Friday, July 30, 2010

Symposium on Education in Rural India

The IIT Madras Symposium is an annually held conference that, to put it simply, aims to introduce and excite students about current pressing problems that Indian society faces and how its solutions might be approached, in a multi-disciplinary and holistic fashion. Last year, the Symposium brought together 50 of the brightest minds across the country; from engineering, arts, and humanities backgrounds; to explore issues such as urban planning, finance and energy under the theme of sustainable development.

This year, the Symposium looks to tackle the multi-faceted theme of Education in Rural India. We believe that rural education is critical to the progress of a country like India. Improvements in rural education will cascade into practically everything else - unemployment, poverty, and health and nutrition for instance. The Symposium hopes to explore different angles to the issue such as the curriculum and infrastructure, lack of skilled teachers, and the use of technology.

The Symposium also aims to make a lasting difference by creating a viable solution which it then aims to use as a case study to further the authority and prove the feasibility of the proposed solution. The team will propose policy recommendations and critique existing policy. Further, the team will propose and implement a technology based intervention to solve the issue.

Given the magnitude of the proposal, the team is to be composed of highly motivated and brilliant people. Participants will have a unique opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary problem, while at the same time working with skilled people from different fields to create a tangible solution to a real life problem.


Participants will be shortlisted on the basis of a written preliminary round and their curricula vitae. The top entry in the preliminary round will receive up front prize money of Rs. 5000.

Selected participants will work collaboratively through internet based tools and software. At the end of six weeks, a series of meetings will be organized across the country to further the team's progress and ensure that all participants have adequate opportunities to contribute as much as they can to the team.

At the Symposium

The team will explore the issue at hand through various field visits, and interaction between the team and experts in the field of education and rural development. Participants will have opportunities to work with various individuals and organizations to further their work. In addition, participants will also have select internship opportunities. We hope that the IIT Madras Symposium will gain significant experience in using technology to solve administrative and governance issues.

Of course, the end of the Symposium will be marked by the End of Symposium Party. The contributions of the participants will be rewarded with total prize money of Rs. 150,000. Work done at the IIT Madras Symposium will be compiled into a policy document and a comprehensive report that will be distributed to the participants, governmental organizations, and various other organizations working in the field.

Read more here.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 15th August 2010 - Deadline for participant entries
  • 29th August 2010 - Regional meetings.
  • 29th September 2010 - IIT Madras Symposium at Shaastra 2010

(Thanks Chintan for sending us an email about this event.)

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