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Grannies Also Have Right To Learn as Ajibai Chi shala sets up in Thane




Age is no bar for learning. This was proved right when a school, named ajibai chi shala was established for grannies in Fangane village at Murbad in Thane district. Sheetal More (26) is the lone teacher for this special cause and she prides this job. Sheetal is ecstatic about her 29 students ability to sign. This was one of the objectives of the seniors’ education initiative in which all the women students, above 60 should know to sign, thereby putting an end to thumb impressions on official documents. Professor Yogendra Bangar has spearheaded this noble cause by starting the school on International Women’s Day, March 8.


Sheetal says that praising one aaji by her does not go down well with other aajis. They complain that had they got same attention and focus, they would have also produced good results. So, she began praising the entire class at once for a good result without singling anyone as special. An all along, Sheetal has learnt many aspects of teaching.”



The school has something unique to its credit. It teaches a 92-year-old student as well.

Here Sheetal has to take special care while teaching her students because each is different. One of the front benchers in her class is Kantabai More, her mother-in-law. She is at times strict with them for being less attentive. And in such cases she feels a bit upset in pulling up her mother-in-law. Sheetal feels that getting angry at them, really upsets them.


The deteriorating senses of her students is a big challenge for Sheetal to deal with. “Some hearing problem for which she has to go near them to explain things. Some aajis have poor eyesight. Another challenge she faces is dealing with her oldest student, a 92 year old aaji whose hands shiver while writing. She has to hold her hand and help her in writing.


Sheetal says that they have been focusing on barakhadi (alphabets) and numbers, to teach the students. The uniform is a pink sari. Those who had lost their husbands were unwilling to wear green sarees, which was earlier decided for them. So, pink saree was chosen for all.

The shala which operates from a village school, run by zilla parishad has classes between 2 pm-4 pm on all days, except on Thursday because aajis go to attend satsang. Gangubai Kedar (65) says, “during their time when people went to school, women were confined to their homes for handling household chores and generally the atmosphere was not conducive for women education. Still she feels glad to have got this opportunity to learn though it has come very late.


Sheetal says the main reason behind the running of this school till date is “I think the only reason we could run the school is that the aajis were and are happy about it. Unless there is some work, none of them like to miss a single day at school.” The idea for opening the shala struck Bangar’s conscience when he found that nearly all village women were illiterate and unable to recite the epics on Shivaji Jayanti.

The grannies assemble inside the school and begin the day by reciting a poem, “Me mothi zhalyavar shalet jaaein dada barobar (When I grow up I will go to school with my elder brother).” Some of them forget the lines and all of them stop abruptly. When their teacher asks why they stopped reciting the poem, all of them start giggling, like schoolgirls do.



IIM A wraps up summer placements – Accenture, RPG Group, Amazon top recruiters



For a second year in a row, Accenture Strategy has been the top recruiter at IIM Ahmedabad’s summer placements. The recently-concluded summer placement saw students placed across more than 15 sectors and functions of their choice.

Firms were grouped into cohorts based on the profile offered and invited to the campus in 3 clusters. As in the previous years, students were allowed to submit “dream” applications to firms of their choice in a cluster even with an offer in hand. More than 120 students applied this year.

Who All Made It To The Top

–Among the global banks, Citibank made five offers. 

–FinIQ was the top recruiter in the banking, financial services and insurance recruiters (BFSI) cohort, having made 10 offers.

— AB InBev recruited nine students and took the lead in the Consumer Goods cohort while the RPG Group was the top recruiter in the General Management cohort with 14 offers.

— Amazon, with 12 offers, was the highest recruiter in the Retail B2B space, followed by Flipkart

— Microsoft was the leading recruiter in the Consumer Tech cohort with five offers, followed by Uber.

— The Telangana government, which hired for the Industry & Commerce and ITE&C departments, also made five offers.


The placements also saw an active participation in the PE and VC domain this year with the likes of Kedaara Capital, Multiples Equity, Temasek and True North visiting the campus.

Significantly, this year, 7 students opted out of the placement process to work on their own ventures under the mentorship of Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), which is two more than last year’s batch.

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Bharti Airtel vows INR 7000cr towards a free university for the poor



Bharti Airtel is writing a fresh philanthropic code. The Bharti family has vowed to hand over Rs. 7000 crores ($1.1 billion) to the Bharti Foundation. The whopping amount will be used to kick-start a free university for the children from poor communities. The Bhartis’ contribution includes a 3 percent stake in their telecom operator Bharti Airtel.

What Students Will Learn

To be named “The Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology”–the university will have a strong focus on artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and the internet of things.

What’s The Motive

Education is a common cause for many millionaires and billionaires. But the Bhartis are going beyond the generous, well-trod routes of scholarships or even funding whole departments and building libraries. Instead, they’re dedicated to establishing an entire non-profit institution of higher learning targeting India’s large underprivileged class. The plan helps bring attention to the woeful state of the country’s education system, a top complaint of the local financial elite. Their endeavour also very publicly embraces innovations some worry will subsume jobs for India’s low-cost labour force. A study published last year by the World Bank estimates almost 70 per cent of India’s jobs are threatened by automation.

Bharti Airtel

What More?

World-changing developments like virtual reality are to be taught at the envisioned university, and degrees offered in electrical engineering. Partnerships with Apple, SoftBank and other companies may be in the cards, too. That sends a clear message of hope that technology can transform lives, and create new fortunes for the future. 

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Three IITs and IISc Bangalore among top 20 BRICS varsities 





Three IITs and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have made the cut among top 20 varsities in BRICS countries, according to the latest QS Rankings.

Who Ranked Where

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has secured ninth rank followed by IISc, Bangalore at 10, IIT Delhi at 15 and IIT Madras at 18.

Over 300 universities from India, China, Russia, South Africa and Brazil have been observed and graded for the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking, one of the global prestigious rankings. Chinese universities, including Tsinghua University, Peking University and Fudan University have secured the top three ranks with the country occupying eight of the top 10 positions.

India has the second highest representation in the 2017 list after China. Last year, IISc Bangalore was the only Indian institution to figure in the top 10 with rank 6.

How Is Ranking Done

Based on eight performance indicators, namely academic reputation, employer reputation, proportion of staff with a PhD, faculty/student ratio, research publications and citation rates and proportion of international faculty and students, the ranking provides insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of leading instituions in the five countries.

According to the rankings, among the top 10 public varsities in India are IIT Bombay, IISc Bangalore, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kanpur, Delhi University and Kolkata University.

What UGC Says

UGC chairman VS Chauhan unveiled the rankings, asserting, “Role of ranking in terms of students getting to know about the institutions cant be negated, but also sometimes overplayed. Rankings are relevant for institutions and most importantly because of the rankings what happened in India is that institutions have started to look at themselves. We will celebrate that day when of 350 universities 150 of them will be Indian institutions in the BRICS rankings”

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