IIT Madras students launch initiative to prep school students for 21st Century Challenges


Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras students are launching a year-long initiative education initiative focussed on preparing Government and Private school students for the challenges of 21st century.

The Institutes’ Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell) today (Monday, 27th August 2018) launched the ‘E21’ campaign to focus on skills such as innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, leadership and risk-taking among 150 students from various schools in Chennai.

Giving a pep talk and a demonstration on the occasion was Mr. Rohan Nair, a 13-year-old entrepreneur who has founded a startup called ‘Sprinklebytes.’

Launching the initiative, Mr. Raghavendra Hunasgi, Global Shaper, World Economic Forum (WEF), and Founder and CEO, ThoughtFolks Digital, said, “this was an apt platform and event hosted by the e-cell at IIT Madras covered the most crucial aspects. It’s high time we reconsider our style of education and tailor the courses that will create entrepreneurs and innovators.”

A Harvard Business School Alumni, Mr. Raghavendra Hunasgi further added, “The curriculum build a decade ago will no longer hold any relevance unless we couple it with new age technology courses and frameworks.”

Mr. Rohan, at a very tender age, was mentored by India’s national Tennis coach who helped him in working with real world. Motivated, he decided to help other students by connecting them with mentors in their respective fields.

Interacting with students during the program, Mr. Rohan said, “I have drawn my biggest inspiration from a critic who told me that I have strayed off course. I firmly believe that in straying off the regular path I can possibly create a new path for young innovative minds to follow.”

The E-Cell has taken up this initiative to provide students with the skills to handle challenges of the 21st Century. Educators from different sectors will celebrate examples of successful 21st-century learning and illustrate how entrepreneurship empowers all learners to gain the skills they need.

Speaking about the importance of this initiative, Prof Ashwin Mahalingam, Faculty Advisor, E-Cell, IIT Madras, said, “”This is a fantastic initiative. I am particularly happy that IIT-M’s students are taking the lead on this and I hope that their entrepreneurial zeal and academic excellence can be passed on to students from schools across the country.”

Through different workshops cum lectures series, educators will teach students about how to think creatively and make innovations happen. Further, these students will also get mentored by students of IIT Madras in various aspects of life. This new resource will support schools in making meaningful and sustainable improvements in education quality and help students to obtain a competitive advantage vis a vis their peers.

The E-Cell also hosted the five mentors of Mr. Rohan virtually over Skype calls to help IIT Madras students make informed career choices. The mentors include Mr. Brian Willman, Programme Director, London Business School, Mr. Nikhil Arora, Managing Director and Vice President, GoDaddy.com, Mr. Vipul Saini, Head – Partnerships, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), Dr. G. Padmanabham, former Director, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Mr. Ori Sobovitz, Head, Government Relations and Israeli partnerships, OurCrowd.