Award for Banka education drive

The Unnayan Banka initiative, which is using modern technology to deliver quality education at the doorstep of students who otherwise cannot even afford to avail it owing to the economic and locational constraints, has been selected for Kalam Innovation in Governance Award (KIGA).

By Sanjeev Kumar Verma in Patna
  • Published 17.01.18
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Patna: The Unnayan Banka initiative, which is using modern technology to deliver quality education at the doorstep of students who otherwise cannot even afford to avail it owing to the economic and locational constraints, has been selected for Kalam Innovation in Governance Award (KIGA).

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre, co-founded by Srijan Pal Singh, former adviser and officer-on-special duty to former President APJ Abdul Kalam gives the award.

The award will be given to the Banka district administration on January 20 at a function to be held in Vigyan Bhavan, Delhi.

"It is a matter of joy and pride for Banka district and the team that has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Unnayan Banka project could achieve the goal," Banka district magistrate (DM) Kundan Kumar told The Telegraph on Tuesday, reacting to the news.

Launched on August 15 last year, the initiative uses modern technology to deliver quality education to students even in remote areas of this eastern Bihar district. Its quality has attracted students from outside the district also. It uses mobile phones and smart TVs to deliver its services. Smart TVs have been installed in 40 government schools of Banka district where students attend virtual classes in which teachers and experts residing somewhere else teach them different subjects.

For mobile users, the Unnayan Banka project has come up with a mobile App ECKOVATION, which can be downloaded from Google Playstore free of cost.

The platform provides help to students from Class X, Class XII and those preparing for various competitive examinations, including IIT-JEE and the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.

Apart from providing basic lessons, the platform also allows students to get their doubts cleared by experts, who have been engaged to help students through crowdsourcing. Students can also use the Whatsapp number 8851091247 for any education-related help from Unnayan Banka.

"While preparing this platform we approached people from different walks of life to contribute to this initiative by teaching students using this platform and thus a pool of teachers was created. Now, several people approach us to be part of this move," the Banka DM said.

It was under the Unnayan Banka initiative that 17 Banka youths, including a tribal student who was the first graduate of his village, got jobs with TCS this month.

Furnishing reason for selecting this initiative for KIGA, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre chief executive officer Srijan Pal Singh told The Telegraph: "The initiative is a revolutionary step towards delivering quality education to deprived students residing in remote areas. If this could be replicated in all backward and tribal areas, India will witness a revolution of sorts."

Singh also underlined the ideals of the former President stating that he always wanted the administration to be responsive, people-centric and innovative if India's goal of becoming a superpower was to be achieved and said the Banka district administration was working exactly in the same fashion.