The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation recently hosted a “Power of Education Forum” at the Hyatt Regency here that brought academicians, entrepreneurs and community leaders together to explore various avenues under “Ekal” to empower neglected millions through state-of-the-art technology and techniques.
Dr. Nitin Nohria, dean of Harvard Business School, in his opening remarks said, “The power of education allows you in the end to accomplish things that you yourself would not have dreamt possible. In many ways, the reason why I stand here today as the part of Ekal movement is that it allows millions of people in India to have that right to dream”
Nohria applauded the scaling ability of the Ekal model. He commented that “I find it extraordinary that Ekal, as large as it is, has target of 100,000 villages. It is simply remarkable that they are already over half way through with over 50,000 schools.”
At panel discussion titled “Ekal in the 21st Century – New Opportunities,” Dr. Subra Dravida, senior director at Qualcomm, analyzed opportunities that technology can bring to improve the quality of education, healthcare and micro-entrepreneurship in rural areas.
Dr. Anantha Chandrakasan, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, elaborated on various opportunities that wireless devices can provide in rural healthcare.
Dr. Sanjay Sarma, director of Digital Learning at MIT, led the discussion on use of online learning to bring new opportunities in education.
Dr. Raj Sisodia, founder of the Conscious Capitalism movement and a professor at Babson College, touched upon the impact of entrepreneurship on development.
Dr. Ranu Dhillon, faculty at Harvard Medical School who had done extensive work in the field of health care in Africa and rural India, described viable initiatives that could have great impact.