Education Briefs

NIIT wins best innovator award

The Delhi-based NIIT Ltd, a well-known name in digital technology skills and talent development, was conferred the ‘Best Innovation Brand in the Education Sector’ by an Assocham National Brand Summit & Excellence Awards 2016 jury. Sanjay Zhunzhunwala, chairman, and Shradha Agarwal, co-chairperson of the Assocham Regional Council, presented the award to Shakera Roy, general manager NIIT, at a formal ceremony staged at The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata on April 25.

Speaking on the occasion, Prakash Menon, president (global skills and careers) of NIIT Ltd observed: “Over the past 35 years, NIIT has played a pioneering role in shaping the education and training sector through its innovative and industry-aligned career programmes. We continuously strive to design our programmes to match the aspirations of youth with the requirements of industry. This award is a recognition of our efforts and will encourage us to constantly innovate by introducing a diverse range of learning solutions focused on digital transformation.”

Nasscom takes to CSR

Addressing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Leadership Conference 2016 convened in New Delhi on March 9, B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, chairman of the National Association of Software Services Companies (NASSCOM), said the NASSCOM Foundation has secured grants of over Rs.50 crore for the financial year 2016-17.

During the CSR leadership conference, a landmark deal between the Union government and NASSCOM Foundation was signed under which the foundation has undertaken the responsibility of sensitising citizens countrywide about e-waste, its health and environmental hazards and responsible disposal. Reddy said Indian industry will spend Rs.20,000 crore on CSR activities this year.

Also the industry partner of the Union government for the National Digital Literacy Mission, the foundation has successfully established over 100 learning centres across India and intends to make over 75,000 households digitally literate.

“Our ongoing partnerships with government and corporates is a good example of how CSR money can be used for the benefit of millions across the country — improving their livelihood and income prospects, and creating a real impact in the community. It’s a great way to achieve inclusion in society,” said Shrikant Sinha, CEO of the NASSCOM Foundation speaking on the occasion.

Amity scientists’ innovation

Scientists of Amity University (AU), Noida have developed India’s first hand-held and chemicals-free milk adulteration testing kit which can detect adulteration in milk within ten seconds. The kit was formally presented to the Ahmedabad-based Everest Instruments Pvt. Ltd, on April 19 at an official ceremony on the university campus presided by Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan, founder-president of the Amity Group.

The technology for the kit was developed over 18 months by a team of AU scientists led by Dr. Ashish Mathur, assistant professor of the Amity Institute of Nanotechnology, sited on the AU, Noida campus. “The adulteration testing kit we have developed is non-hazardous, cost-effective, transportable, user-friendly and does not require lab test equipment. A 2.2 ml milk sample is required and the result of the test is conveyed within ten seconds through a mobile phone app. The kit can quickly detect levels of starch, detergent, urea, peroxide, sulphates etc mixed in milk,” said Dr. Mathur, speaking on the occasion.

Everest Instruments Pvt. Ltd (estb.1999) is an ISO-accredited company offering total automation solutions to the dairy and milk industry.

HHI’s clean India initiative

Habitat for Humanity India (HHI), an NGO affiliated with the US-based Habitat for Humanity International (estb.1976) which builds homes and sanitation units for low-income, marginalised households, signed an agreement with the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) on March 25 to build toilets in this suburb of Mumbai. HHI has undertaken to build ten community toilets at Sathye Wadi, Thane which will provide sanitation facilities for more than 600 citizens. Each community toilet will offer 22 toilets/seats including ten each for men and women and one each for children and the disabled.

Apart from building the toilets, HHI has agreed to educate the community about the importance of hygiene and sanitation. Since HHI commenced operations in India in 1983, it has built 42,585 toilet blocks across the country.

“We need to provide better sanitation facilities to the people especially to those at the bottom of the pyramid. We also need to mobilise local communities and work closely with them to change their mindsets about sanitation and hygiene, because merely constructing toilets isn’t enough. Volunteers of our behaviour change communication programme work closely with local communities to raise awareness about these issues. We are happy to partner with TMC to build community toilets for slum-dwellers,” said Rajan Samuel, managing director of HHI speaking on the occasion.

Over the past quarter century, HHI has improved the lives of over 500,000 individuals in 18 states of the Indian Union by fulfilling their dreams of ownership of safe and decent homes. The core areas of HHI’s mission are shelter assistance, sanitation and disaster risk reduction and response.