Empowering the poorest through education
One needs a lot of conviction to bring the tribal children from the lap of poverty and give them all the necessities of life, money can buy. The story of his life is a journey from abject poverty to opulence and to sacrificing of opulence for the uplift of the people languishing in poverty with consequent attendance of ignorance and neglect
Leader – Dr Achyuta Samanta
Organisation – KISS and KIIT
Vision – To provide quality education and opportunity to the poorest-ofthe-poor indigenous tribal children for their all round development
Establishment Year – KISS (1993) and KIIT (2004)
Reach – KISS (20,000 tribal children) and KIIT (over 20,000 students)
His simple vegetarian food, inexpensive dressing and endearing smile speak a lot about him. Dr Achyuta Samanta drew positive inspirations and worldly wisdom from his childhood tribulations and grew up wholesomely to chase a vision of a world sans hunger and illiteracy and to bring smile on the faces of the socio-economically challenged indigenous tribal community of Odisha.
Having grown up in a dilapidated thatch-roofed house and nurtured them mostly with rice gruel and wild spinach because that was everyday hard menial work by his mother could fetch, Dr Samanta, followed the elderly boys to reach the school. Surprised by his keenness to study, the headmaster of the school took him in the school and from there started Dr Samanta’s academic journey- from primary school to high school, from high school to college, and from college to university finally endowing himself with a meritorious degree of the Masters in Chemistry that landed him in a lecturer’s job in a college in Bhubaneswar.
His childhood struggle for survival and education stirred him endlessly and a strange spirit began to possess him. While he was pursuing his college education in Puri and later postgraduate education in Utkal University in Bhubaneswar, the young Samanta used to augment his paltry scholarship money to meet his expenses by rendering tutoring service to school students and this led him to discover an entrepreneur in him.
He became occupied with his entrepreneurial abilities and he looked forward to empowering the hapless unemployable young children who failed to make it big in the academic field. With Rs 5000, all that he had saved from his not very big income from the teaching job, Dr Samanta started an Industrial Training Institute in 1993 in a two-roomed rented building in Bhubaneswar.
Dr Samanta’s visionary mind and adept cincts of KIIT for providing free education to the tribal children with free lodging and boarding facilities. This fledgling school has now grown into a mammoth tribal residential school providing free education from Kindergarten to Postgraduation, free lodging and boarding with all modern amenities and state-ofthe- art-technology-empowered independent campus to over 20, 000 children and youth belonging to the poorest-ofthe- poor indigenous tribal communities; a feat hailed as only one of its kind in whole of the world. Establishment of KIIT and KISS shows just a small facet of Dr Samanta’s multifaceted personality. His respect for mothers wish and his commitment to the routes transformed his remote village Kalarabanka to a model one by providing all facilities and amenities of city life. With his faith and beliefs strongly founded on right effort and perfect maneuvering, he works for a genuine social cause and the success inevitably follows like providence and this has remained the mantra for his stupendous success. It is the love for humanity that inspires him to stand as apart as a class of his own in the midst of the crowd of philanthropists. hands weaved an educational institution that has become a model for emulation.
KIIT Group of Institutions, which had started a decade and a half ago with an Industrial Training Institute, has become the largest educational conglomerate in Bhubaneswar. Encompassing over 500 acres of prime land, KIIT today stands with 7.5 million square feet of built-up area in immaculately architected buildings cut into 20 contiguous independent sprawling campuses with state-of-theart facilities. Starting from Engineering, MCA and MBA, KIIT has added programmes like Rural Management, Law, Bio-technology, Medical Sciences, Nursing, Dental sciences, Fashion Technology, Cinema and Media Studies, Sculpture Studies, Humanities, Languages, Yoga and Spiritual studies to its fold over a short span of 16 years.
By about the same time when KIIT was beginning to shape up, Dr Samanta had already weaved a plan to empower the marginalised poorest-of-the-poor indigenous tribal children of the state by providing a level playing field. With the conviction that ‘illiteracy breeds poverty and literacy eradicates it’, he established in 1993 a small school, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), within the precincts of KIIT for providing free education to the tribal children with free lodging and boarding facilities. This fledgling school has now grown into a mammoth tribal residential school providing free education from Kindergarten to Postgraduation, free lodging and boarding with all modern amenities and state-ofthe- art-technology-empowered independent campus to over 20, 000 children and youth belonging to the poorest-ofthe- poor indigenous tribal communities; a feat hailed as only one of its kind in whole of the world.
Establishment of KIIT and KISS shows just a small facet of Dr Samanta’s multifaceted personality. His respect for mothers wish and his commitment to the routes transformed his remote village Kalarabanka to a model one by providing all facilities and amenities of city life.
With his faith and beliefs strongly founded on right effort and perfect maneuvering, he works for a genuine social cause and the success inevitably follows like providence and this has remained the mantra for his stupendous success. It is the love for humanity that inspires him to stand as apart as a class of his own in the midst of the crowd of philanthropists.
Creating future professionals
A successful businessman, Ashok Mittal’s urge to do something for the society brought him to the work in the education sector. His passion to create professionals and not just academics drove him to establish Lovely Professional University. A journey that started as a corporate social responsibility initiative became a social responsibility with time. Rozelle Laha of Elets News Network (ENN) finds out how
Leader – Ashok Mittal
Organisation – Lovely Professional University
Vision – To transform the way education is delivered in India
Establishment Year – 2005
Reach – 28, 000 Indian students and 2, 000 foreign students from 32 different countries
Known for being a strong proponent of youth leadership education, Ashok Mittal started his career as a confectioner 52 years back. During 1999, ‘Lovely’ as a group was doing well. It was operational in the automobile and telecom sectors simultaneously. But, Mittal wanted to do something for the society. He was filled with ideas. He had plans to open up either a hospital, dharamshala or an orphanage house, just when he realised the need of bringing in global education facilities in the home country. With the faith that “Education is perhaps the best way to train students who can serve the nation in future,” Mittal established Lovely Professional University.
So, what makes Lovely different from the rest? As Aman, LPU Chairman Romesh Mittal’s son says, “Our aspirations to become the best and expand and not only in the country but across the world makes us different from the rest.”
In 2005, with the aim of bringing US education system to our country, Mittal applied for a university status with the Punjab Government to be able to introduce innovative curriculum pattern. On being granted the same, Mittal played an influential role in shaping the curriculum and introducing innovative teaching methods.
With time, the university got good response from the parents of the students who were well placed after graduating from Lovely Professional University and as Ashok Mittal says, “The fact that we have been able to create a difference in their kids was the propelling force that made to us to go ahead and do something big.”
As Aman communicated the vision of the Mittals, “We wanted to create an university very close to the US education system university as a lot students were going abroad for a their education , so we thought of creating something similar or better in India.” Though India has given the education system to the world, over the years we did not follow the legacy of Takshila and Nalanda and universities in some of the foreign countries emerged as a role model. “To bring back the status of hosting some of the best universities in the country, we have to emulate some of the models in the US pattern in addition to the much praised Takshila and Nalanda style,” Aman says.
LPU not only ensures a good learning environment, but also ensures diversity. The campus hosts 2, 000 international students in the university coming from 32 different countries of the world like Indonesia, Tanzania, Lativia, Germany and so on. Cross cultural interactions help build a strong network and learning environment.
” Education is perhaps the best way to train students who can serve the nation in future – Ashok Mittal “
A foresighted entrepreneur at heart, the Mittals wanted to change India through education.
Under the leadership of Ashok Mittal, the University has tied up with various foreign universities and is expected to be established as an international university by 2015.
A true visionary, Mittal says, “Experimentation is what we are committed to. Excellence is what we strive for, and service of mankind through education is what we stand for. The saga has just begun and many milestones have to be achieved as we move ahead on our journey.”
Upskilling Indian youth for a better future
Dilip Chenoy has been a guiding factor for NSDC in achieving its goal to foster private sector and industry participation in skill training and development. He has been successfully doing the crucial balancing act between the private and public interests in an initiative that helps millions of people in gaining the required skills.
Leader – Dilip Chenoy
Organisation – National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC)
Vision – To contribute significantly (about 30 per cent) to the overall target of skilling / upskilling 500 million people in India by 2022
Establishment Year – 2009
Reach – 300 districts covered by 2012, trained 9.5 lakh people
After serving as Director General of the advocacy group for the automobile industry in India, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), where Chenoy was responsible for setting the technical, economic and social responsibility agenda for the automobile industry, shifting the track to National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) was a role that couldn’t have suited him better. As MD & CEO of NSDC, Chenoy travelled to remote places in India and work on grassroots level, something he always wanted to do.
Skills shortage and the gap between demand and supply of skills led to the establishment of NSDC in 2009. A brainchild of Ministry of Finance, NSDC is a public-private partnership with the objective ‘to skill 150 million people in India by 2022 by fostering private sector investment and initiatives in training and skill development in 21 high growth sectors and the unorganized segment.
Chenoy also worked on the competitiveness of Indian industry with Professor Michael Porter, Harvard Business School, as a part of an Indian team. He has played a seminal role in the accomplishment of the vision of the ministry in the skills sector.
NSDC has an equity base of Rs 10 crore, of which 49 percent is in government’s share and private sector accounts for 51 percent.
How does NSDC work?
NSDC primarily has three functions- to create large-scale sustainable training organizations, to fund organizations to set up or expand training initiatives either in a sector or across sectors and to set up an eco-system that leads to skills development becoming a sustainable venture as well as a program that meets industry needs. NSDC supports skill development efforts, especially in the unorganised sector in India by funding skill training and development programmes. It also engages advocacy and training programmes, in-depth research to discover skill gaps in the Indian workforce, and developing accreditation norms.
NSDC provides services in 21 sectors like Automobile, electronics hardware, textiles and garments, gems and jewellery, building and construction, handlooms and handicrafts, IT or software, ITES-BPO, real estate, media, entertainment, broadcasting, healthcare, banking, education or skill development and unorganized sector among others.
To scale up efforts necessary to achieve the objective of skilling or upskilling 150 million people, NSDC strives to develop ultra low cost, high-quality, innovative business models, attract significant private investment, ensure that its funds are largely re-circulating i.e. loan or equity rather than grant, create leverage for itself and build a strong corpus.
The NSDC aims to catalyse initiatives that can potentially have a multiplier effect in this space. It strives to involve the industry in all aspects of skill development. The approach adopted by NSDC is to develop partnerships with multiple stakeholders and build on current efforts, rather than undertaking too many initiatives directly or duplicating efforts currently underway.
National Skill Development Corporation is an apt example for the optimum use of public private partnership model for social development. Dilip Chenoy spends most of his time in providing a strategic vision to NSDC in ensuring that the team moves in one direction in achieving the mission of the organisation.
Each child will attain education one day
Shaheen’s desire to impact the lives of less privileged children is something one would barely fail to notice. With a purpose of changing lives in heart and a mission to build a movement of leaders who will eliminate inequity in education, Shaheen started working on the idea of Teach For India (TFI) since 2007. Rozelle Laha of Elets News Network (ENN) interacts with the creative thinker to find out her inspiration behind TFI and her vision forward.
Leader – Shaheen Mistri
Organisation – Teach For India
Vision – To build a movement of leaders who will eliminate inequity in education
Establishment Year – 2008
Reach – 1000 classrooms across the country impacting over 23,000 children
In 1989, Shaheen was enrolled in an undergraduate programme in Tufts University. During her holidays, she happened to walk into one of the infamous slums in Mumbai. Moved by the neglected plight of children, she started the Akanksha foundation in 1991 to work with children. Shaheen had started Akanksha at the age of 18 with the same aim. From 15 children in one centre in 1989, the foundation is now spread over 3, 500 children across Mumbai and Pune, and has 58 centers and 6 schools in Mumbai and Pune.
Shaheen did not stop there. By mid 2000s, she began researching ways and means to replicate child-by-child victories on a national scale. Teach for America (TFA), a US non-profit or ganisation founded in 1989 by Wendy Kopp, alumni of Princeton University inspired her. In her final year thesis at Princeton, Kopp developed the Teach for America model, that is, to recruit high-achieving university graduates to teach for at least two years in lowincome schools, and subsequently become champions of school education throughout their professional lives.
“I saw promise in adapting the TFA model to India and in 2006 I reached out to Kopp for support and guidance, prompting her to take a week-long reconnaissance trip to Mumbai,” Shaheen recollects.
The timing was perfect because the 15-year-old TFA was ready to take its tried and tested model worldwide through the Teach For All initiative, an affiliation of NGOs in various countries committed to using the Teach For America model.
TFI encourages exceptional college graduates and young professionals from across the country to teach for two complete years in under-resourced schools. The first batch of 87 young Teach For India Fellows started teaching in June 2009.
So, who is a TFI Fellow? As Shaheen informed, “With a very detailed screening process and selectivity of less than 10 percent of total applicants, we recruit Fellows who have demonstrated excellence and leadership skills in different sectors and academic and professional backgrounds.”
Looking back I feel it is has been a long journey- from my kids not knowing ABC and numbers to now writing beautiful stories and reading books like Roald Dahl, gives me immense happiness. The journey has not been easy. Today, as I step into class every day, I know I made the right choice. Mansi Bhatia 2011 Delhi Fellow Teach for India
TFI Fellows work diligently as dedicated teachers to expand, in a measurable way, the educational opportunities available to thousands of India’s most underprivileged children. In the long run, regardless of the career path they choose after their Teach For India Fellowship, the Fellows will work towards fighting educational inequity in India, with their willingness and capacity to create change. Shaheen believes, “They (TFI Fellows) may work as CEOs making the corporate sector more responsible, or as journalists highlighting key legislation in the media, or as entrepreneurs developing low-cost technologies for under-resourced schools.”
Like all other ventures, TFI too faces challenges. As Shaheen mentioned, “One of the biggest challenges that TFI faces is to maintain a balance between scaling the movement quickly and continuing to maintain the highest levels of quality and impact.”
By 2016, TFI aims to place 2, 000 Fellows in eight cities impacting 60, 000 students, other teachers in their school and the community at large.
Every child in school and learning well
A PhD graduate from Ohio University, Dr Madhav Chavan came back to India with a dream of making a difference in the education sector of the country. His belief that education is the fundamental right of every child and perseverance to provide low-cost solution for mass literacy has made Pratham a well known name in the field of education in the developing world
Leader – Dr Madhav Chavan
Organisation – Pratham
Vision – To ensure quantum and visible improvement in the enrolment and learning levels of the underprivileged children
Establishment Year – 1994
Reach – Pratham benefits around 34 million children across 20 states in India
With the focus to work at the grassroots level and solving the problem of access to educational opportunities, Dr Madhav Chavan, started the initiative Pratham in 1994. Hailing from a humble background in Maharashtra, Dr Chavan served as a professor at University of Houston and Institute of Chemical Technology before working with National Literacy Mission in the slums of Mumbai in 1989. After producing a couple of literacy programmes for Doordarshan, he was invited to work with a UNICEF project to teach in Mumbai slums. UNICEF had originally set up the Bombay Education Initiative in Mumbai to establish a three way partnership between the government, corporate and civil society to improve India’s primary education. This eventually led to the formation of Pratham as an independent charity in 1994.
Pratham, an organization dedicated to providing quality education to underprivileged children in India, has been providing school education to children in slums in 17 states of India. It also has its chapters in United States, UK, Germany and UAE. Pratham has become a powerful voice in the area of educational reform. Starting by setting up pre-schools in community spaces or people’s homes in slums, Pratham introduced remedial literacy learning in Indian schools and focused on measuring outcomes. It endorsed that classrooms could be anywhere, under shady trees, amid rubble heaps of pavement, homes of migrant workers in cities or just in front of a blackboard propped in the narrow alleys of Mumbai’s slums.
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) facilitated by Pratham is referred to by the Central and State Governments for formulating various plans and policies. Read India, the flagship programme of Pratham, was launched in 2007 to improve reading, writing and basic arithmetic skills of 6-14 year old children and is carried out by school teachers, anganwadi workers and volunteers, whom Pratham trains. Read India has reached approximately 34 million children. Since 2004, the organisation also publishes quality books at affordable prices for children to complement Read India. Pratham has also set up other programmes for disadvantaged Indian children and youth, including Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children (PCVC), Early Childhood Care and Education Centre (ECCE), Vocational Skills Programme, and Computer-aided Literacy.
One of the major challenges faced by Chavan at the inception of the organisation was shortage of resources, both human and financial. Pratham was a novel concept and it was hard to convince people of its success or acceptability in the society. The organization faced the initial hiccup of not finding the requisite financial banking but once the start-up took off, it has only grown from strength to strength. Pratham’s strongest point has been its ability to mobilize people. In future it aims to be recognized for its ability to build capacities to deliver a high-quality, education-related services as well.
Dr Madhav Chavan, a beacon for education at grassroots level, has been a member of National Advisory Council from 2004 to 2008. He is also a member of the Governing Council of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Mission (SSA) of the Government of India and has been a member of four half-yearly Joint Review Missions of SSA.
Bringing a smile to every child
With the aim of creating a schooling experience that promotes diversity and access to education for all, Dr Pascal Chazot established Mahatma Gandhi International school in 1998. It is his fervor for providing an alternative education that is at par with the international counterparts that has made the school one of its kind in India.
Leader – Dr Pascal Chazot
Organisation – Mahatma Gandhi International School
Vision – Creating an educational project that emphasises on holistic learning rather than teaching; focuses on equipping the students with skills; provide them with tools to face the future, to shape it and to change it.
Establishment Year – 1998
Reach – 310 students, from 12 different countries, with equal male and female ratio
Dr Pascal Chazot has a long, illustrious career in education and international cooperation spanning over three decades. An elected Member of Parliament for the French overseas and a French Civil Servant, Dr Chazot came to India as the Director of Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad.
In 1998, after completing his term, he founded Mahatma Gandhi International School (MGIS) with his wife, Anju Musafir. The school was created as a public-private partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad and went on to become the first International Baccalaureate school of Gujarat. As the head of school and director of research and training at MGIS, Dr Chazot has done pioneering work in pedagogy that impacted both policy and practice at the state and national level.
MGIS is a democratic school based on the tenets of equality and freedom, where students make their own rules and construct their own learning in participatory processes. Learning is interdisciplinary and students undertake projects such as running their own cafeteria, making short films on social issues for the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, voter awareness films for Election Commission and so on.
The school organizational structure did away with hierarchical power and instead introduced participatory management. The school provides quality education that is accessible to all sections of society irrespective of caste, socioeconomic status, religion and nationality while being free for the under-privileged.
There were not many international schools in the country when MGIS was founded in 1998. It was an effort ahead of its time. Dr Chazot, in another pioneering effort, has launched the first of its kind vocational center to develop skill based technical education center at school level in India. He championed the cause of creating a schooling experience that promotes inter-cultural understanding and mutual respect by encouraging all forms of diversity within and without the classroom in order to engender diverse learner interactions, which are a fundamental resource to its innovative pedagogy.
Dr Chazot has been invited to chair several committees in India and in France.
He completed a term as Member of the Education Committee of Board of Governors of the International Baccalaureate Organisation in 2011. He is a member of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society with the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University. Dr Chazot is also a published author, columnist and teacher trainer. His doctoral thesis on education was rewarded with a gold medal for best research by the University of Paris, he was also conferred a Doctorate of Honour in Education in addition to his PhD. Dr Chazot is an erudite man with Masters in Sanskrit, Indian Medicine and psycho-linguistics. He has a background in applied mathematics too. Apart from his native French, he is fluent in English, Hindi, Nepali and Newari.
He has been delivering engaging teacher trainings in India and across the world and more importantly for creating the space for alternative education to coexist with the existing education system. Speaking of his vision of action-research in schools and an education for citizenship, Dr Chazot says, ‘I simply want to put a smile on every child’s face’.
Social change through public policy
Parth J Shah’s dream to bring about a change in the system through constant dialogue, publications, seminars and research about policy led to the foundation of centre for civil society in 1997. Shah’s unstinted determination to improve the quality of life of the citizens by reviving and reinvigorating the institutions of civil society has made the centre one of its kind in the country.
Leader – Parth J Shah
Organisation – Center for Civil Society (CCS)
Vision – To create a system of education where all children get access to quality education of their choice
Establishment Year – 1997
Reach – CCS supports National Independent Schools Alliance, an alliance of state school associations with 8000 member schools servicing 16,00,000 students across 19 states
Parth Shah was a revered professor of Economics at university of Michigan before starting the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) in India in 1997. Shah realized the power of economics in his college days and that it is the economic systems that would determine the kind of quality of life people would have. That is where the idea of starting a think tank germinated. Centre for Civil Society is a public policy think tank advancing personal, social, economic and political freedoms.
CCS offers public policy solutions within the framework of the rule of law, community engagement and competitive markets. It has adopted five streams of work: research, advocacy, campaigns, pilots, and policymaking. It has worked in six sectors in the past, i.e. education, economic freedom, governance, institution of community property rights for environment conservation, and promotion of globalisation and trade. Presently, the Centre is involved with two main campaigns, the School Choice Campaign and Jeevika Livelihoods Campaign.
The major hurdle before Shah after returning from US was to find the likeminded people in India to start with an initiative like CCS. Parth Shah was surprised not able to find even a handful of people who would see a different way of solving the country’s problem and would come together for a novel idea.
Parth Shah has also published academic articles in the areas of development economics, welfare economics, business-cycle theory, free or laissez-faire banking, and currency-board systems. He has edited books like Morality of Markets, Friedman on India, Profiles in Courage: Dissent on Indian Socialism, Do Corporations have Social Responsibility?, and co-edited Law, Liberty, and Livelihood, The Terracotta Reader, and Agenda for Change.
Affordable education for all
Making education accessible to all at affordable price has been the goal and driving force for Dr Sitansu S Jena for more than two decades now. Dr Jena has been doing path-breaking work in making Open and Distance Learning system a success in the country. His zeal to reach to the remotest areas of the country and educate every child has made National Institute of Open Schooling, the largest open schooling system in the world
Leader – Dr Sitansu S Jena
Organisation – National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)
Vision – Sustainable inclusive learning with universal and flexible access to quality school education and skill development
Establishment Year – 1989
Reach – Cumulative enrollment of 2.59 million across 19 regional centres and 2 sub-centres in India. It also has centres in UAE, Nepal,
Kuwait and Muscat. Overall it has 3827 academic centres, 1830 vocational centres and 690 open basic education centre
Dr Sitansu Jena has been working over the years to make education available to children in the remotest areas of the country. His unstinted dedication to accomplish this humungous task for providing access to education for all has led to the success of an institute like National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
How does NIOS work?
The objective of NIOS is to reach every child in the country, make education accessible to all and develop skills. NIOS wants to make its share of contribution in the universalisation of education, for greater equity and justice in society and to the evolution of a learning society.
NIOS, formerly known as National Open School was established in 1989 as an autonomous organisation in pursuance of National Policy on Education 1986, to cater to the needs of a heterogeneous group of learners up to predegree level. NIOS provides a number of vocational, life enrichment and community oriented courses besides general and academic courses at secondary and senior secondary level.
NIOS aims at providing relevant, continuing and holistic education up to predegree level through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system, contributing to the universalisation of school education and catering to the educational needs of the prioritized target groups for equity and social justice. The institutions also provides professional advice to the Government of India, and to the States, regarding proper development of ODL system at school level in response to requests from the concerned Government/s or suo moto. It accredit institutions for developing effective learner support system to facilitate learning up to pre-degree level and also provide professional/technical consultation in field of ODL to institutions/ organizations/agencies in India and abroad.
NIOS has provided a ray of hope to the students who cannot access education due to geographical barriers and financial obligationss. NIOS is an attempt to provide solution to the biggest problem plaguing the Indian education system, the problem of access to education. NIOS has done a pioneering job in enrolling students from the remotest of the areas in the country and providing quality education.
Dr Jena has been tirelessly working in the field of Open and Distance Learning education for more than two and half decade. Prior to working as Chairman of NIOS, he worked as the Director, Distance Education Programme (DEP) of IGNOU for training of teachers at elementary level under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) through Open and Distance learning mode to achieve the goals of education for all. He is also the Chairperson of the National Consortium for Open Schooling, India. He also had the distinction as the founding Chairperson of Commonwealth Open Schooling Association (COMOSA). He has previously also worked as Dean, School of Distance Learning, Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.
NIOS has provided a ray of hope to the students who cannot access education due to geographical barriers and financial obligations.
Dr Jena’s fervor to enroll every kid of the country in school has resulted in enrollment of 2.59 million students in NIOS. Its huge bouquet of courses and subjects available through Open and Distance Learning, its vast geographical spread and substantial number of students enrolled with Open and Distance Learning system has made NIOS the largest open schooling system in the world.
Imparting value-based education
Jagdish Gandhi has a very different leadership style that has made ordinary people work extraordinarily. He put enormous trust in those who work around him. People around him take ownership and feel very much a part of the mission that he stands for
Leader – Dr Jagdish Gandhi
Organisation – City Montessori School (CMS), Lucknow
Vision – To make every child both good and smart and a gift of God to mankind and a pride of the human race
Establishment Year – July 1959
Reach – 47,683 students
To many who meet Dr Jagdish Gandhi for the first time, they often expect to meet a corporate person with a lot of airs about him. Instead they find a slight, unassuming person of great humility. He comes from a small village in the heartand of UP, who was inspired in his early childhood by Mahatma Gandhi and Sant Vinoba Bhave. To date, he lives simply, has no personal wealth to speak of, and works on average of 18 hours a day with no breaks or holidays. His office works 24 hours a day and he often refers to himself as “a man in a hurry”. He seems to have endless energy and plenty to do that keeps him busy.
CMS is a vision-lead organisation that provides lot autonomy to its staff who then works fearlessly towards its goals. CMS has 20 branches in the city of Lucknow with 20 principals spear heading. Despite its large population of over 47,000 Pre K-12 students, every child remains a focus.
” One major thing to happen in the education sector in the last 10 years is the realization that peace and unity education are absolutely necessary to develop a child into a responsible citizen of the society. “
CMS has a strong program for not only involving the parents but also of educating them to provide a consistent set of values at home as at school. CMS has created a range of literature and programmes for parents’ effective involvement. In addition, CMS has a strong programme of outreach to society with a range of initiatives at the local, national and internaeducattional levels. CMS works proactively on its social agenda such as through an Indo- Pak friendship initiative with exchanges and programmes between children of the two countries. At the international Level, CMS organises 32 International Events annually of which 25 events bring children together at different ages to participate in inter-cultural exchanges, competitions and olympiads that encompass the whole world. A unique conference of chief justices of the world has brought together chief justices and Judges from 112 nations of the world to CMS. Its mission is to protect the future and safeguard the interest of over 2 billion children of the world and generations yet to be born.
Guinness World Record since 1999, for being the World’s Largest School. UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, 2002, Derozio Award by Council of Indian Schools Certificate Examinations, 2000, Key to the City of Georgetown, USA, 2000, and several other awards as listed in the enclosed materials. CMS has been cited in International Literature across the globe.
Even at the age of 80, Dr Gandhi works harder than most people younger than him. Personally for himself he maintains a regimen of daily yoga and simple food. Providing an excellent education to students and ensuring that children coming out of its portals are not only academically strong but also a good human being is the keyword of CMS.
Quality education for nation building
Sushma Berlia is one of those few people who believe in giving back to the society. Seeking inspiration from her freedom fighter father, her contribution is not restricted to setting up many schools and higher Institutions, but she has also been immensely involved in moulding the educational system in the country by becoming a catalyst in the policy reform in education and skill development programmes in the country.
Leader – Sushma Berlia
Organisation – Apeejay Education Society
Vision – To promote a system of integral education that emphasises the unity of all knowledge, synthesises humanity and sciences and recognises that each child is unique
Establishment Year – 1967
Reach – Apeejay Education Society runs 13 Schools and 16 institutions of higher learning in India with more than 32,000 students on its rolls
Sushma Berlia, an eminent entrepreneur and industrialist has touched the lives of many with her outstanding contribution in the field of education in the country. An Economic Honours from Lady Shri Ram College and Master’s in Business Economics from the University of Delhi, Sushma Berlia was well equipped to take her father’s, Dr Stya Paul who established Appejay Education Society (AES) in 1967, legacy forward. She took to business and industry in 1989 and is today a leading entrepreneur and a force to be reckoned with. She is presently the vice-president of AES and president of the Apeejay Stya Group & Svrán Group, an international conglomerate of businesses. Berlia has earned accolades for her professional and family approach to business, and for successes in building a diverse range of companies.
Having tremendous passion for education, Sushma Berlia has been the primary force behind the AES and the Apeejay Stya University, India’s first Liberal Arts University focused on research and technology. AES provides quality education from pre-nursery to Doctoral level with more than 85 courses to choose from. Social work and community service are the core part of the curriculum and culture at these institutes making them win a number of awards for their contribution to the nation’s skill building effort.
Over the years, Berlia has been helping students by providing scholarships to them to study in the premier institutes across the world and providing funds to build schools in rural India. She has also contributed extensively to a large number of public and private bodies to aid them in policy interventions and other initiatives.
For life that I have to compromise at every step, I wish to live that is true but not this much and not at any cost’. I say this to illustrate the kind of regime, as far as Education is concerned that we were living in – Sushma Berlia
Berlia has been tirelessly working for the empowerment of women. Under her leadership the Apeejay institutions have setup a large number of programs and schemes to help women from every walk of life ranging from rural development programs, to upgrading of traditional skills in villages, from free health camps, to family education, scholarships and projects on low-cost health and hygiene products for rural women.
Berlia has always favoured direct interventions and setting up charities. She has also worked with and provided support to a range of non-profit programs like Tribal Welfare Fund, UNICEF, UNESCO, PM relief fund among many others. She is also deeply committed to preserving the culture and traditions while also promoting new cultural ideas, concepts and upcoming artistes.