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A Power-Packed National Conference and National Award Ceremony for Innovative Teachers

Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, honourable Human Resource Development (HRD) minister felicitated more than 1000 teachers from across the country for their unique zero-investment grassroot innovations in teaching.

The event, named as ‘SHUNYA SE SASHAKTIKARAN– Empowering Through Zero’ highlighted and promoted various zero-investment innovative ideas that are developed and being implemented by the school teachers in their respective schools. 35 state-wise Innovations Handbooks were also launched at the event. These handbooks document the most effective innovations by teachers of different states. The event was organised by Sri Aurobindo Society and HDFC Bank to acknowledge the best practices and innovative ideas of the school teachers on 01st and 02nd March 2020, at Dogra Hall- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

Hon’ble Minister MHRD- Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Dr. Satbir Bedi – Chairperson, NCTE, Ms. Ashima Bhat – Group Head, HDFC Bank, Shri. Ashish Goel – Divisional Commissioner Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, Shri. Pradeep Narang – Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Shri. Vijay Poddar – Member Executive, Sri Aurobindo Society along with Shri Sambhrant Sharma- Director, Education, Sri Aurobindo Society felicitated 1,000 innovative teachers and launched 35 innovations handbook. 

Addressing the audience and media persons present at the event, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ emphasised on the need to empower the teachers to upgrade the education sector of the country. He also appreciated and acknowledged the efforts of Sri Aurobindo Society for their dedicated approach in this sector.

Speaking at the event, the Honourable MHRD minister said, “I hope from next year we celebrate this day as Innovative Teacher’s Day. I congratulate Sri Aurobindo Society and HDFC Bank for the commendable work of acknowledging teachers’ contribution in the education sector.” He also described the teachers as Chanakya who are capable of creating a Chandragupta in every student.

Shri. Pokhriyal also acknowledged the efforts of HDFC Bank in Nation Building and presented a memento to Ms. Ashima Bhat – Group Head, HDFC Bank. Speaking at the event, Ms. Bhat said, “It is the vision of HDFC bank to build an educated and progressive society. The Bank has been actively involved in making a stronger and better India and Sri Aurobindo Society’s ZIIEI program has been an incredible partner in this vision of transforming education in India.”

Ms. Nusrat Pathan, CSR Head, HDFC Bank and Shri Vikas Wahal, Head Retail Banking, HDFC Bank also marked their presence.

The event was graced by the presence of Shri Prakash Javadekar, the Honourable Minister of Information & Broadcasting focused on improving the access and quality of education and applauded the teachers for their praiseworthy efforts in building a stronger and progressive nation. The honourable minister said, “The society where a teacher is recognized and felicitated is a remarkable one. Innovation is the mother of research. Each innovation is a vision. A nation cannot progress without innovation. It is the sole responsibility of the teachers to create great leaders for tomorrow.

The event was also graced by Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri. Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre – Honourable Minister of State for HRD, Shri. Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Honourable Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri Anurag Thakur, Hon’ble Minister of State for Finance and Shri. Ram Madhav, National General Secretary, Bhartiya Janata Party.

Along with Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Shri J. M Bala Murugun – Principal Secretary to Governor, Punjab and Shri Amrendra Kumar Sengar – Inspector General, NDRF also shared the dice and motivated the teachers.

Overwhelmed with the honest approach of the teachers in the education sector, Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj said, “I hope the teachers continue to contribute towards improving the education system through their noble work. Nation building comes first. Innovative teachers inculcate such moral and human values in their students who play an instrumental role in building a progressive nation.

Shri. Rajender Pensiya – Chief Development Officer, Farrukhabad emphasised on creating a joyful learning atmosphere in the classroom and applauded ZIIEI Innovative Pathshaala, an initiative under ZIIEI that focuses on experiential learning atmosphere in the classroom.

Speaking at the event, Shri. Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, Honourable Minister of State for HRD said, “Teachers are not just imparting education but are also elevating their learning experience. Knowledge multiplies when we share. It is the responsibility of every generation to pass on the inherited knowledge, culture and values to the next generation. Through initiatives like ZIIEI, we are succeeding in upgrading the education sector.

Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao – Director, IIT Delhi, present at the occasion, said that innovations is the need of the hour, and as we all need to provide a conducive environment to our students to enable them to become entrepreneurs in life.

Shri. Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Honourable Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises also emphasized on the need and importance of innovation in teaching. The honourable minister said, “It is an enriching experience to meet more than thousand of innovative teachers. I thank Sri Aurobindo Society for the opportunity. It is important that every individual takes conscious efforts towards building a strong, morally rich society. Teachers are responsible for shaping the future of the children of our country and I congratulate you all for your efforts in transforming education.”

Shri Mayank Aggarwal, Chief Operating Officer, Rupantar, Sri Aurobindo Society, said that ZIIEI has been able to reach out to the teachers to the remotest corners to the urban areas, and teachers have been provided a first of its kind constructive platform to share their zero-investment innovative ideas. 

Addressing the teachers at the grand event, Shri Anurag Thakur, Hon’ble Minister of State for Finance said, “India has a young population. We need to provide them good education and inculcate moral values in them. Collected efforts of the teachers and students are changing the face of the nation. The young India is true contributor in building a nation.

Shri Ram Madhav, National General Secretary, BJP said, “Education is an assimilation of character building ideas. Teaching implies right guidance at the right time, not just for the teacher & students but for the entire community.” He also appreciated the teachers for their innovations solutions in teaching. Acknowledging the efforts of teachers present at the ceremony, Shri. Ram Madhav also said, “The teachers are making an outstanding contribution in the society by infusing and boosting moral values in the education system.”

Calling teachers as nation’s pillars Shri. Hrushikesh Senapaty – Director, NCERT said that is it a proud moment for the nation, as the teachers are working progressively for creating a innovation based ecosystem.

The event witnessed two engaging discussion sessions wherein speakers from education field shared their experiences and need of grassroot innovations.

Speaking on ‘Importance of Micro-Innovation in Perspective of Zero-Investment Innovations’ Shri. G.P Upadhyaya, ACS Education, Sikkim, Shri. A. Anbasru, Secretary Education, Puducherry, Shri Sanjay Awasthi, Member Secretary-NCTE, Shri Prashanth Nair, Managing Director of Kerala Shipping & Inland Navigation Corporation collectively called for more and more active participation of the teachers. They said that low/zero-cost replicable practices developed by the teachers and principals have the potential to contribute in improving the quality of education and create foster better learning outcomes in the students. The session was chaired by Mr. Nitin Bhalla, Head, Outreach & Partnerships, Rupantar, Sri Aurobindo Society.
In another set of discussion, based on the topic ‘Open Source Innovation & Challenges for it’s implementation’, Dr. Rajesh Nathani – Advisor to Minister, MHRD, Ms Preeti Hingorani, Vice President, Brand & PR, Cambridge University Press, Shri Narayanan Ramaswami, Partnership Head, Education & Skill Development, KPMG collectively emphasised that shared knowledge and wisdom hold the key for unlocking many education related problems. Thus, platform such as ZIIEI, are providing great opportunity to the teachers to find solutions related to community participation, enrolment, drop-outs etc. This session was shared by Dr. Simmi Mahajan, Head- Quality Assurance, Sri Aurobindo Society, Delhi.