News from the world of education

Virtual convocations, collaborations, internship programmes, new courses and more

November 13, 2020 07:19 pm | Updated 07:19 pm IST

Strategic collaboration

Plaksha University recently announced a strategic collaboration with Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, through which the latter will infuse funds towards infrastructure support and provide scholarships to undergraduate/graduate students from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds. Bharti has will also help set up the ‘Bharti Innovation Park’ over seven to 10 to primarily focus on industry-driven research, innovation and entrepreneurship and also have a startup incubator, a research park and several community activities.

Flipkart’s Launchpad’ internship programme

Flipkart recently introduced a 45-day, paid internship programme called Launchpad for undergraduate students from tier-II cities and beyond to work in its chain. This will help students gain critical skills in supply chain management and create an ecosystem of trained professionals for the e-commerce industry. Upon joining, students will be trained in various aspects of supply chain management while following strict practices that prioritise their health and safety.

Frontier Lifeline Hospital’s Convocation

Dr KM Cherian’s Frontier Lifeline Hospital conducted its convocation ceremony for its students. The courses were conducted in association with Bharat Sevak Samaj, a national development agency established in 1952 by the Planning Commission of the Government of India, and the BSS certificate is attested by ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Germany welcomes Indian students

Indian student numbers in Germany continue to be on the rise. The latest figures recently released by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany revealed that the number of Indian students in Germany has grown by 20.85% over the last year and stands at 25,149 . The total number of international students in Germany has increased by 4.3% reaching 411,601. The rate of growth in the number of Indian students going to Germany is close to five times that of the global average with Indians, forming the second largest group of international students enrolled at German universities.

MoU signed

Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, to establish ₹17 crore worth of 650TF Supercomputing Facility under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM). The MoU has been signed for a period of five years. This system will consist of 10 master/service nodes, 107 CPU only compute nodes, 10 GPU nodes and 39 High Memory CPU only compute nodes. This supercomputing system can perform assigned tasks including multiple tasks at very high speeds than any other normal personal computer (PC).

New online UPSC courses by Edukemy

Edukemy, recently announced four new courses for UPSC aspirants designed to help students prepare thoroughly for the upcoming MAINS 2020. The four new courses are Sociology Mains Support Programme, Geography Mains Support Programme, Essay Mains Support Programme, General Studies Mains Support Programme. For details, visit,

BeCurious campaign

Coding Ninjas, recently launched BeCurious, a campaign to encourage young brains to learn coding. A video featuring Jitendra Kumar aka Jeetu Bhaiya, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, has been released on Hotstar and on the group’s social media channels. The campaign highlights a series of concepts for programming aspirants and students for Foundational, Advanced and Professional courses and also the prospects of a career in programming, solving programming trivia, internships, scholarships, placement and other opportunities.

Ph.D. Sandwich Scholarship

The Council for Higher Education, Israel, recently announced scholarship programme for “PhD. Sandwich Programme” for international students to study in Israel for up to a year. To be considered, applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral degree programme at an accredited institution of higher education overseas. The programme will be open to students from all countries and in all academic disciplines. Applicants should have completed their first year of doctoral studies successfully, and should not be a citizen or a resident of Israel. The current call for applications is open for candidates who plan to arrive in Israel beginning of Spring 2021. Interested candidates must apply directly to the relevant Israeli university. The annual scholarship will be 80,000 NIS per year (₹ 17 Lakhs approximately). Scholarships will not be awarded to doctoral students who spend less than three months at the host university. Scholarship recipients will be notified by the university by February 15, 2021. For details, visit,

Flying high

Akanksha Singh, a student of Aakash Institute’s Gorakhpur branch, secured All India Rank (AIR) 2, in the NEET 2020 exam . She scored 720 out of 720, has topped Uttar Pradesh, all India Girl Topper, and become the first girl from rural Purvanchal to score such a result in the exam.

Chakshu Face Attendance

Mahindra University’s student, Kartikeya Bhardwaj, from the Class of 2020-Mechanical Engineering, recently created an app called Chakshu Face Attendance, to provide employers, institutions, and organisations with touchless recording of attendance attributes. Especially relevant with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, this app provides a safe alternative to touch-based fingerprint attendance systems. The startup is being incubated at Mahindra e-hub, an incubation centre of Mahindra University under the University’s Centre of Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Shiv Nadar Foundation unveils Shiksha Kiran

The Shiv Nadar Foundation recently unveiled a mobile rural literacy initiative, Shiksha Kiran, which will bring mobile classrooms to the doorsteps of students and adults across rural Uttar Pradesh. In the first phase, the 15-week programme will use specially designed vehicles to cover 36 villages across the districts of Dadri and Sitapur and reach out to children and adults who have lost access to education and literacy opportunities due to the pandemic. This is a part of the Shiksha Initiative, which was started in 2012 with a mission to create a literate and empowered India. The learning units will work to bridge the pandemic-led education delivery gap, and will cover key learning inputs aimed at primary school students. It will also deliver adult education and awareness programmes across the villages.

Online education is the key

The cost effectiveness of online education can be the answer to India’s mounting student debt and unemployment, states the latest whitepaper,Empowering five million new students - India’s future through online education” by ed-tech platform SchoolGuru. The paper highlights the need for continuation of virtual modes of learning, as lesser cost of delivery and larger class sizes can potentially bring down the programme fee.

Careers with international luxury brands

SP Jain School of Global Management (SP Jain), recently recorded successful internships for 40% of its Masters in Global Luxury Goods and Services Management (MGLuxM) class of 2019/20. The MGLuxM programme is a partnership with MIP Politecnico Di Milano, Milan, Italy. Students first learn about the Indian luxury sector, and then receive exposure to European luxury in Milan. The school also organises study tours/field visits to other European cities such as Paris, Champagne, Geneva, Neuchatel, La Chaux de Fonds and Florence, in addition to classroom sessions.

Online Course on Vaccine Economics for COVID- 19

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the U.S., and IIHMR University, Jaipur,s recently designed two new online courses for vaccine policy makers and programme managers, to educate them on using the tools of economics to optimise vaccine coverage during the challenges of COVID-19. From India, 53 participants have been selected to attend, out of 64 who expressed interest. The programme, which began on October 17, will continue till December 13.

Vel Tech’s virtual convocation

Vel Tech Rangarajan Dr. Sagunthala R&D Institute of Science and Technology recently conducted its 10th convocation ceremony virtually. Over 1,400 students received their UG, PG and Doctoral degrees from Chief Guest Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Education Minister, Government of India. He also distributed gold medals to the rank holders of each department.

Aakash PG Plus programme

Aakash recently launched the Aakash PG Plus programm, an exclusive digital course for students pursuing MBBS and doctors who are preparing for the PG entrance exam. The second part of the programme, which will be launched next year, will include nearly 600+ hours of recorded video lectures. Along with this, full length question bank and detailed study materials and notes will be provided to the students. Further, the programme will develop foundation courses for MBBS students and preparatory courses for United States Medical Licensing Examination. For details, visit,

IIT-Roorkee wins

Over 50+ teams from various colleges across the country, including the IITs and NITs participated in aTech4Heritage hackathon and developed AI & Machine Learning (ML)-based solutions to help restore murals recovered from the Ajanta caves. The initiative was spearheaded by Rishihood University, Internity Foundation and Sapio Analytics and supported by the Ministry of Culture and LTI (Larsen & Toubro Infotech). The team from IIT Roorkee came first. Apart from cash prizes, they wull also get to work closely with the Sapio Analytics Heritage Restoration Team, handling projects across India and the United Kingdom.

Research and academic collaborations

The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) recently signed an MoU that covers a range of opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions, including research exchange, student and postdoctoral fellow exchange, short-term educational programmes on topics of mutual interest, organising of joint seminars, conferences and workshops.

Second World Youth Conference on Kindness

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and to highlight the central role of youth in policy-development and decision-making, the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) recently organised the second World Youth Conference on the theme ‘Kindness for Peaceful and Sustainable Co-existence’. Held virtually, the conference saw debates on critical issues involving the youth such as UN Multilateralism and Kindness for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A key outcome was the adoption of a declaration led by the youth calling upon governments to declare the UN International Day of Kindness for Humanity.

Teachers Training Programme

With online classes set to become an integral part of a hybrid learning system, Marwadi University successfully conducted a teacher training programme for more than 1000 teachers from leading universities and high schools in Indonesia. Following an invitation from the Indonesian government and educators, the university conducted the programme on a pro-bono basis with the aim of strengthening international ties and setting up of a global collaborative network. Since many teachers are still struggling to effectively conduct classes online due to the sudden shift post-COVID, the programme focused on ‘Communication Strategies for Effective Virtual Lessons’ and was led by Prof. Dhananjay Singh and his team at the MU L&D department.

Turnitin Acquires ExamSoft

Turnitin recently acquired ExamSoft, a software-based assessment platform, from Spectrum Equity. ExamSoft empowers educational institutions and certification and licensure programmes to protect exam integrity, streamline assessment processes, and improve learning outcomes. This will offer institutions further flexibility when delivering assessments at all educational and professional levels.

Longman English Dictionary series

In line with its vision to provide the best resources and enhance English learning and teaching experience, Pearson recently launched the latest series of “Longman English Dictionary” catering to the diverse set of students and their requirements. The new additions come with a comprehensive, accurate, and updated compilation of information for students according to their level. The dictionaries are easy to use and understand, have a wide global recognition, help in enhancing the language skills by providing contextual and descriptive illustration for elementary and junior level learners to generate interest and in-depth understanding of the language for advanced learners. For information, visit,

Skills to empower women

To enhance skills for employability, Microsoft recently announced a collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation to skill more than one lakh underserved women from rural India, over the next 10 months. This initiative is an extension of Microsoft’s partnership with NSDC to provide digital skills to over 1 lakh youth in the country. More than 70 hours of course content will be made available free of cost, covering topics such as digital literacy, enhancing employability, nano entrepreneurship and communication skills. The programme will curate a series of live training sessions and digital skilling drives to help create opportunities for young girls and women, particularly first-time job-seekers and those whose jobs may have been impacted by COVID-19. These sessions will be delivered online through the Microsoft Community Training platform, which will also allow trainees to access content already available on MCT as well as provide a forum to engage with peers.

Topping the THE charts

The Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings 2021 named the University of Sheffield as one of the top 100 places in the world to study law (66th place), arts and humanities (67th place), social sciences (70th place), education (75th place), psychology (83rd place), clinical and health (93rd place) and engineering (98th place). It also listed the University of Sheffield within the top 200 best places to study business and economics (126th–150th place), life sciences (126th–150th place) and physical sciences (176th–200th place).

Communication and soft skills

BridgeLabz recently introduced business communications and other soft skills into its 30-day CodinClub Bootcamp, which focuses on making fresh inexperienced talent tech-employable. The launch was aligned with the company’s latest survey findings around the skills engineers would like to hone for better prospects. The Business Communications skills will be a part of the foundational skills programme incorporated in the 30-day boot camp. The soft skills sessions are designed to keep them as interactive as possible, without any extra cost. It will be a blend of interpersonal skills, social intelligence, social dynamics, and will revolve around developing the presence of mind.

Shiv Nadar University Chennai launched

Shiv Nadar Foundation recently announced the virtual launch of its third initiative “Shiv Nadar University Chennai”. It is the first private University to be legislated in Tamil Nadu after 90 years. The launch was announced virtually. Shiv Nadar University Chennai will be include facilities such as academic and research blocks, state-of-the-art cricket stadium, library, sports centre, hostel facilitates for students and a faculty housing complex, auditorium, guest house and 24/7 internet access.

Student re-entry in New Zealand

The Minister of Education recently announced the border exception for 250 postgraduate international students. Work is underway to put in place a new system to allow this cohort of students to enter New Zealand. PhD and postgraduate students who hold or held a visa for 2020 but were unable to enter due to COVID-19 will be selected by education providers and offered a place in this first cohort. The initial selection process is being finalised by education providers and government agencies, who are also planning the support students will require on their journey to resume their study in New Zealand. Priority will be given first to those who must be in New Zealand to complete practical components of their research and study.

India's first-ever EdTech Virtual Hackathon

E-learning platform Fliplearn held a virtual 24-hour EdTech Hackathon competition was to showcase the creativity of students and engineers in developing original and innovative solutions in the education domain. The goal was to build the future of education using technology. The competition was open to students of classes IX-XII, and engineering students and professionals. It received entries from 100+ schools and 20+ engineering colleges across the country, and witnessed final participation by over 320 teams with 450-plus participants.

IIIT-Delhi ranks high

Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology-Delhi has been ranked 401–500 in Computer Science in the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject. A record 1512 institutions were ranked in the 2021 Subject Rankings across the 11 subject areas, with 522 newly ranked institutions this year.

New Prodegree course in Digital Marketing

Imarticus Learning recently launched a new Prodegree course in Digital Marketing. The application-oriented, certified programme has been designed in collaboration with Digitas (Publicis Group) to offer learners a hand-on experience. The curriculum spans over 120 hours with 10 core modules and developed with current marketing trends and equips learners with job-relevant skills with in-class, industry-oriented projects that give a real-life experience along with certification. It will be offered both online and in a classroom setting.

International Scholarships at University of Strathclyde

The Faculty of Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, is offering a number of scholarships for postgraduate taught programmes. Applicants for postgraduate taught degrees will receive a scholarship award of £3,150 deducted from their tuition fees. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants should have a 2:1 (or equivalent) in their undergraduate degree. The deadline is January 18, 2021. For details, visit,

Unacademy-Vibrant Academy collaborate

Unacademy recently announced that it has onboarded Kota-based coaching institute Vibrant Academy as an exclusive online partner to help its learners gain access to various top names from the IIT JEE preparatory circle. It will allow aspirants to gain insights on strategy, tips, practice questions and time-management techniques for the IIT JEE exams. Aspirants have been able to attend live classes by Vibrant Academy from November 4. For details, visit

Economics Management Finance Club inagurated

Indian School of Business & Finance, New Delhi, recently held a virtual inaugural ceremony for a Economics Management Finance Club (EMF) at a school level, an initiative to provide students with a platform to learn more about higher studies and careers in the inter-related EMF fields. It has been established in partnership with Yuvabharathi Public School, Coimbatore. For details, visit

Online graduate show

The Indian Institute of Art and Design, in collaboration with Kingston School of Art and Kingston University, London, recently devised a way to showcase their graduating class’ final-year projects. It aims to provide a platform for its students to show off their skill to some of the world’s top industry patrons , while adhering to the new world order of social distancing. In collaboration with Create Britain, an international platform to bring together and promote design and creativity, all portfolios for the outgoing batch of 2020 were showcased online. Students were asked to upload their work, emphasising their research, design process, skillset, industry exposure and accomplishments, awards and publications.

Lecture on Innovative Marketing Strategy

The Institute of Management Studies (IMS), Noida, recently organised a lecture on New Marketing Strategy in Competitive Era, to provide an insight about major expected changes in marketing strategies, and how students could cope with the situation. Ranu Jain, Regional Sales Manager (North-1 UP) of Parle Biscuits Private Limited, was the guest speaker.

IIIT-Delhi scientists rank high

Three scientists from Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi — Prof. G.P.S Raghava, Prof. Ranjan Bose and Dr. Angshul Majumdar — have been featured in the list of top 2% scientist databases. The subject-wise analysis was conducted by a team of scientists at Stanford University who created a database of over 100,000 top scientists of the world, on the basis of standardised citation indicators such as information on citations, H-index, co-authorship, and a composite indicator.

Survey findings

Finwego, a neo-banking platform for educational institutions, recently conducted a detailed survey of around 300 educational institutions across 185 areas in India. Only 18% said they use an ERP or a similar software to manage their business. The remaining 82% said they operate manually. Managing an educational institution is a complex task. Managing it without a technology system further complicates the task. While one important reason was the cost factor, lack of relevant and easy-to-use products were also played big roles.

Centre of Excellence established

Nayara Energy has signed an MOU with the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT-Delhi and Gexcon to further progress development and implementation of process safety and risk management standards in the manufacturing industry and to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE). Speaking on the occasion, distinguished scientist Dr. J.P. Gupta said that it would be involved in training, higher education, research, developing innovative solutions and consultancy work in process safety

Festival of Social Science

The U.K.-based University of Sheffield’s Economic and Social Research Council held a week-long Festival of Social Science recently to showcase the contributions of social science research in addressing societal challenges. From the experiences of carers and the cared for, to the NHS after BREXIT and exploring how architecture and design can protect against infectious disease, the fully digital exhibitions, workshops, talks and film screenings offered an opportunity to dive deeper into these challenges and learn from other communities.

Higher education beyond COVID-19

British universities recently released plans for UK’s Higher Education to retain and increase its global influence and impact beyond COVID-19 and to build capacity to attract talent and investment from around the world. The manifesto, published on October 21, made it clear that its aims in science, research, and the arts could be achieved only if the policies adopted make it easier for international students, teachers and researchers to study, work and live in Britain. The manifesto also championed the formation of a new global prestige research fund to attract and retain global talent to pursue new, blue-sky research ideas in the U.K.

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