Corporate News: Feb 2008
Febuary 2008

Corporate News: Feb 2008

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Private sector has big role in education: Finance Minister

Calling upon the private sector to play a major role in providing higher education, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram is hopeful that as long as there were regulatory bodies that established and enforced standards, it did not matter whether institutions were run by government or private bodies.  Noting the UPA government was committed to carry out the decision to provide 54% reservation for Other Backward Classes in higher education, he said achieving this needed capacity expansion of the existing institutions. Another key area where private agencies could make significant contribution was skill training to help children who did not move beyond school education, to come up in life.

Tata Indicom spurs mobile education

Tata Indicom has joined hands with SNDT Women’s University, ATOM (Any Transaction on Mobile), and Indian PCO Tele-services (IPTL) for an initiative called Mobile Education  (m-Education).

The purpose of this programme is to aid distance learning, support learning for rural communities and for the physically challenged. Through M-Education, the coalition wants to make education available in the remotest corners of the country. For the purpose of imparting m-Education, SNDT University will develop and manage content, Tata Indicom will be the carrier, ATOM will provide the intermediary interfaces, while IPTL will look after service distribution and dissemination. In the beginning, the M-Education service will be available in Hindi and English languages. The alliance plans to later make the service available in other regional languages as well.

SNDT, HP Labs in education initiative

SNDT Women’s University, in collaboration with HP Labs India, announced the launch of HP Educenter Lab, an innovative engineering learning programme comprising a digital library solution, multimedia content, and computing infrastructure. A nodal association comprising all seven IITs and the IISc, NPTEL, has created multimedia content in engineering and science courses. HP Educenter Lab is designed to provide SNDT students the digital library and technology backbone for ‘on demand’ access to this high quality multimedia engineering  course content.

HP Educenter Lab is based on a software developed indigenously out of HP’s laboratories in Bangalore. It provides a solution for capturing, storing, editing, and using multimedia in the educational process, made available over LAN to students on an ‘on-demand’ basis.

Asure Software announces classroom scheduling solution for higher education

Asure Software, headquartered in Austin, Texas, a leading provider of workforce management software, announced the expansion of its flagship room scheduling product, NetSimplicity’s Meeting Room Manager (MRM), to include the ability to integrate with SunGard Higher Education Banner(R), the world’s  most widely used collegiate course scheduling solution.

This new import capability, available with Meeting Room Manager 7.6, provides customers the ability to import and view course scheduling information from Banner. Faculty and staff can then use MRM to see classroom availability and schedule the same rooms for other events, with assurance that those schedules do not conflict with courses scheduled in Banner.

HUL launches website for management graduates

Hindustan Unilever Ltd has launched Hul.CouldItBeU.in,  an interactive website designed to influence post-graduate students to join the company. Hul.coulditbeu.in has various contests, tips on making a resume, interview and placement tips and reading material on leadership, among other features.Currently, the website has been launched in 14 campuses including the six IIMs, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, and SP Jain Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. There is also plan to introduce the site at other B-schools and some graduate colleges.

Online test portal of success runway 

Premier training organisation BASE and ExcelSoft, an e-Learning solutions company, announced the launch of www.successrunway.com, a portal offering online test series for students aspiring to get into professional institutes like IITs, NITs and  engineering colleges. Students can take five tests on the pattern of the competitive examination so that they become familiar with a wide variety of questions. Feedback is available immediately on answering  the test.

UniGuru launched to guide Indian students looking for courses abroad

Hotcourses India has launched UniGuru.com that aims to guide Indian students looking for courses in higher education institutes abroad. UniGuru.com claims to offer peer-to-peer advice on over 100,000 courses at 808 institutes in UK, US, Singapore and Australia. According to the company, UniGuru.com will feature written posts, video diaries and photographs from existing students about aspects of their lives and studies.

StudyPlaces gets $3 million VC fund from KPCB, Sherpalo, Info Edge

Education portal StudyPlaces.com has received USD3 million from venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Ram Shriram’s Sherpalo Ventures and the Internet company Info Edge (Naukri.com).

The three investors have committed USD1 million each into the e-Learning company. Info Edge has already invested USD500,000 against the total proposed investment of USD1 million in StudyPlaces through its wholly-owned subsidiary Info Edge (India) Mauritius. Interestingly, Info Edge is also preparing to launch its own education portal Shiksha.com.

TutorVista plans to raise USD15 million to launch its services in India

Online tutoring firm TutorVista, which has made inroads in US and UK, is now rolling out a major India business plan for which it is planning to raise USD15 million. Earlier, TutorVista had received USD2.5 million funding from Manipal Education Group, USD7 million  from Lightspeed Ventures Partners  and USD2 million from Sequoia  Capital India.

The company also plans to set up around 300 offline learning centres in B and C class towns in the country, mostly on a franchisee basis, for such students who seek quality tutoring but do not have a PC and Internet connection at home. TutorVista, the company aims to triple the number of its students to 30,000  by the year-end from the existing  10,000 students.

Everonn Systems gets into e-learning

Everonn Systems India Limited, a leading satellite-based education service provider in education and training, announced that it has acquired the  e-Learning division of Aban Informatics (P) Ltd, a part of Aban, a transnational group based in Chennai.

The acquisition will enable Everonn to have access to world class content for K-12 segment and will enable Everonn also to reach out and become a complete e-learning solution provider within India and abroad.

Afilias and Cert-In sign mou to improve internet security in india

Afilias, a global provider of registry services, today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to share critical information and resources to enhance cyber-security in India and world-wide, increase awareness of important security issues and to cooperate in emergency response to critical threats. As part of the agreement between Cert-In and Afilias, the two organizations will form a joint committee and agree to share best practices related to security threats to improve security of the infrastructure of the Internet. In addition, both organizations have agreed to collaborate on emergency response initiatives to tackle emerging cyber-security problems, to take proactive measures that can help protect consumers, and to participate in joint education and outreach initiatives on key security issues.

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