WHERE THE mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action-
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
COPY OF THE LETTER FROM National Innovation Foundation – India!AS RECEIVED
Greeting from National Innovation Foundation – India!
you may be aware that National Innovation Foundation - India (NIF -
India), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology,
Government of India aims to recognize, respect and reward grassroots
technological innovators, outstanding traditional knowledge holders and
creative school students.
We request you to motivate students of your school to actively participate in theDrAPJ
Abdul Kalam IGNITE competition and possibly win an award at the
national level. The dream of an innovative and inclusive India cannot be
fulfilled without making our children creative and compassionate and
seek your active support. The relevant background materials about Dr.
APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Competition are attached with email.
ideas/innovations can be about improvement in any existing machine or
product, which increases its efficiency, output, or reduces drudgery or
about an entirely new machine or gadget aiming to improvelifeof
people. These should be original problem-solving ideas/ innovations of
the children and not guided by teachers and parents. The competition
will accept entries till August 31, 2018.
Looking forward to your kind cooperation and participation of children from your schools inDrAPJ
Abdul Kalam IGNITE competition. The idea/innovation may be submitted
along with complete name, age, sex, class, school name, school address,
home address, contact number, email (if available) through mail at email@example.com; submit online http://nif.org.in/submitidea as well as you can send by post also at the following address
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE competition 2018
National Innovation Foundation - India Grambharti, Amrapur, Gandhinagar-Mahudi Road Gandhinagar, Gujarat, Pin: 382650
Throughout history, the space occupied by women has undergone a dramatic
change. The attitudes of the society towards her role in the family were shaped
mostly by the different religious texts. The first pairs of couples - Adam and Eve
and Siva and Parvathy introduced by the three religions - Christianity, Islam and
Hinduism throw light on the fact that Man and Woman together make one and the whole. Hence religions present woman’s role neither lesser nor inferior, but her role is to complete the other half. But what later history relates is the deterioration of her role in a patriarchal society.
Woman was confined within the four walls of the house. Child bearing and rearing became her sole responsibility. Her voice could not be heard even about the matters related to her future. She became the victim of many atrocities.
Thanks to the efforts of many reformers, gradually women could break the walls.
Education liberated them and gave them dignity. They began to assume the role of bread winner and family head. She started finding a space in the public too. This public space won her worthy position in the private also.The twenty first century witnesses a redefinition of woman’s role in the family. From the traditional roles of housewife and mother she has marched ahead. Her voice is heard in matters regarding marriage, procreation and so on. The disintegration of joint family and formation of nuclear families resulted in the crumbling of family as an institution.
Now woman enjoys rights regarding when she should marry, whether she should marry, when she should have children, how to plan in favour of career etc. Side by side we can see that premarital and extramarital relations are on the rise. This results in the erosion of values of love and compassion. Children became the worst sufferers. The broken families have generated crimes and violence.
It is high time man and woman extended their hands in mutual support and mutual respect to hold family safe and secure. At a time when woman finds a space even in space, her role rolled from submission to autonomy. Still, in some quarters, she is tarnished, while in some other quarters, she forgets what she can do in shaping a generation. Love is the noblest feeling one can cherish and it can be profusely found in the set up of a family only. Only a woman can restore the family within the bondage of love. Therefore, her space within in the family has become all the more vital.
-Dr SAJEENA SHUKKOOR, HSST (ENGLISH), THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
“If you educate a boy, you train a man. If you educate a girl, you train a
Women’s education is the foundation upon which everything else must be
Education elevates the status of people and helps them to break down the
divides that separate and isolate in terms of gender, sex, caste, race and so
on. At its best, education is a breaker of shackles—the shackles of exclusion
and insularity. Without good quality education, one can still be at the
starting point with severe disadvantage. Education has always opened the
wide doors of opportunity.
According to the 2011 census, male literacy rate in India is 82.14% while
female literacy rate is 65.46%. This low level of literacy has a negative
impact on the lives of women and their families. Moreover it adversely
affects the economic development of the country too. Numerous studies
show that illiterate women have high levels of fertility and mortality, poor
nutritional status, low earning potential, and little autonomy within the
household. A woman’s lack of education also has a negative impact on the
health and well being of her children. For instance, a recent survey in India
found that infant mortality was inversely related to mother’s educational
The Government of India is committed to women’s empowerment as evident
in the constitutional provisions. The Constitution guarantees to all Indian
women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State (Article 15(1)),
equality of opportunity (Article 16), and equal pay for equal work (Article
39(d)). In addition, it allows special provisions to be made by the State in
favour of women and children (Article 15(3)), renounces practices
derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51(A) (e)), and also allows for
provisions to be made by the State for securing just and humane conditions
of work and for maternity relief (Article 42).
Under the Rights to Education Act which was passed in the year 2009, every
child between ages 6 and 14 was guaranteed a free and compulsory
education, which saw enrollment figures spiraling at record high of 98%.
Still there is alarming difference in literacy rates among different states and
The state of Kerala has the highest female literacy and the lowest infant
mortality rates and the highest life expectancies of all the states. The state
of Bihar has the lowest rate of female literacy rate and the lowest life
expectancy. This shows the relationship between female literacy and health
Ultimately, when women do well, society does better. A study of 60
developing countries estimated that the economic loss from not educating
girls at the same level as boys amounted to $90 billion a year.
Women are more likely to spend their resources on health and education,
dispersing its benefits across society and across generations. One study
suggests that women invest up to 90 percent of their earnings this way, as
opposed to just 30-40 percent for men.
So we must carry the banner for women’s education. Women’s education is
not a threat, it is a blessing. We must make it a global priority, because it is
one of the leading causes of our day.
Education produces the ripple effect in the progress and development of
humanity. So let us let loose an earnest plea: Respect our girls and educate
Dr SAJEENA SHUKKOOR, HSST (ENGLISH), THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
1. The role of educated empowered women in building a strong nation.
Education is the foundation upon which any change is built. It helps women
to help themselves and break the shackles of exclusion. Women represent
half the world’s population. But they contribute far less than 50 per cent of
economic activity. In some countries, per capita income lags significantly
because women are denied equal opportunity. Numerous studies show that
illiterate women have high levels of fertility and mortality, poor nutritional
status, low earning potential, and little autonomy within the household. A
woman’s lack of education also has a negative impact on the health and well
being of her children. For instance, a recent survey in India found that infant
mortality was inversely related to mother’s educational level. Women are
more likely to spend their resources on health and education, creating a
powerful ripple effect across society and across generations. One study
suggests that women invest up to 90 percent of their earnings this way, as
opposed to just 30-40 percent by men. Thus education and empowerment of
women can work wonders in building a strong nation.
2. The role of learning, labour and leadership skills in making a woman liberated.
Education is the foundation upon which any change is built. It helps women
to help themselves and break the shackles of exclusion. Labour facilitates
women to flourish and achieve their true potential. It helps women to
become independent, bold and resourceful. Leadership enables women to
rise and fulfill their innate abilities and talents. Here there is plenty of room
3. Women should step outside their comfort zones. Discuss.
When women lead , they do jobs in a better way . They are more likely to make decisions based on consensus building,inclusion, compassion and with a focus on long term sustainability. Butwomen sometimes lack the confidence to match their competence. So they need to change that mindset and reset the narrative in their favour. Some women though educated and qualified for a job tend to be comfortable with child bearing and child rearing. They feel happy inside the home and never step out to express their talents. Their talents cannot be tapped in this context. Some women become satisfied with a small job though they are
capable of more competent job.This is not good enough.Women should step outside their comfort zones.
4. Women sometimes lack confidence to match their competence. Comment on the statement.
Women are gifted with so many talents and abilities. But circumstances
pose certain constraints in their lives. They do not realize their talents.
Sometimes at home, sometimes at school, at other times at workplace,
women are bound by so many limitations. Right from their childhood, they
are chained. They suffocate under the heavy pressure of don’ts. This blocks
the free flow of their powers. Women are actually strong and tough. More
than men, they are capable of multi tasking. They are competent enough to
lead and take up responsibilities. But most of the times, they stay back.
They hesitate to take up responsibilities. It is their diffidence which pulls
them back. It is high time they realized their innate potentials. Then only
women can contribute their due to the nation building process.
What kind of problems did Shaheen face when she settled in India?
Shaheen Mistri, the Indian social activist and educator was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. It was her trips to Mumbai that showed her the inequity rampant in India and that helped her to identify her life mission. The first difference she noticed was about the academic system in India which prioritized
bookish form of learning. So she realized that she would be able to learn more in the city, beyond the classroom. In the city, she walked into a low-income community buzzing with life. She was astonished to know that an estimated 10,000 people lived there with no running water, no system of waste disposal, and shared six dark cubicle toilets. When she entered a home of the native in that community she saw, that home was smaller than the bathroom of her house. Illiteracy, poor housing, sanitation etc are only a few among the myriad problems Shaheen faced in India when she settled.
What was the inequity that she found in India?
To Shaheen Mistri, life in her lovely white colonial home in Jakarta was a pleasant, almost perfect life.But in India she was dazed at the unfair conditions. Through the window of her air-conditioned car, she saw children begging in the streets. She would see piles of wasted food at a friend’s party and when she
left, she would notice a woman sitting on the side of the road, sharing out the meager amounts of dal and rice for her family. She noticed the wide disparity that existed in different people’s lives. On the one side life abounded in abundance and affluence while on the other side life strangled with impoverishment and destitution.
Why, do you think, the principals of different schools refused to give a space for the children from the slum?
The principals of the different schools refused to give a space for the children from the slum for the most illogical reasons. The fear of spreading diseases, scratch on the desks with glass bangles worn by the daughters of the fishermen were only a few rubbish kind of excuses. It is clear that the rich takes care of
the rich only. Only a few like Shaheen Mistri is an exception to them. The children of the affluent get ample opportunities for their better bringing up while the children of the poor are always underprivileged. In a world where education has become business, the principals of the sophisticated educational
institutions are motivated by the huge sum of capital offered for the children of the rich. They are least bothered about the marginalized lot who live in the fringes of the social structure.
Shaheen refers to the Indian education system as ‘bookish’. Comment on this.
Shaheen Mistri noticed that in India bookish form of learning replaced the academic rigour and intellectual stimulation she had received in the U. S. So she realized that she would be able to learn more in the city beyond the classroom.
Indian educational system is still teacher centred with more of the TTT or Teacher’s Talking Time. Its main objective is to help the students achieve high marks in the examinations. Students in a classroom are taught the same material in the same traditional method. Direct instructions and lectures given to the students and the students receive these instructions seated on a permanent seat. Their social development is given little attention. Interaction with peer groups for discovery learning is seldom possible in such acurriculum. Socializing is largely discouraged except for extracurricular activities and teamwork based
projects. The curriculum is single and unified one for all students, regardless of ability or interest. The scope for practical examination and its scores is minimal and hence the students fail to gather practical expertise. Instead they get theoretical knowledge which does not generally make them proficient and
skillful. This kind of system produces only certificates and not experts.
Learning experiences which involve hand on activities, student led discoveries and group activities help in better assimilation and reinforcement of knowledge. But this system is not practised in most of the schools in India. Hence Shaheen Mistri is right in her observation. I personally feel that she became a great educator with her experiences outside the classroom.
PREPARED BY DR SAJEENA SHUKKOOR, HSST (ENGLISH), TRIVANDRUM
Assisted Learning (PAL) video lectures for Class XI and Class XII can
be accessed on YouTube through the links below. Many faculty members
from various IITs have contributed to these lectures. Prof. Ravi Soni
from the Dept. of Physics, IIT Delhi is the National Coordinator and
IIT Delhi has coordinated this entire effort with funding from MHRD.
Over 600 hours of lectures in Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology
are available for students.
Please pass on the
information to your friends/relatives and their needy children.