Azim Premji University

Home » 2016 » October

Monthly Archives: October 2016

Employment opportunities with ISLI

To give you a brief about ISLI- India School Leadership Institute (ISLI), was established in 2013 as a project of the Akanksha Foundation, is one of the first initiatives in India to focus on developing the skills of School Leaders i.e. headmasters, principals, head teachers and school owners., to build high performing schools that commit to and deliver academic achievement and character development of children in low-income schools.

Over the past three years, ISLI has grown from an organization employing one full-time staff working with six principals to in 2016-17, employing thirty-eight full-time staff working with 350 principals across four cities. Through its work with the leaders, ISLI now impacts approximately more than 14,000 teachers and 130,000 students. Over the next three years, ISLI will grow to 1,000 schools and serve nearly half a million students.

Currently we have two openings with us: Donor Relations Manager and Recruitment and Operations Associate.

isli-donor-relations-manager-jd ]

[isli-recruitment-and-operations-associate-jd ]


Opportunities with The Nudge Foundation

Many opportunities with The Nudge Foundation.

Reach out to Mahesh ( for more details.

creative-marketing-associate-jd ]

head-of-community-mobilization-karnataka ]

jd-master-trainer ]

jd-trainer-lifeskills ]

jd_recruiter ]

partner-manager-jd ]

principal-gurukul-1 ]

Beech ka Raasta

Practices in the Primary Education Bureaucracy

Ashwin ( is a graduate of the Azim Premji University and works with the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai.

This field study from Sirohi district, Rajasthan, reveals that, faced with staff shortages, resource constraints and mountains of paperwork, officials and teachers of the primary education department employ a variety of innovations that they term beech ka raasta to deal with challenges and meet targets. This article examines the strategies employed by the lower-level bureaucracy to get the job done in the jugaad framework, suggesting that these tactics are not employed to subvert policy but rather to implement it in the spirit of seva.

You can read the full article on EPW.

Farm-based social enterprises

Article reposted from YourStory

How farm-based social enterprises are changing what was once a stagnant sector

It is a long-held view that innovation in the farming sector in India has meagrely progressed since the green revolution of the 60s and 70s. The drastic change in that period brought high-yield varieties of seeds to the forefront, along with major improvements in irrigation methods and soil nutrition. It is a common argument that the farmers in India continue to follow the paradigm established by the green revolution even today, despite the fact that natural and economic factors demand revolutionary changes in the agri-sector once again.

What is the future of Indian agriculture? A farmer, an investor and an entrepreneur tell usBold Experiments

For a respite, a collection of innovations is finally breaking this impasse. The entry of a handful of social enterprises has brought a structured thought process, access to a global knowledge base, some private investment and a horde of raw enthusiasm to the farm sector, promising to mend the missing link of experimentation on Indian farms.

For far too long, private entities have looked down upon Indian agriculture as an opportunity-less arena, giving them no chips to introduce new products and services, customised specifically for the sector. However, the new crop of social enterprises are making bold moves, expressing their confidence in the farmers’ capacity to respond positively given a chance.

A good example would be Cropin, which uses a suite of software and mobile apps powered by GIS and data science to deliver a range of services to not only farmers, but also other entities in the business of agriculture. Cropin has built mobile applications that feed real-time data and advice on practices related to particular crops.

Another Bengaluru-based company, Flybird Farm Innovations, offers sensors that use accurate soil moisture and soil temperature values to predict the irrigation needs of farmland. Meanwhile, Aarav Unmanned Systems has built a Quadrotor UAV, assembled with accessories, that can process aerial images for large scale land surveys and crop monitoring.

Grassroots practitioners certainly dream of accessing such powerful technology, simply because it clears the two main limiting factors in the agronomy- the generation and analysis of crucial data, and precise and faster decision making.

Innovation for Small Farmers

However, observers and development professionals do not see an immediate answer to the problems of small farmers in the current flood of expensive and complex technology and analytics. This is an important point, because 67 percent of farmland in India is held by small farmers. So a company looking to scale and tap nation-wide consumers has to look at developing solutions that the majority is willing to try.

One such company is Ecozen, which has launched a solar-powered micro cold storage that the company claims to be affordable and portable. With this facility available locally, a farmer can sell at better prices by keeping for himself greater room to hold the produce. Similarly, a very promising EM3 Agri Services is trying to close an apparent gap in the demand for heavy farm machinery like tractors by providing it on a pay-per-use basis. It is a fact that most farmers in India are financially incapable of buying heavy farm machines, and this could be a real boon for them.

Hence, the fact remains that farm-focused social enterprises need to understand the real challenges faced by farmers in the country if they are to attain any significant success. And these solutions do not lie solely in technology. This is evident from the performance of so many procurement startups like Parvata foods and Safe Harvest. By directly marketing the produce to urban retail points, these companies target a major problem for farmers – unfair market prices, and as a plus, encourage them to adopt healthier farming practices.

The recent innovation in farming has also shown that the solutions may not at all be about bringing in a new product or business model. Instead, using public policy to build on existing ideas so as to make them work effectively can also bring about radical change. The introduction of forward contracts in the business of farmer producer companies (FPC) is one example of smartly exploiting policy. Once registered with NCDEX, a FPC can take futures positions at a specific price for a commodity (allowed to trade by exchange), shielding, henceforth, all its members from any price fluctuations or price dips.

Opportunities in Unconventional Zones

This article also looks to put a focus on the kind of innovation on the side of investors who are keen on the agri-sector. It is important to remember that the most distressed farmers and the farmlands exist in the most backward blocks of the country. This illustrates the need for investors to start looking at the potential in the low income states of Central and Eastern India, along with the Himalayan region, where a majority of the 200 backward blocks exist. An exciting initiative in this respect is the recently launched INVENT programme, which aims to incubate social enterprises with a specific focus on eight low income states in India.

A few more funds will have to carve their path out to the non-metro zones before we can begin to see adequate volumes of activity and experiment on Indian farms.

Together, these models show that it is not wise to explore innovation merely in a single area. Technology, data analytics, financial precision, marketing strategy, community mobilisation and institutional design are just a few playgrounds of innovation in the farm sector. And this sector never ceases to surprise.

  • Siddhant Nowlakha is a researcher with focus on grassroots development and environment. Managing a small business for living. Alumni of Azim Premji University, Bangalore.)

Vacancies with PRIA

Details in attached JD. You may direct the candidates to talk to Col. Gupta (the director of the organization) directly at 9873341924 or mail him at

jd-for-po-spo ]

Community Library initiative in rural Rajasthan

I am Adithi Manohar (MAE14003) and was in the batch that recently graduated (2014-16). I now work with the School for Democracy in Rajasthan, which is an organisation started by the same people who founded Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan (MKSS).
The School for Democracy(SFD)-Loktantrashala  is a non-formal educational institution dedicated to promoting and deepening democratic education and learning in India. It is conceived as a space that will enable eclectic groups of adult learners from diverse social and educational backgrounds to learn about the theory and practice of a functioning democracy in the context of the Constitution of India. The school undertakes varied activities including trainings, workshops, lectures, cultural events, public assemblies, exhibitions as an attempt to facilitate and promote democratic understanding and awareness.The founding members were: Jean Dreze, Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Chunni Singh, Lal Singh, Shankar Singh, Sushila, who were joined by many others from within and outside the geographical area and realms of work.
We are initiating a Community Library Program wherein libraries will be opened in villages across Bhilwara and rajsamand district of Rajasthan. The people residing in these villages , especially the children often have little to no access to quality reading material and learning. they also live in very harsh conditions, and thus we wish for these space to be one where they have a variety of materials to engage with and they associate it with happiness and learning.
The alumni association is an ideal space for us to spread word as there maybe individuals working with organisations or people who support such initiatives. We would be grateful if you could spread the word and support us in your own special ways.
Please find attached a concept letter of the Community Library Program.

Opening at Tech Mahindra

Please apply to Jegan Tharmaraj <>

Job Title: Education Officer
Job Location: Bangalore


Work Experience: 3-5 years in the Education Sector (preferably in working with the government)

Qualification: Graduate/post graduate degree in Education


Job Description:


(a) City Level:


– Study and understand various Education programmes of the organization

– Manage and evaluate all the Education programmes with respect to their goals, progress to goals and sustainability.

– Monitor the fund utilization of the partners on a quarterly basis and ensure funds are reaching the beneficiaries as per the agreement

– Help build the capacity of the NGO partners through regular trainings and evaluation meetings.

– Closely interact with all the stakeholders involved in the projects and accordingly suggest changes and improvements in the programmes

– Indulge in strategic planning with the Programme Heads/CEOs of partner organizations and assist them in making informed decisions about the future course of action to reach the set goals

– Conduct Education Meetings with all the partners to enable cross learning within the city

– Study the educational landscape of the city and accordingly expand projects with the help of existing/new partners by studying and evaluating different education models


(b) Foundation Level:

– Collaborate with other cities Education Head’s to ensure uniformity and seize learning opportunities as and when they arise

– Assist the Foundation in improving the education programmes by constantly giving feedback and collaborating with multiple stakeholders

(c ) External Stakeholders:

– Build meaningful relationships with government officials (both at the corporation level and the state level) and ensure their maximum participation in the foundation’s programmes

– Connect with education experts across the city and the country to learn from their experiences and get their opinions and feedback whenever required


Skills required:

(a) Pedagogical Expertise

(b) Technical Knowledge on the education system of the country/city

(c) Strategic Planning

(d) Intensive oral and written communication skills 

(f) Taking initiatives

(g) Open to learning
(h) Facilitation skills (
conducting engaging  meetings, training sessions etc. )

(i) Excel Fluency

(j) Basic Accounting /Finance knowledge will be a add-on.

(k) Problem Solving and critical thinking skills

(l) Strong Convincing abilities  

CMO Karnataka looking for Kannada content writer

The media & communications team of the CMO in Karnataka is looking for a Kannada content writer – on an urgent basis. Please find a JD attached. Could you kind folks please spread the word to those interested? [ kannada-content-writer ]

Job opportunity at Villgro Innovations Foundation

Trust this finds you all well!  Villgro Innovations Foundation is looking for a short-term consultant to work closely and in-house with the Education Practice.

Someone with Education and some amount of strategic consulting experience is preferred for this role.

More details in the JD attached. [educationteamconsultant ]

Opportunities at SELCO Foundation

SELCO Foundation is hiring for the following positions based out of Bangalore:

Urban Planner and researcher
SELCO Foundation / Sensing Local
Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka
Apply by: 26 Oct 2016

Human Resource Manager (HRM)
SELCO Foundation
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka
Apply by: 13 Nov 2016

Business Development Associate
SELCO Foundation
Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka
Apply by: 05 Nov 2016

Case story writers for Africa-India ecosystem
SELCO Foundation
Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka
Apply by: on a rolling basis

JD here

About SELCO Foundation:
SELCO Foundation is is an open source, not for profit organization that engages in field-based R&D and ecosystem building for deployment of clean energy solutions that alleviate poverty in tribal, rural and urban poor areas. The organization works closely with practitioners in the social sector, energy entrepreneurs and partners from various developmental