Saturday, July 5, 2008

Education is our only salvation

For a change, instead of complaining about the Indian education system and the "irresponsible" corporate world, I have decided to write about a few different things I have heard over the last week or so that show that there is hope for us yet and Corporate Social Responsibility is alive and kicking in India.

This morning, the full front page of Times of India was about their new initiative called "Teach India". It is a truly ambitious plan to get together the educated teaching volunteers and poor students needing tutoring.

Yesterday, people from Ashok Leyland came to my son's school and talked to us about how they plan to create interesting assignments for children that will encourage free thinking as well as engender interest in different fields of engineering.

Earlier in the week, a long-lost friend of mine wrote in about, a site that has, he says,
"firm focus on the non-english speaking market in india. This new technology facilitates easy and accurate typing in Indian languages. I am sure you will agree that an easy local language data input method is necessary for spreading Internet amongst non English speaking masses of India. The web based service is called Lipik and available at It uses an AI module to predict what you want to write based on what has been written so far. This greatly enhances typing speed and accuracy even for users who don't know the language very well. It includes a virtual Indic language keyboard that eliminates the need to know English. It also allows search in the local language and publishing to blogger.

The service is currently available in Hindi, Tamil, Panjabi, Kannada and English and we are working on adding more languages.

My friends at TutorVista and Edurite tutorials need to be mentioned here. They have been around for a while now in the online tutoring world and have fantastic technology that allows teachers and students to work with each other at mutually convenient times no matter where they live in the world. All that is required is that the teacher and the student are connected by the universal umbilical cord - the internet.

Imagine if we could bring together the $100 notebook, TutorVista's technology and teaching staff, vernacular language support from, broad based and career focused study material from corporates and the educated volunteer teachers galvanized by Times of India working together to bring education to every corner of India!

Today India. Tomorrow THE WORLD!!!

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