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Yearly Archives: 2017
first posted on: https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/12/teacher-who-cycled-2300kms-from-blore-to-lucknow-to-understand-the-meaning-of-life/
Mrigendra Singh, (Lucknow, UP), graduated from Azim Premji University with an MA in Development and has always been passionate about teaching children. Since then, Mrigendra has been on the move to know his purpose in life and has gathered cherished experiences over the period, before taking charge of the Academic Support role at Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) in the month of August 2017. ASA is a sport-for-development initiative by Rural Development Trust, Andhra Pradesh.
One of his favourite hobbies is cycling, and he has many stories to share. We asked him about those stories and his experience at ASA with the children.
Q: Could you tell us about your relationship with cycling? How has it been over the years?
Mrigendra Singh (MS): It all started in 2012 when I started cycling with a friend in Bangalore while I was doing my Masters at Azim Premji University. Soon I started cycling in Bangalore and later at the nearby Nandi Hill. But then I wanted to challenge myself and aim higher. That’s when I decided to cycle from Bangalore to Lucknow with ₹150 in my pocket, and faith in the people I would meet on the way. This was all a process for me to know myself.
Cycling was a great tool which made me realise that anything in this world is achievable – and it will come from within, you don’t need anything else. And the more I cycled, the more I got to know my strengths and weaknesses.
Q: How was your experience with the Bangalore-Lucknow cycling expedition? It seems to have impacted you immensely? Could you tell us about the cycling expedition?
MS: I started cycling from Bangalore on November 1, 2015, and it took me 19 days to reach Lucknow. As I said earlier, I wanted to push my limits. Moreover, the real inspiration was my sister to whom I wanted to dedicate my trip as a wedding gift. The journey became more important as I had to attend my sister’s wedding in Lucknow. So there was a bit of a pressure to reach back in one piece, literally. (Laughs)
Q: Could you tell us about what you like the most about working in Anantapur Sports Academy?
MS: The best thing about working in ASA is that I get to teach around 160 children and in return, each child has a different thing to teach me. Each day holds a new thing to learn. As per my role, I assist children in learning English and also assist the coaches when they take life-skills classes for the children.
Q: What hopes do you have for children in ASA?
MS: Children at ASA are quite amazing. Most of the children join the academy at a young age and pass out when they finish their education. I have always tried to inculcate a habit in children of questioning things, and to make them understand that sports are just one aspect of their life. I have tried to tell them to make each experience in sports a learning opportunity, which would help them in life.
Q: What change have you noticed since your arrival at ASA?
MS: The age group of the children is quite diverse, from 8-23, years and all of them are from a sports background. The children here are quite quick in picking new things up. Over the months they have started expressing themselves more, and have become more mature. Playing sports at various levels has made them strong enough to overcome anything.
I am very thankful to ASA for this opportunity.
Q: Pre-class conversation you have with yourself?
MS: Firstly, I prepare all the topics before each class and tell myself to stay as composed as possible if the class doesn’t go as planned. It’s like always being ready for the ‘Plan-B’.
Q: Every day is a lesson you learn from. Tell us one of the things you cherish about being with children at ASA?
MS: We as grownups, tend to put a lot of expectations on ourselves. And when, sometimes, we are not able to cope with them, we lose our heart. But in the case of children, they aim for small targets and accomplish the goal.
Q: Any role model you have in your life?
MS: Yes, my parents have been my role model and have been my constant source of energy.
Q: Share with us your New Year resolution for 2018?
MS: Well, it’s a difficult thing, but it will always be to stay positive and to be present in the moment!
The Foundation for Agrarian Studies is a charitable trust based in India and established in 2003. Its major objectives are to facilitate and sponsor multi-disciplinary theoretical and empirical enquiry in the field of agrarian studies in India and elsewhere in less-developed countries. As a network of academics and other scholars, it is supported by progressive corporate organisations and donor agencies that are interested in promoting research to eradicate hunger, poverty, and malnutrition, promote gender equality, and research on measures to reduce social and economic inequalities.
The Foundation has undertaken a research project titled “Women’s Work in Agriculture and Rural Production in India”. This project will examine the secondary and primary sources of data in order to understand women’s work in different agricultural and non-agricultural occupations. One component of the project will be based on labour diaries of women in selected villages. The labour diary follows the time-use methodology and each selected woman will be interviewed several times a day for one week continuously. Under the project, the Foundation has already surveyed two villages in the state of Karnataka — Siresandra in Kolar District, and Alabujanahalli in Mandya district.
We are now planning to make a second visit to Alabujanahalli, to capture the work of women during the paddy harvesting season in the village, and require for female field investigators, with a fluency in the Kannada language, for the purpose.
The project will pay will for all transport, food, accommodation, plus Rs 400 per day per Investigator. All candidates will undergo a one days of training at the office of the Foundation at Bengaluru after which about 4 candidates will be chosen for the survey. Food, accommodation, charges for local transport plus Rs 200 per day will be provided for all candidates who are selected for training.
The tentative date for training is January 3, 2018. The tentative dates for the survey are: January 4 to January 10, 2018.
514, 16th Cross, Indiranagar II Stage, Bengaluru 560038, India
www.agrarianstudies.org | firstname.lastname@example.org
Swacch Bharat Abhiyan: what about Kochi’s initiatives?
Call for Socio-technical inventions and innovations to solve the waste crisis
“Bonjour India” (https://www.bonjour-india.in) is an Indo-French partnership program; under the aegis of this program, we have framed a project that we call “waste in the (smart) city”. The project invites applicants to present socio-technical initiatives, inventions and innovations relevant or applicable to waste management in Kochi. The best entry will be awarded prize money of Rs.50,000/- Through this project, Bonjour India aims to generate interest in waste management innovative projects, and initiate an open debate among associations, private entrepreneurs, local communities and the larger public to engage with waste in new ways.
On-going experiences as well as project proposals are accepted. Project at different scales, from household level to the ward level are welcome. Innovative solutions for the Kochi Metro waste management can also be considered. Low cost solutions, as well as inventions relying on smart technology will both be considered. Decentralised innovations allowing a better reduction/segregation/recycling of the waste generated will be particularly appreciated, as also social innovations improving the conditions of waste workers.
Date of application 15th of January2018 – Award ceremony 17th of February.
For more information, download the call for application at : http://trivandrum.afindia.org/events/innovations-competition-waste-in-the-smart-city-kochi/
Best Practices Foundation (BPF) is an NGO that documents, disseminates and innovates best practices in the fields of development, governance and gender. It aims to conduct innovative action research in partnership with practitioners and implementing agencies of the state and civil society. For more information on BPF please visit www.bestpracticesfoundation.org and our Facebook page: bestpracticesfoundation
BPF is looking for a junior researcher. They will be involved in working on action-research projects using participatory research methodologies. They will be expected to conduct extensive field work, travel and collect data rigorously. They will be trained on basic research skills and analysis.
The ideal candidate should:
- Have excellent writing, documentation, and communication skills
- Be willing to travel extensively in India to conduct research
- Have good interpersonal and interviewing skills
- Have a working knowledge of Indian languages, particularly Hindi
- Be fluent in written and spoken English
- Be proficient in computers
- Be a team player and encourage creative thinking from the team
BPF is ideally looking for a candidate who is progressive, can think innovatively, has the ability to synergize thinking with communities and between research and practice. S(he) must be able to flourish in a non-hierarchical environment and value principles of creativity, parity and innovation.
Research Associate at salary INR 22,000 to 27,000 (Commensurate with experience and qualifications)
Please submit the following documents
- A CV
- A writing sample
- A cover letter stating your interest in this position, why you are best suited for it, and expected remuneration.
- Two references with contact information and your relationship to them.
CVs that are not accompanied by a cover letter and writing sample will NOT be entertained. Candidates should e-mail their application to email@example.com
The Hindustan Times, Mint, and How India Lives are looking for recent college graduates and early-career professionals to apply for a six-month paid Data Journalism Fellowship beginning June 1, 2018, and ending November 30, 2018. You must be an Indian national to be eligible.
About the fellowship
The fellowship pays Rs 35,000 per month. Fellows will spend four months in New Delhi, India — two with the Hindustan Times data team and two with How India Lives — and two months in Mumbai, India, with Mint’s data team. Fellows will help research and produce stories for these publications while getting real-world experience in the following fields:
Writing news stories, conducting interviews, and thinking about data in terms of stories.
- Gathering data
Scraping data from the web, collecting information through Right To Information requests, and finding data from public sources.
- Understanding data
Making sense of key Indian datasets and understanding the process by which they are generated.
- Analysing data
- Visualising data
Building interactive, browser-based visualizations that let you gain insights about data and communicate those insights to readers.
- Web development and design
Designing and creating webpages to display your stories on all sorts of devices.
Successful applicants will be smart, driven, inquisitive, and excited about journalism, data, and design. There are no specific experience qualifications, but successful applicants will be able to demonstrate a previous interest in current events and in working with data.
Applications are due by February 28, 2018. Our decision will be announced by March 31, 2018. If you want to apply but have some questions first, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greetings from Future Forward Skills Mission!
We are excited to announce the launch of the First Edition of the Future Forward Skills Mission anchored by Tata Trusts and managed by Sattva.
In this edition, we have grants amounting to 2.5 Cr INR to be awarded to selected organisations/ partnerships across two focus areas – “Empathy & Care” and “Hand Skills”.
We are now open for applications. Please find below the link to the application and the website. Click here to Apply
It would be great if you could send this across to your network of organisations who you think would be eligible and interested to apply to the Mission.
We are also looking to pro-actively discover/create partnerships or alliances in order to ensure we support truly innovative ideas – do let us know if you have specific recommendations or if you think we should reach out to someone.
Please reach out to us in case of any clarifications. You can also email email@example.com for any queries.
ArtSparks Foundation is an educational not-for-profit organization that works to support the creative, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children, particularly children from under-served communities. ArtSparks also supports the professional development of classroom teachers, encouraging them to reflect on their teaching practice, and explore new ways to enrich their students learning.
What Do We Do?
At ArtSparks, we believe that a great education should equip children with skills to handle life’s complexities—skills such as problem solving, flexible thinking, creative risk-taking, perseverance, collaboration, communication, and so much more. We believe that creativity is a critically important skill for the future with far reaching benefits. And, that visual art & design provide rich and diverse opportunities to help foster meaningful learning. Through our programs, we create vibrant opportunities for learning that help develop essential 21st century learning and life skills in children. And, we help build the capacity of teachers to create more vibrant opportunities for learning in their own classrooms.
ArtSparks Foundation presently runs its school-based programs within schools across
Bangalore, as well as Kolar, Tumkur, and Hosur. We currently work with 10 schools, and have served 780 students and 200 teachers/educators.
To know more about ArtSparks, please visit our Facebook page:
Why 21st Century Learning & Life Skills?
“21st century learning skills are increasingly being recognized as the skills that separate
students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not” (P21’s Framework for 21st Century Learning). In an age where change is the only constant, understanding and applying 21st century learning skills allows children to be adaptive and innovative in responding to new demands and changing circumstances. Life skills on the other hand form the core of children’s social and emotional wellbeing. And, the extent to which children are able to apply them can determine how well they adjust and respond to life’s myriad experiences. These skills must be nurtured within students.
Creativity is recognized as one of the most important skills for the next generation. Its value reaches well beyond the arts to affect every discipline and numerous industries. The ability to dream, take chances, and create the things we imagine. These are the skills of entrepreneurs, innovators, and change makers. Children are born with these exceptional abilities, but research shows that over time they begin to lose them. We must offer rich opportunities that keep children’s natural creativity alive.
Why Visual Art & Design?
Research indicates that robust art & design education contributes to the development of
valuable thinking skills and attitudes whose benefits extend well beyond the art room (Harvard, 2009). The ability to pose questions, test ideas, take creative risks, solve problems, think flexibly, deal with ambiguity, collaborate effectively, are just some of the many skills and attitudes that are developed and strengthened through engagements with art. Involvement in the arts is also associated with gains in critical thinking and communication skills. Beyond this arts learning helps improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. In fact, studies show that students with high involvement in the arts, particularly those from low-income communities, stay longer and perform better in schools in comparison to those that receive no arts education.
Role: Program Manager (Full-Time)
Purpose: The primary purpose of this role is to plan, organize, implement, and continuously improve ArtSparks’ Creative Learning Lab (CLL) program. And, in doing so, to ensure adherence to processes, effectiveness of review and feedback, building relationships with stakeholders, and timely delivery of stakeholder expectations.
• Manage set up and implementation of ArtSparks’ CLL program on the ground
• Support existing CLL volunteers
• Recruit, train, and oversee new volunteers and fellows
• Develop a volunteer management strategy and execute the same
• Develop and implement a reporting mechanism for fellows
• Build CLL teacher capacity by delivering trainings
• Visit partner schools periodically to support CLL teachers, volunteers, and fellows through Lab observations, one-on-one feedback, and modeling when necessary
• Involve and build the investment of school management/leaders through periodic conversations and relationship building
• Assess effectiveness of implementation of the CLL program and provide feedback to
strengthen the program.
• Collect data regarding program outcomes, and report on the impact of the CLL program
• Other tasks as assigned
• Graduate or post-graduate degree
• Minimum 1-2 years of experience in the education sector (preferably teaching)
• Sunny disposition and genuinely enjoy working within schools with children, teachers, etc.
• Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities at a time
• Attention to detail
• Ability to self-initiate tasks and work independently
• Ability to collaborate and cooperate with others
• Great written and oral communication skills
Nice to Have:
• Experience working with children ages 6-16 years
• Experience or specialization degree in Education, Social Work, Development, Psychology
• Knowledge of spoken Kannada
Bangalore. Travel to different school sites will be needed, within Bangalore, and occasionally the outskirts of Bangalore.
Rs.30,000 – Rs.40,000 a month. Salary will be commensurate with candidate’s prior experience.
If you are passionate about serving children and believe that they deserve an education that unlocks their creative potential, this is the place for you. We believe that great people with shared enthusiasm, commitment, and hard work, can achieve wonderful things.
To apply please email a cover letter and your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your cover letter, please share why you think you would be a good fit for this position.
originally posted on: https://thewire.in/206694/saurashtra-gujarat-bjp-agrarian-distress/
Even in the seats that the saffron party retained in the region, its victory margin has fallen considerably.
The electoral outcomes in Gujarat, where the BJP seems to have shed off the threat of anti-incumbency just by a small margin over the victory mark (seven seats more than the 92 mark), should make both national parties sit down for some deep reflection.
The Narendra Modi-Amit Shah-Vijay Rupani trio would not like political historians to remind them that when the BJP snatched away Gujarat with a two-thirds majority in the early 1990s, the party’s ‘vijay rath (victory chariot)’ originated from Saurashtra. That is because in the hustings in 2017, they have decisively lost this region.
Hypothetically speaking, if this election would have been in Saurashtra only, Congress would have emerged as the winner with 32 seats and the BJP, with 23 seats, would have seen a crushing defeat. However, 2017 is not a pre-1961 moment and Saurashtra and Kutch seems to be falling short of writing a script for the state of Gujarat.
In 2012, some pollsters looked at the Gujarat assembly elections as if it were the first time the state was going to witness a tri-polar fight. But the results suggested that Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party was not drawing a big audience even in Saurashtra, and there wasn’t any anti-incumbency wave that Modi had to stave off despite having been chief minister for about a decade. By 2012, BJP’s election rallies had begun to witness a lot more of the thundering ‘Modi, Modi’ chants.
By 2012, the national political discourse had become all about trying to cleanse politics of corruption, after the 2G scam and coal block allocation audit reports. The other critical nuances were blurred or buried. Analysts glossed over the agrarian issues and probably forgot that even the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (affiliated to the RSS) would hesitate to look up to Modi as a pro-farmer leader.
Why indulge in such a minute engagement with the archives? The fact is that rural agrarian lives in Saurashtra and Kutch, even with a 138.68-metre-high Narmada dam, remain precariously linked to the Indian monsoons. Also, it is not a secret to anyone that in his enthusiasm to follow the ‘ease of doing business in Gujarat’ model, Modi had responded to farmers’ agitations as ruthlessly as any anti-farmer leader would do.
As I have argued earlier, the Patidar agitation demanding reservation was actually a signal of the simmering rural agrarian distress, especially in the groundnut-cotton belt of Saurashtra. The kind of private sector-led development model that Modi had followed was posing a deep challenge to the community, who had made business fortunes in Surat. The hard economics and fiscal logic of dhandho (business) was now forcing them to retrench their workers lock, stock and barrel. Those who were hit hard by these retrenchments were the not so well-to-do Patidar workers who had migrated to Surat from Saurashtra.
If the 2012 election results told us that the grand old community leader Keshubhai Patel’s writ didn’t run with the community, the 2017 election result figures are telling us that Patidars in Saurashtra have deserted the BJP. Analysing the results, India’s seasoned election analyst Pranoy Roy zeroed it down to Saurashtra, which he reminds us “is 73% agrarian and reports 55% of all seats where Patels commands sizeable majority in electorates”.
If notable BJP stalwarts like Dilip Sanghani and Mahendra Mashru have lost in Saurashtra this time, despite Modi riding a national wave and being the prime minister, the party must stop taking pride in “jo jita wahi Sikandar”. It also shouldn’t forget that the party even lost a predictor seat in Saurashtra – Kodinar, which it had held for decades – to Congress this time.
Is there any message in the nature of seats that the BJP has retained in Saurashtra? Most of these seats are either urban or what are called rur-urban. However, even here the BJP has lost votes compared to its performance in 2012. See for example Bhavnagar East and Bhavnagar West: the same candidates, and still the victory margin has come down significantly. In Bhavnagar West, Gujarat party president Jitu Vaghani’s victory margin reduced by 26,708 votes.
In some of the seats that the BJP has won in rural Saurashtra, it could merely scrape through – and the victory also looks like defeat when one looks at the stature of candidate.
Dholka, where the BJP had fielded Bhupendrasinh Chudasma once again, was won by this heavyweight with a margin of only 327 votes. In the last election, Chudasma had won this seat comfortably by the margin of 18,845 votes.
Botad, where BJP changed its candidate this time and brought in Saurabh Patel (Dalal), it won by a margin of merely 906 votes. BJP had won this seat by a margin of 10,005 votes in 2012.
Similarly, in Gariadhar, where BJP had fielded Keshubhai Hirjibhai Nakrani once again, the candidate could scrape through with a margin of only 1,876 votes. In the last election, Nakrani had won comfortably by a margin of 16,028 votes.
Look at Porbandar, where Babubhai Bokhiriya might have defeated a Congress stalwart, Arjun Modhwadhiya, but the fact remains that his victory margin has plummeted from 17,146 in 2012 to 1,855 in 2017.
Another constituency worth commenting on is Mahuva (Saurashtra). Here the saffron party failed badly. Raghavbhai Makwana won against independent candidate Kanubhai V. Kalsariya (someone who is known for his anti-displacement agitation against the Nirma cement plant) by a thin margin of 5,009 votes. In the last election, the BJP had won comfortably here by a margin of 28,532 votes. The contest on this seat became tri-polar as Kalsariya is very popular here, given his work as an activist. In hindsight, it seems if the Congress had acted wiser and not fielded a candidate, Kalsariya would have easily won.
In sum, the BJP may put up a brave face, but across many constituencies in the region, it has fared badly. In stark contrast is the improvement in the performance of Congress candidates, who retained their seats in Saurashtra with increased margins. For example, Jawaharbhai Chavda, who retained his Manavadar seat with a margin of 29,763 votes, had won by only 4,402 votes in 2012. In the Talala constituency, the Congress candidate won by a margin of 31,730 votes, whereas in 2012, the party had won this seat by a mere 1,478 votes.
Congress also improved its performance in the Dhoraji constituency, where its candidate won with a margin of 25,085 votes, whereas in 2012 this seat was won by the Congress with a margin of only 2943 votes. The same was the story in Limbdi constituency, where Kolipatel Somabhai increased his victory margin from 1,561 in 2012 to 14,651 this time. In Somnath constituency, Congress’s victory margin soared to 20,450 from 2,096 in 2012.
Similarly, Congress candidate Rutvikbhai Makwana snatched away the Chotila constituency from the BJP with a huge margin of 23,887. In 2012, BJP’s Shamjibhai Chauhan had won this constituency with a comfortable margin of 11,972 votes. Congress candidate Lalitbhai Kagatha took the Tankara constituency from the BJP with a huge margin of 29,770 votes. In 2012, BJP’s Mohanbhai Kundariya had won this seat with a comfortable margin of 15,407 votes.
Dhari constituency was a keenly-contested seat in 2012, giving the Gujarat Parivartan Party one of its only two seats. This time, Congress’s V.J. Kakadiya defeated BJP stalwart Dilip Sanghani here by a margin of 15,336 votes. Similarly, who would have thought that the BJP would lose Khambhaliya, where Poonamben Madam had won in 2012 by a margin of 38,382 votes. Congress won this seat with a margin of 11,046 votes this time.
However, the anger that the BJP faced in Saurashtra doesn’t seem to have travelled to neighbouring Kutch, down south, up north or to central Gujarat. However, one also shouldn’t forget to ask BJP spokespersons: if there was a Modi wave of the nature that the nation witnessed in 2014, why didn’t it improve its tally in these regions as well?
What Saurashtra tells us is that it is rural agrarian distress that has taken the wind out of the Modi juggernaut in the region. The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh can perhaps stand up and explain this spectacular losses from Saurashtra. Patidar discontent might have played a role, but it would be insufficient to read it merely as that.
Will the Union Budget and Gujarat budget next year offer some relief to farmers in distress, or will we see more of the ‘business as usual’ rhetoric from Modi? We will know soon.
Himanshu Upadhyaya is an assistant professor at Azim Premji University, Bangalore.
Greetings from Banasthali Vidyapith!
Banasthali Vidyapith, situated in Rajasthan, is the largest as well as one of the oldest completely residential university for women. It provides education to girls from the pre-primary stage up to the Doctoral level while promoting and inculcating leadership skills among its students. Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) at Banasthali Vidyapith has been established in partnership with Atal innovation Mission (NITI Aayog). AIC Banasthali is highly focussed on women-led startups and provides the state of the art infrastructure in terms of equipment and operating facilities.
WomenPreneur, organised by AIC Banasthali, is a national level contest for budding women entrepreneurs who aspire to develop or are developing commercially viable solutions for socio-economic issues.
- Cash Award of Rs 1,00,000 & fellowship support for Capacity building workshops.
- Top 5 startups in each category. Access to AIC, Banasthali network.
- Virtual classes. Access to the world-class lab in the campus.
- Co-working Space. Funding opportunities ( after successful completion of incubation).
- A pool of BEST mentors. Support from AIC Banasthali in building an Operational and financial model.
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Apply for free registration by 15th January 2018 and paid registrations (Rs 300 for an entry) by 30th January 2018. For more information visit our website http://aicbanasthali.org or for queries regarding entries write to us at email@example.com.
A safe and encouraging environment to nurture your ideas!
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Understanding and analysis of key skill gaps has led to the development of Programs on Employ-ability, Entrepreneurship and Leadership Skill Development for the Undergraduate, Graduate and Post-Graduate students. The programs thru series of assessment and learning sessions help students develop key skills, personality traits and behaviour; eventually becoming successful Employees, Entrepreneurs and Leaders, thus taking control of their Present & Future.
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