National Child Awards
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Child Awards for Exceptional Achievement 2014 to give recognition to children with exceptional abilities and outstanding achievement in various fields, Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Awards 2014 to individuals for their outstanding contribution towards service for children and National Awards for Child Welfare 2013 to institutions and individuals for their outstanding performance in the field of child development and welfare at Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of Children’s Day today (November 14, 2014).
After the function, the President also met students from various schools/institutions. Addressing these children, the President said that they should seek inspiration from the ideals and sacrifices of Pandit Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister and the architect of modern India. He said that children are the future citizens of the country. He asked the children to put in their best efforts to ensure a ‘Clean India’. The President urged them to keep their schools, classrooms, houses and surroundings clean. The children who were awarded for exceptional achievement are: Master Aaryan Balaji (Andaman & Nicobar Island), Master Abhishek (Bihar), Master Gurnor Singh (Chandigarh), Kum.Aishwarya Ramachanderan (Gujarat), Kum.Palak (Haryana), Kum.Sharadhi Shety (Karnataka), Master Satvik Nayak C. (Karnataka), Master Anil Kumar V. (Karnataka), Kum. Syeda Sumaiya (Karnataka), Kum. Parvathy Krishna (Kerala), Master Aber Vaishnava (Madhya Pradesh), Kum. Masirabi Hanif Patel (Maharashtra), Kum. Saina Salonika (Odisha), Master Sanjay vermani (Punjab), Master S. Vinod Kannan (Tamil Nadu), Master S.Arjun (Tamil Nadu), Master Rashid Baig (Uttar Pradesh), Master Takshel Buddhadeo (Haryana), Kum. Nishtha jain (Delhi), Master L.Anjiniah (Karnataka)
“Know Your College” portal launched
The country celebrated the National Education Day on November, , which is also the birth anniversary of India’s great freedom movement leader Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and first education minister of independent India. President of India Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Human Resource Development, Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Minority Affairs, Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, MoS HRD Upendra Kushwaha and Prof (Dr.) Ram Shankar Katheria atteneded the main function in New Dellhi. The ministry announced two scholarships on the occasion. “Saksham”, a college level scholarship for differently-abled, needy and meritorious children and “Pragati” a scholarship for girl students who are pursuing technical education at college level. Skill Credit Framework document which provides a Skill Assessment Matrix for Vocational Advancement of Youth (SAMAVAY). SAMAVAY allows multiple pathways between Vocational education – skills, education and job markets was also launched. This will facilitate India to harness the potential of young India.
The other major announcements included “Know your College Portal” which is an application developed for helping a prospective student make a valued judgment of the college he / she wishes to join by providing him / her the necessary information about the college. “Unnat Bharat Abhiyan” to involve higher educational institutions to work with the people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions for accelerating sustainable growth.
Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, mentioned that Maulana Azad said that Schools are laboratory which produce future citizens of the country. Hence, adequate care should be taken to impart quality education. Emphasizing the importance of teacher in education, Smriti Irani said that they are fulcrum of entire education system. Teacher should not merely be concerned with ‘INCOME’ but also the ‘OUTCOME’ to help improve the quality of education. She said that the Mission of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is to enable higher educational institutions to work with the people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions for accelerating sustainable growth
Dr. Najma Heptullah, remembering Maulana Azad, said that there is clearly a need to adopt a pragmatic view that blends modernity into tradition and synthesizes our inherent traditional strengths with modern day needs without losing our values. It is indeed these very views that Maulanaji reflected which were much ahead of the times he lived in. Maulanaji had advised her not only to achieve higher education degree but also be adequately adept in the chosen field so that people recognize you by your competence not by your family, religion or area.
Science Gallery in Bengaluru
On November 13, an agreement was signed between Science Gallery International (SGI) and the Karnataka State Government to establish a Science Gallery in Bengaluru based on the model pioneered at Ireland’s leading research university, Trinity College Dublin. The
first space of its kind in Asia, Science Gallery Bengaluru will deliver an innovative, ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events to engage 15-25 year olds at the dynamic interface between art and science. The agreement was signed during the Education in Ireland mission to India, organised by Enterprise Ireland and led by Irish Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD. The signing of the agreement will propel the development of Science Gallery Bengaluru, which is now expected to open by 2018 and welcome 400,000 visitors every year. The gallery will be a major flagship project for public engagement with STEAM subjects (adding the Arts to STEM subjects to make ‘STEAM’), and is expected to be housed in a permanent facility located in downtown Bengaluru yet to be confirmed. S R Patil, Minister for IT, BT & S&T, addressing on the occasion said “The Science Gallery in Bangalore will be a fitting tribute to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, whose 125th birth anniversary is being celebrated . Srivatsa Krishna, IAS (Secretary to Govt., Dept ofIT, BT and S&T, Govt. of Karnataka) said . “By establishing Science Gallery we are adding another jewel to the city of Bengaluru, which is already dotted with premier science and technology organisations and R&D institutions, besides top notch corporate establishments.” At the signing, the Director of the Indian Institute of Science, Professor Anurag Kumar, commented “As India’s leading national scientific research institution, IISc is delighted to be the Lead Academic Partner for Science Gallery Bengaluru. This exciting initiative, the only one of its kind in India, will inspire young adults from Bengaluru to develop an interest in careers in science, technology and innovation by bridging science and the arts in dynamic exhibitions and events. The Indian Institute of Science is delighted to join prestigious international institutions such as Trinity College Dublin and King’s College London in the creation of the Global
Science Gallery Network to inspire future generations of innovators and to bring Indian research to a global stage”. Science Gallery Bengaluru will be the third member of the growing Global Science Gallery Network, a project launched by Science Gallery International in 2012 with a gift from Google.org of $1.3M.
Indian research among Green Talents 2014 awardees
Indian scientist Femeena Pandara Valappil is one of 25 ‘green’ visionaries selected for “Green Talents 2014”. He was awarded at a festive ceremony in Berlin recently by the German Federal Minister of Education and Research Prof Johanna Wanka. The young researcher was awarded for her resourcefulness in solving a complex agriculture problem through truly scientific and interdisciplinary means. In her speech of commendation, Prof Wanka stressed the importance of the Green Talents Programme for future international science cooperation: “I note with great pleasure that over the years there has not only been a steady increase in the number of prize-winners but also in the amount of attention received and the international renown of the Green Talents Programme. The global sustainability goals can only be achieved through scientific cooperation and the exchange of knowledge. This calls for personal meetings between young scientists across national borders. Therefore I warmly welcome this year’s Green Talents in Germany.”
The awardees were invited to participate in the two-week “Green Talents International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development”, during which they visited top locations for sustainability research in Germany. Here, they gained a deeper insight into the country’s innovation system, learned about state-of-the-art approaches and technologies, and exchanged ideas with the country’s leading experts in individual meetings.
A high-ranking jury of experts annually selects the winners, who in 2014 had to compete with a record number of over 800 applicants from more than 100 countries. This was sixth edition of this program that awards scientists in the field of sustainable development.
National Bal Swachhta Mission launched
The Union Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi launched the National Bal Swachhta Mission in New Delhi on Children Day. The Bal Swachhta Mission is a part of the nationwide sanitation initiative of ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ launched by the Prime Minister on 2nd October, 2014. The nationwide Bal Swachhta Mission will have the following six themes: 1. Clean Anganwadis, 2. Clean Surroundings e.g. Playgrounds, 3. Clean Self (Personal Hygiene/Child Health), 4. Clean Food, 5. Clean Drinking Water, 6. Clean Toilets. The Women and Child Development Departments of various states have been asked to implement the Bal Swachhta Mission with the help of Departments of School Education, Urban Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation, and Information and Publicity. The events will be organized at State, District, Block, and Gram Panchayat level.
Speaking at the launch of Bal Swachhta Mission, the minister said that children can play a very important role in achieving a Swachh Bharat. She said that they can become ambassadors of cleanliness and motivate others to keep their homes, schools, and surroundings clean. Cleanliness habits should be imbibed in the children in informal ways like small games, poems, storytelling, conversation with children among others, she added. The Minister praised the message of cleanliness given by the children on the occasion through their innocent performances. The Minister said that the cleanliness drive has to be a nationwide effort and should include sustained measures taken up on a continuous basis. The Minister also released a book on Bal Swachtta Mission prepared by NIPCCD.
125th-YEAR BIRTH Anniversary celebration of Jawaharlal Nehru
A sum of Rs. 20 crore has been released to the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) this year for launching a Nehru Portal on the lines of Gandhi Heritage Portal, publication of selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru, renovation and modernization of Nehru Museum and other activities of such nature. This was stated by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism, Dr Mahesh Sharma at the inaugural function of the year long commemoration of 125th Birth Anniversary of JawaharLal Nehru in New Delhi . Elaborating on the contributions of the first Prime Minister to independent India, the Minister said that Nehru’s thrust for science and technology provided India with a respectable identity all over the world. Nehru underlined the necessity to promote a scientific temperament among the people who only recently had the taste of independence, the Minister added. Nehru’s vision of a modern India has been a source of inspiration across the generations, the Minister further added. The Union Home Minister also launched the Nehru Portal carrying a rich collection of oral, audio, visual and archival material. The commemorative coins of denominations of Rs. 5.00 and Rs. 125 were also released to mark the occasion. An exhibition on ‘Nehru and First Union Cabinet’ was another highlight of the commemoration. The celebrations, including conferences, exhibitions, Bal Swachhta Missions and similar programme in 155 Bal Bhawans, will continue till 14th November next year. NMML has also been sanctioned a corpus grant of Rs 150 cr this year by the Ministry of Culture.
Microsoft CODESS for women coders comes to Hyderabad
CODESS, a global community for women coders, established by Skype in March 2013 to explore ways to promote gender diversity in the engineering field, was hosted by Microsoft, in Hyderabad on November 7. Microsoft India Development Center welcomed the women engineers from various companies. CODESS Hyderabad is one in a series of CODESS events worldwide and second in the series to be organized in India. CODESS entered India in May 2014 in Bangalore.
Themed “Coding an Innovative Enterprise”, CODESS Hyderabad provided the attendees an opportunity to interact with women achievers in the area of engineering.
This theme is relevant as India is seeing a steady rise in technology startups and is emerging as the third largest base for startups after the US and UK. Innovative thinking, enterprising approach and problem solving attitude are some of the key skills to build a startup. These skills are also important to be a great coder. The theme, therefore aimed at aligning thoughts, drawing parallels and providing a common platform for the participants to share experiences as entrepreneurs and coders. –
Around 84 women coders from Hyderabad with experience in development, testing and project management were invited to attend the event at the Microsoft India Development Center campus in Hyderabad.
A special session called Startup Express gave an opportunity for the attendees to team up and think of a business idea using just two words.. The ideas were presented to a panel and were judged on the basis of originality. Winners were given cool goodies and gift vouchers
Talking about Codess, Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India R&D Pvt Ltd said the program aims to bring together women in engineering to share personal and professional experiences, network and learn from each another. He further added that Microsoft is deeply committed to ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace as it enables to foster an environment where diverse perspectives and ideas can result in innovative solutions
Sangeeta Banerjee, CEO, 3five8 Technologies (Apartmentadda.com) said, “If an enterprise solves a problem that affects a sizeable population and is scalable, it becomes an innovative enterprise. She shared her experiences in starting apartmentadda.com and how it helped in better managing large societies. She advised the young engineers to be passionate about their idea and build on it to make it a scalable one.
During the panel discussion, Madhu Jalan, Co-Founder, SoclNow shared her insights on how they wanted to take the route of solving a challenging technology issue and make a business case for it.
Ravi Narayan, Director, Microsoft Ventures advised the engineers to have their basic business fundamentals strong. Sridevi Jasti, Founder, Vibrant Living, shared the importance of planning and customer delight in helping a business grow. She shared her journey of serving healthy food and how technology helped her to do the job she loves the most.
UK-India Generation Programme launched
25,000 young people from the UK to come to India over the next 5 years and initiatives supported by DFID
The Sixth India-UK Education Forum Meeting took place in New Delhi on November 15 in presence of union HRD minister Smriti Irani, and Greg Clark, the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities of the United Kingdom. Both sides also discussed the Chevening Scholarships for Indian students; two-way student mobility; Generation UK-India programme which will support up to 25,000 young people from the UK to come to India over the next 5 years and initiatives supported by DFID. The UK delegation confirmed that they will put in four times more resources for the Chevening scholarships for Indian students and make it the largest Chevening Programme in the World. The Indian delegation emphasized that, along with students from UK, they would also like to welcome teachers and faculty members under its new programme, Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN), the response to which was extremely positive from the Minister leading the UK delegation
. After taking over of the present Government, the issue of equivalence of India’s 10+2 qualifications with “A” level qualification of UK was taken up at very high levels. UK side has acted promptly on it and it was conveyed today in the Forum meeting that most of the UK Institutions recognize the 10+2 qualifications for admission of Indian students into the higher educational institutions in UK. The UK delegation also welcomed more Indian students in the British Universities and also assured of addressing the barriers in student mobility. The Indian delegation appreciated the initiative of UK Government to install the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Street, London and also offered to co-sponsor the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture.
It was also decided to constitute a Joint Working Group consisting of officers from both sides to deliberate and work on modalities of future collaborations in education. The JWG will meet frequently and the first meeting will be held by December 2014. A Joint Statement was also signed by both the Ministers highlighting the educational cooperation between India and the United Kingdom and the future areas of collaboration. The areas of leadership development; research, innovation, technology and knowledge transfer; Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; enhancing people to people links and two-way mobility; quality improvement in education; use of ICT in education; development of MOOCs and e-Library and launch of UKIERI-III in 2016 have been highlighted in the Joint Statement.