affiliated with it.

Comments A.K. Agarwal, director of the DRS Group: "Parents want their children to be connected with advanced education systems and teaching methodologies. We are confident of replicating the success of DRS Kids and providing world-class quality education to students in every corner of the country. We are in the process of appointing our franchisees and hope to implement our business plan by mid-2007."

Founded in 1991, the Hyderabad-based DRS Group has 90 offices in 40 locations to cater to its transport and logistics clients. Agarwal Packers & Movers, a unit of the DRS Group is an ISO 9001:2000 certified company reputed for its quality packing, and is a market leader in the domestic and corporate relocation services business.

Safran doctoral awards

Safran the international high-technology France-based group with core businesses in aerospace propulsion, defense and security and the French Embassy, Delhi announced the institution of scientific awards in partnership with prominent scientific institutions in India, on February 28.

"Safran, the French Embassy in India together with several Indian research institutes aim to highlight the value of research and engineering in the aerospace and technology of communication sectors and the inter-dependence between research and industry. We are also keen to further strengthen the ties between Indian and French research and industry," says Vincent Gorry chief executive (India) of Safran.

The awards will be conferred annually on three Indian scientists who make a significant impact in areas of interest to Safran, and who achieve academic excellence in completing doctoral degree programmes under the awards. The first prize is Euro 5,000 (Rs. 2.9 lakh) and the second prize € 3,000. Travel to France to visit Safran research and industrial centres will also be offered to the two winners and their research guide. The third prize is a four-month fellowship offered by the French embassy for post-doctorate research in a French research institute.

Said School’s India Forum

The Said Business School of Oxford Univeristy (UK) has convened its Second Oxford India Forum at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai on March 15.

On this forum, a prestigious panel of globally renowned speakers will debate and explore the development challenges confronting India. Among them: Stephen Green, group chairman, HSBC; Kevan Watts, chairman, Merrill Lynch International ; Lord Chris Patten, chancellor, Oxford University; Bill Emmott, former editor of The Economist and John Micklethwait, incumbent editor of The Economist.

The welcome address will be delivered by Prof. Colin Mayer, dean of Said Business School, followed by a keynote address by S. Ramadorai, CEO of the Mumbai-based IT enabled services industry leader, Tata Consultancy Services. Subsequently a panel discussion will be followed by an open house question and answer session.

"The annual Oxford India Business Forum provides a platform for global business leaders, academics, policy-makers and sector specialists to debate some of the most pertinent issues affecting business, economic and social growth in this part of the world," says Clare Fisher, a spokesperson of Said Business School.

Established in 1996, Said Business School is one of Europe’s newest and fastest growing B-schools. An integral part of Oxford University, the school embodies the academic rigour and forward thinking that has made Oxford a world leader in education.