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Connecting Indian Diaspora to Motherland: AP Janmabhoomi Project Works Towards Making Digitization of Education a Reality

The initiative is aimed at connecting the students from Government schools in Andhra Pradesh to Indian Diaspora to diversify knowledge of student base and gain knowledge from their experience

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Digitization in education
Smart boards projectors used in government schools enhancing the quality of education. AP Janmabhoomi

By Etee Dubey

July 08, 2017: It is quite evident that in this day and age, technology has become synonymous with development. Information Technology has transformed every sector and is currently in the promising phases of altering academia. In the coming decades, if information technology has this approach, education will be far changed, more immersive and hopefully more constructive to the people than it is today. Digitization in education industry has totally changed the learning and also the teaching process to a very great extent. The AP Janmabhoomi project undertaken by the Andhra Pradesh Government, along with the Special Representative of North America, Mr Jayaram Komati, has taken steps to undergo digitization of the Government education sector.

The AP Janmabhoomi project is a social initiative by the Government of Andhra Pradesh along with The Special Representative for North America, which true to its name, aims to give back to its native land. The initiative mainly comprises of 3 main scheme- Digital Classroom, Anganwadi Centers and Crematoriums.

Digitization in education
A young hopeful benefited from the use of auditory and visual aid for explaining concepts. AP Janmabhoomi

The A.P Special Representative for North America, Shri Jayaram Komati, is taking the initiative of A.P Janmabhoomi forward with the launch of the second phase of the Digital Classroom project which targeted 630 government schools across 13 districts across the state. The creation, usage, and management of state-of-the-art facilities have taken the project to the next level. In the first phase of the Digital classrooms, around 1000 schools were well-equipped with appropriate technological processes which resulted in competent and proficient pedagogy. Around 1.5 lakhs rupee is spent as the cost of a single digital classroom. Functioning on a mutual basis, this amount is divided in the 70:30 ratios, where 70% of the funds are allocated from the Government while the rest 30% is donated by our NRIs. The financial contribution per NRI amounts to $750 or Rs. 45,000. More than donating funds, it is a way for more NRI’s to get connected to schools and create strong, impactful and everlasting bonds with the children by mentoring and guiding them. The donors are recognized by a donor plank present in the classroom. The donors can also donate in the memory for their beloved ones.

The digitization of classrooms primarily aims to propel the quality of education in the state, through technologically advanced endeavours like smart class, visual and auditory explanation of concepts. Concepts are best understood if they are aided with illustrations and sounds, hence, raising the quality of education provided. The digitization will help in creating a more interactive and intellectually stimulating environment for the students and also help in quicker grasping and a better understanding of concepts. Not to mention, availability of internet can work wonders and increase the accessibility to studying material by manifold. Most importantly, this scheme will lead to technology-integrated learning which is more authentic and breaks away from a passive non-interactive learning environment. The digitization of education will also be an enormous aid to students who are physically handicapped as an audio and visual explanation of concepts will enable them to gain the knowledge they previously could not.

Digitization in education
Smart board projectors used in government schools enhancing the quality of education. AP Janmabhoomi

Digitization of education will not only help the students, but also teachers that will disseminate the information. A. P. Janmabhoomi has taken steps towards computer literacy between the teaching staff of Government schools that would enable them to gather more reading material on the concepts as well as allow them to go through the research papers on the same. An Internship Program was organized by AP Janmabhoomi where youth from several colleges interned at AP Janmabhoomi, volunteering to instruct the teachers at Government schools of the state about the basics of computers and internet usage. The teachers were given lessons on MS Office, Email and Google drive. They were made aware of all the open resources tools available. They were given lessons on how to access the teaching aid videos available and how to use and download YouTube videos.

Digitization in education
Teachers elucidating concepts through smart board in government schools. AP Janmabhoomi

The Janmabhoomi team is not only focused on digitization of school education but is also working towards digital literacy among the youth to enhance chances of employability. They have organized campaign and workshop for the same. For instance, Youth Empowerment Program is an initiative taken to develop and enhance the computer knowledge as well as digital literacy among the youth. It was a three-week government-run pilot project on digital literacy in Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam district. About 50 candidates from 7 Gram Panchayat were offered free training by interns for three weeks. These interns were trained to teach computer applications to the candidates. They mentored the youth in basic computer skills, ranging from using the computer to working on the MS Office suite of programs, through session-based learning in a simple yet comprehensive presentation format. Besides, the program also offered training in communication and résumé writing skills.

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Through the digitization of education, it has become possible for the Janmabhoomi team to further enhance the exposure and quality of education available to students at the Government schools.  The Youth Connect Program by Janmabhoomi is a testimony to the same. The NRI School Connect Program was launched on 3rd April 2017 by Mr Jayaram Komati in California, USA. The initiative is aimed at connecting the students from Government schools in Andhra Pradesh to Indian Diaspora to diversify knowledge of student base and gain knowledge from their experience. The Global School Connect Program was one such connecting experience between GVMC School, Vizag and Holy Angels School in Toronto, Canada on 20 April 2017.

The Janmabhoomi team is putting consistent efforts towards connecting the Indian Diaspora to their homeland by including them in their efforts to uplift the people belonging to underdeveloped and remote areas. The NRI Internship Program is one such initiative where the interns will not only focus on existing donor engagement but also be employing state of the art enterprises/activities as a part of our fundraising activity.They will get the opportunity to interact with various government officials and work with Teacher support. The interns will be expected to work from July to August, operating virtually 8-10 hours per week on an average in the summer.

Digitization in education
Equipment for second phase of digitization arrive at schools. AP Janmabhoomi

The Janmabhoomi team is working tirelessly to bring a real change through their consistent efforts and goal oriented approach. Provided that their actions help the people in need, one can only hope towards a brighter future aided by technology in the classroom and a drive to progress.

For applying to the internship, visit: www.apjanmabhoomi.org/internship-application

 For more information and Donation, visit: www.apjanmabhoomi.org

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Know What Post COVID World Holds For Industries

What will be the way forward post-pandemic elucidates Karan Bhagnay, Founder of The Global Luxury Group

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Covid-19 has led drastic changes to happen in the world economy. Pixabay

There is a lot of rhetoric and despair surrounding the current COVID-19 scenario which has declared the market slow-moving or outright stagnant. A cerebral two-day webinar, STIMULUS 2020, was designed to cut through the volume by speaking with industry experts who have dealt with similar cards before. To connect with strategists, business owners and executives in order to canvas possibilities and new ideas in media, luxury, lifestyle, leadership and other industries.

IANSlife spoke to Karan Bhagnay, Founder of The Global Luxury Group who co-organised the event with, Crosshairs Communications (PR Partner) & WIN (Women Inspiring Network – Content Partner) to find out his thoughts on the topic.

Q. Luxury is recession proof but is it also COVID-19 proof?

Bhagnay: We, at The Global Luxury Group agree upon the reality that the customer’s mindset at every level will change post lockdown. This could lead to minimalism in a large context, hence, it will actually affect the shopping pattern of certain customers; it will in turn increase its effect on the entire luxury market. So there will be huge demand versus supply. Hence unlike with recession, I think the entire luxury industry will go through a huge shift in mindset which will prove this that luxury is not COVID-19 proof. It is not.

Q. Startups to flourish or wither with impact of COVID-19

Bhagnay: According to me it is a very inappropriate question. It’s directly propotional to what startups are doing. For example if you were earlier solving problems like these which became a catalyst to the current way of living then the startup will do well. But if you are running a startup around social interactions or an event company then you will see that your numbers will fall drastically, it can nullify especially during the lockdown and later.

 

COVID
COVID-19 has impacted states in many ways, recovering will be tough. Pixabay

Hence, startups will flourish or fade away is specific to what startup you represent. In my case it;s being able to hustle between a digital world and the physical world, its about hustling between events and ecommerce; so, my events business will go through rough times in the current days, but my ecommerce business and my digital businesses will flourish in the coming days.

Q. E-commerce and digitization the new normal for any and every business?

Bhagnay: I truly think so. It is true that ecommerce and digitalization is going to be the new social. You got to have your presence here, otherweise your company, whether it is a small luxury brand or a large scale mall, is going to loose its target audience attention soon. Without digitalization and ecommerce I think it will be very difficult to sustain in the coming wave of paranoia amongst the individuals. I think digitalization and ecommerce are here to stay.

Q. Events like The Indian Luxury Expo will overcome the fear of social proximity and will be back to business as usual?

Bhagnay: The current state is one and equal for everybody globally. I can not confirm that it will bounce back the way it has in its old glorious days. Indian Luxury Expo will tweak itself becoming a much meaningful event amongst select individuals. And that is how it’s going to redo itself than being a large scale event which calls for a huge social gathering. I think row concept of social gathering is going to fade for some years atleast two three years to come.

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e-commerce and digitalization likely to be the new social. Pixabay

Q. Is India is set to become the world’s fastest wealth creator in the next few years?

Bhagnay: Well definitely the way current government actually coped with the scenario, it is true that India will not be affected to the average potential of how it could have been, knowing our population and our way of living life which is quite social compared to Europeans or Americans.

We do indulge in a lot of social gatherings in every context from our office work to our transport systems to our religious beliefs. Knowing all of that I think we have not even touched an average estimate of what this could impact in India. And because we are overcoming that India remains pretty much safe in terms of its business.

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Since a large part of the Indian population consists of mainly youth, we are going to be wealth creators in a large way. We are a young nation, 70 percent of the total population is young and thus digitalised. The govt. has invested heavily in last five years in digitalization. Now most of the people are equipped with smart tools like mobiles phones and good internet connections. This will help the Indian economy to be much better than all the other large affected economies like Europe, United Kingdom, China or U.S.A. I think they are going to experience a sharp cut down in their GDP, in their entire scheme of being wealth creators. Now I think India will evolve as a huge young nation looking forward as a wealth creator in varoius ways. (IANS)

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Rapid Digitization May Help Online Food Industry in India To Become $8bn Market By 2022: Report

Food tech startups have revolutionized the way Indians eat

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Food
Food tech has now made its presence in greater than 500 cities in India and with consumer confidence growing, there are new opportunities for the players to 'win with the consumer' in an evolving market. Pixabay

 Rapid digitization and growth in both online buyer base and spending will help India’s online food industry to become a $8 billion market by 2022 — growing at a CAGR of 25-30 per cent, a new report said on Tuesday.

The report by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) revealed that variety in cuisines (35 per cent) was one of the top reasons for recurrent use of online food ordering apps, followed by good discounts and convenience.

“Food tech has now made its presence in greater than 500 cities in India and with consumer confidence growing, there are new opportunities for the players to ‘win with the consumer’ in an evolving market,'” said Roma Datta Chobey, Director-Travel, BFSI, Classifieds, Gaming, Telco & Payments, Google.

Peer or network advocacy (52 per cent) played a critical role in drawing people to try online food ordering for the first time. This was followed by advertisements (19 per cent) that emerged to be a strong driver in metros and among the higher income groups across the country.

“Overall online spending in India is rising rapidly and expected to grow at 25 per cent over the next five years to reach over $130 billion,” said Rachit Mathur, Managing Director and Partner, India Lead of BCG’s Consumer & Retail Practice.

“Riding on the wave of rapid digitization and steadily growing consumption, the reach of Food Tech companies has grown six times over the last couple of years and will continue to increase further,” Mathur added.

Zomato and Swiggy currently dominate the online food delivery market in India. Zomato last week announced it has acquired Uber’s Food Delivery Business in India in an all-stock deal of nearly $350 million and Uber will have 9.99 per cent stake in the Deepinder Goyal-led food delivery platform. The Google-BCG report also suggested that consumers have common impediments that hinder adoption.

Pizza, Delivery, Bike, Order, Online, Screen, Service
Rapid digitization and growth in both online buyer base and spending will help India’s online food industry to become a $8 billion market by 2022 — growing at a CAGR of 25-30 per cent, a new report said on Tuesday. Pixabay

A fifth of the respondents stated a lack of trust in the app as the main barrier to usage. Delivery charges (18 per cent), food quality concerns (13 per cent) and lack of customization (10 per cent) are other reasons why customers have, so far, not experimented with online food ordering.

“Interestingly, these observations vary based on the maturity of the market. While delivery charges is the top reason for not ordering food online in metro cities; in Tier I cities, lack of trust in apps (29 per cent) is the primary roadblock,” the findings showed.

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“Food tech startups have revolutionized the way Indians eat. Ordering food online is now a habit. There is large headroom to increase reach, engagement and usage frequency for food tech apps,” said Abheek Singhi, Senior Partner and Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group. (IANS)

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Mastercard Starts Initiative To Accept Digital Payments

The campaign is aimed at encouraging people to nominate one or more merchants who currently do not accept digital payments

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Mastercard
Payment services major Mastercard on Wednesday launched a nationwide initiative to increase the acceptance and adoption of digital payments among merchants. Pixabay

Payment services major Mastercard on Wednesday launched a nationwide initiative to increase the acceptance and adoption of digital payments among merchants.

The campaign is aimed at encouraging people to nominate one or more merchants who currently do not accept digital payments and Mastercard would work along with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), acquirer banks and fintech companies to support the nominated merchants to deploy digital payments acceptance infrastructure.

“Mastercard along with legendary cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, today announced the launch of a nationwide initiative to accelerate the acceptance and adoption of digital payments. Titled ‘Team Cashless India’, the initiative brings consumers and merchants to the forefront of the digital payments dialogue,” the company said in a statement.

Mastercard
The Initiative of Mastercard brings consumers and merchants to the forefront of the digital payments dialogue. Pixabay

Mastercard will also conduct an outreach program across multiple cities to educate merchants on the benefits of accepting digital payments and to provide a platform for consumers to nominate merchants.

Manasi Narasimhan, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, South Asia, Mastercard said that the initiative would be carried out both in tier-I and tier-II cities and the emphasis will be more on the tier-II cities as the penetration of digital payments has not been as high as the metros.

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She also said that post demonetisation the adoption of digital payment services by both consumers and traders has increased and the the sector is likely to grow further. (IANS)