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This woman has helped one million children in Indian villages learn better using technology

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By- Grin

How do you use technology to take schools lessons in multiple languages across Indian villages? Bhagya Rangachar’s CLT based in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, sometimes called India’s Silicon Valley for the concentration of tech firms in that city, shows the answer.

Bhagya Rangachar is founder of Bangalore-based education technology not-for-profit Children’s Lovecastles Trust, better known as CLT.

Rangachar was a software professional in the United States, who, on a trip back home to India was struck by the lack of opportunities available for children in her neighbourhood in rural Bangalore in south India. She took it upon herself to make a difference.

CLT India has partnered with MIT Media Lab and Museum of Science, Bostonto set up India’s only Intel Computer Clubhouse to provide opportunities to children in low income settings with access to the latest software and technologies.

CLT designs low-cost digital STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) content for school curriculum to enhance the classroom environment and improve learning outcomes. Currently, this education content is designed for Science, Math and English for Grades V to X and is used for teacher mediation through media like televisions, projectors, tablets and even phones. The content is currently available in English, Hindi and Kannada languages. The content is being developed in Marathi. The e-Patashale content is delivered through partnerships with other organizations in over 5,000 government classrooms in the villages of the state of Karnataka (whose capital is Bangalore), reaching out to 500,000 children. Students also learn how to make graphics and videos on their computers using Photoshop, Premier Pro and Corel Draw.

Since its inception in 2006, the organization has developed more than 14,000 interactive videos for grades 6–10 in STEM. Everyday teachers use these videos to prepare and conduct classes through different media — DVDs, mobile phones, and Android Mini PCs across 9,000 classrooms in government schools of rural Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

‘Ours is a plug and play model. We bring in focus on both pedagogy and technology. We have educationists and technologists on board. This enables us to bring the best content on devices that work in non-internet areas,’ says Rangachar who organisation now reaches around one million students in rural India and has raised funding of around Rs. 21 crores ($3.3 million).

It has set up more than 1,000 access points across India, which transmits information on what children are learning, where facilitators are stopping videos, what concepts children are revising. This data has multiple uses: further design of content, analysis of learning outcomes and so on.

But the journey is not over. CLT not only wants to expand access across India but also develop modules on other important issues such as financial planning and personal health. It is also setting up a private arm to share its content with affordable private schools.

Set up in 1997, the trust won Digital India Award given by India’s biggest news media conglomerate, the Times Group, in 2017.

posted Feb 16, 2018 by Gowri Vimalan

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Photo Source: Franchise India

By- Shekhar A Bhattacharjee

India is a country on the rise, and the trajectory has been set for it to get a seat among the major powers of the world. In every sector, the country has time and again shown to be a reliable player. Whether we look at the automobile industry or e-commerce, industries have witnessed tremendous advancements in the recent past. In this new age of innovation, India needs to strengthen its foundations to continue the success it is currently enjoying. One of the core foundations that India needs to improve is its education sector. It has a population of 1.21 billion with 315 million students. When we take a closer look at the disparity between the number of eligible students and the ones who are currently perusing higher education, the figures are discouraging. Higher education institutions seem to have failed to inspire students to pursue further studies. The education system has fallen short of finding effective avenues to draw a picture of how beneficial higher education could be to climb the ladder in the Indian society.

The Indian education system is moving in the right direction but it needs a push. The education fraternity needs to collaborate with thought leaders and industry experts to form new strategies that can uplift the education system from its traditional roots to a new era of excellence. There are many ways to accomplish this task, but it needs to be a community effort, with all stakeholders participating to conceptualise a blueprint that redefines education in India. There are a few ways to achieve this objective, but few crucial steps need to be the bedrock of this new system.

Highlighting the importance of Non-STEM education

The Indian educational landscape is evolving rapidly and has been for a long time. This is very clear in many areas but it is never more significant than the rise in prominence of non-STEM education. It is an open secret that the Indian public has long favoured STEM subjects as the only legitimate course to a successful career path, but this has changed in the past decade. More and more students are opting for non-STEM subjects, choosing to complete their masters in design, arts, liberal arts, liberal education, humanities, social sciences, architecture, media and communication, and economics among others. It paints a bright future for an Indian education system that is not fixated on a future that only caters to STEM education. A latest research has shown that non-STEM courses have a high placement percentage in hotel management, applied arts and crafts. Indian education system will finally focus on creating skilled individuals who can lead the tide of change in all spheres of life. 

Implementing technology to suit the pedagogy

One of the main aspects of utilising technology in education is to understand how it fits within a structure of the entire education model. When new technology is used in the primitive classroom model, it may spell disaster for the whole education system. If an institute has all the latest equipment and gadgets, but the technology does not contribute to enriching learning experience, it’s not a worthwhile investment. Implementing technology in pedagogy can only be possible if the new educational model is re-structured around an interactive and dynamic environment that technology can provide. Teaching style plays a crucial role in making technology relevant in the classroom. Education technology that has been implemented needs to apply to what the learners require and within their preferred styles.

Student feedback is a vital method for a better learning experience

Educators around the world have assumed that they have all the answers when it comes to education policies and knowledge application techniques. Slowly they have realised the flaw in the system. During the process of implementing, few key players are left out of the equation, mainly students and their parents. As more and more institutions realise the need to keep pace with the rapidly changing education domain, they need new ideas and better data on the shortcomings of the current policies. Student and parent feedback have proved to be crucial aspects that have shown promising results. Most educators are trying to find the source for immediate feedback in areas of improvement, and they are working towards creating a roadmap to make real-time changes. Acquiring feedback from students has a long list of advantages for education institutions. Few institutions have taken the first step of implementing robust technology to get student feedback in real time and make the necessary changes, hence keeping them ahead of the curve. 

A promising future on the horizon for the youth of the nation

At this juncture, we have the unique opportunity to make a difference and inspire a new generation of young minds.  We need to move away from rewarding rote learning and replace it with a new system that encourages high expectations for success while celebrates individual differences and learning styles. With the emergence of new-age schools, it has become a real possibility in India. The country has begun to explore the benefits of new pedagogical approaches, assisted by digital technologies. It is a process that has yielded many results and transformed today's learning environments. Schools that do not follow the traditional curriculum have been more effective in meeting community expectations and managing educational resources more efficiently.

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Photo Source: Live Mint

By- Prashant K. Nanda

Three years into his business, Prateek Bhargava, founder of education technology startup Mindler, has ventured into five countries, including Russia and Singapore, and is evaluating few more markets abroad.

According to the firm that helps students in career assessment and counselling and planning, technology adoption in education delivery and assessment is growing as a sector, and it is better to venture out for a bigger market pie. “It’s no more about saturate in India before going global…if your product is good then why not,” said Bhargava.

Bhargava’s firm is not the only one.

Several Indian education technology firms have already either ventured abroad or are on the verge of entering suitable markets. Education technology firm Aspiring Minds have ventured into countries such as the US and China. Xseed Education has presence in countries, including The Philippines, Singapore and Middle-east Asia. Mobile application-based firm Byju’s (Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd) has already announced its intention to go global sometime this year.

While the trend augurs well for the sector and will ultimately benefit India’s huge education space, there are largely four primary reasons behind companies’ plans to go global — easy acceptance of their technology in teaching, learning and assessment, diversification, international recognition of what they are doing, improving their business proposition back home, and possible access to capital.

“If you have a globally completive product and a company with ambition, then it is wiser to go overseas,” according to Varun Aggarwal, co-founder of Aspiring Minds that specialises in education and talent assessment for both institutions and corporate houses. “We believe what we were doing in India can be replicated anywhere in the world. We are now in China, the US, The Philippines and parts of Africa. When you talk about global — for an Indian company like us it means two key market, China and the US. Other markets are small in comparison to India, China and the American market.”

At present, Aspiring Minds’ international business was contributing between 25% and 30% of the total revenue and had the potential to grow faster than the domestic market, Aggarwal said. In fact, one of his co-founders shifted to the US to expand markets there.

According to Aggarwal, companies such as them were venturing out because they believe they have a quality product, and clients want to have a global contract than a country specific contract, wider visibility and access to capital in key markets such as the US.

Education technology space was layered, with some focusing on the business to business market and some dealing with consumers directly, said Ashish Rajpal, founder of Xseed Education. Diversification was one of the key reasons for venturing into other markets, he added.

Bhargava of Mindler agreed. “In some of the international markets there is less competition, so you have an advantage. Besides, once you have done well abroad, your acceptance level back home goes up. Investors also look at startups more favourably if the product is diversified and well tested in different markets than just one.

+1 vote


Sadanand Nayak, Principal District and Sessions Judge, inaugurating an awareness jatha in Yadgir on Thursday.

Sadanand S. Nayak, Principal District and Sessions Judge, said on Thursday that it was every citizen’s duty to prevent child marriage. He asked law enforcement agencies to ensure action is taken against those responsible for child marriages.

Jatha taken out against child marriage

He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating an awareness jatha titled ‘Prevention of Child Marriage and Shale Kade Nanna Nade’, jointly organised by the district administration, the zilla panchayat, the District Legal Services Authority, the District Bar Association and others.

Urging parents not to marry off their minor children, Mr. Nayak said that performing a child marriage was an offence under the law. “Educate your children, make them pillars of the society,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Khushboo Goel Chowdhary and zilla panchayat CEO Avinash Menon Rajendran released booklets and pamphlets on the theme. Sharanappa Patil, deputy director of the Department of Women and Child Development, were present.


+1 vote

Re “The Right Way to Bribe Kids to Read ,” by KJ Dell’Antonia (Sunday Review, July 24):

We all know that books fight for priority between laptops and iPhones. But as a teacher and children’s author, I have found that children who love books have parents who are bookworms and grow up with books lying around on every surface, from the kitchen table to unruly piles on the floor.These children always enjoy books at bedtime, as well as an animated reader with a knack for acting the different parts in funny voices, lots of gestures and facial expressions.

Bribes? No way

If children learn that reading is an assignment they are forced to pursue, or a chore they are bribed to do, how can that lead to a love of reading?

Almost all children are naturally curious and motivated to learn when they are free to do so. When they discover early that reading will provide answers to their questions in a dependable way that they can control, that’s when a lifelong love of reading and learning can begin.                                                                                                   

Infants and children get a special reward from being read to: the intimacy of those moments when a parent is completely theirs. This often establishes a lasting link between reading and happiness.                                 Adolescents and parents can strengthen their connection through reading, too. In high school, my son had to read 25 books a year. His father would get his own copy. They’d compare thoughts about the plots and characters, and playfully compete over who would finish first. Now that he’s grown, that son loves reading. Father and son value those times.


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                      seen in the picture is Mr Arun Kumar, co-founder and head of Sales ISpark Innovations

iSpark Innovations held its first training program for its associate partners in North Karnataka at Hospet on Dec 3 2017. A brand new enthusiastic reseller community is emerging in North Karnataka region and has now representatives in several major taluks and districts. We are still looking to add people to fully cover these markets. The effort is headed by Anantha Narayana - Channel Manager, North Karnataka, who can be reached at 

+91 99869 25969.

  seen in the picture is Mr Arun Kumar, co-founder and head of Sales ISpark Innovations