Oxford University Press Celebrates 110 Years in India

Launches ‘Oxford Inspire’ - a unique blended learning solution

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New Delhi: Celebrating its 110 years in India, Oxford University Press (OUP), a department of the prestigious University of Oxford, announced the launch of its new suite of blended learning solutions—OXFORD INSPIRE. Catering to students of grades 1 to 8, Oxford Inspire is India’s first competency based blended learning solution with ‘learner success’ at its core. It is designed to inspire learners to acquire knowledge, abilities, and skills through a variety of experiences in an engaging and flexible environment and inspire teachers to engage innovatively with learners by combining sound pedagogy with new-age technology.

Oxford Inspire will offer print and digital courseware for English, Mathematics, Environmental Studies and Science blending the two learning mediums through a unique learn journey. The gamified platform will allow greater levels of student engagement and drive a deeper understanding of core concepts. Oxford Inspire will also offer a Reading Portal, a multilingual digital library with exclusive graded stories on Indian and International themes. The aim of the Reading Portal is to encourage learners to read for pleasure, hone their knowledge of India, and empower them to become independent readers.

Oxford Inspire’s three fundamental pillars, competency-based progression, flexible learning environment and learner engagement are critical to creating confident, connected, actively involved and lifelong learners. Aligned with the new National Education Policy’s (NEP 2020) priorities, these pillars will enable classrooms to shift from traditional rote learning methods to holistic concept-based learning.

  1. Competency-based progression focuses on a sound grasp of core concepts with a more practical approach to real-world application and continuous assessment for learning progress;
  2. A flexible learning environment encourages continuous learning with anytime, anywhere access;

iii.                 A high degree of learner engagement through gamified assessments with motivational elements like rewards, class leaderboards, and ‘unlocking’ of levels and challenges as learners progress. Digital learning buddies, based on endangered animals hailing from different corners of the Indian subcontinent, accompany students on their learning journey and also promote a greater understanding of topics such as climate change, conservation, forest and wildlife protection.

On her visit to celebrate 110 years of OUP in India, Ms. Fathima Dada, MD Education, Oxford University Press commented, “The Indian education sector is on a transformational journey which has been accelerated by innovation in digital technologies and bolstered by the Government’s prioritizing the sector. Oxford University Press has a long and prestigious history in India and has gained recognition and respect for its distinguished scholarly works and academic publishing. From publishing its first book in 1912 to currently publishing 4000+ new resources a year, OUP has upheld the highest editorial and publishing standards. We are on our mission to widen students’ access to our educational resources.”

Ms. Dada further said, “Edtech and digital learning has brought a revolutionary change in the way Indians receive their education. OUP has always been the front runner in education and research and recognises the critical role that technology can play in making a breakthrough in the world of knowledge and learning. Our new product, Oxford Inspire supports our intention to meet the ever-changing needs of Indian students for holistic learning by offering schoolbooks and companion digital solutions such as videos, question banks, quizzes etc.”

Sumanta Datta, Managing Director, Oxford University Press India added, “We remain committed to developing relevant, high-quality academic and scholarly content, and making it available in print and digital forms. The foundation of Oxford Inspire resonates with the approach recommended by NEP 2020 and focuses on concept-based, cross-disciplinary education, imparted through engaging theme and activity-based blended learning modules. We believe that the students and teachers will appreciate Oxford Inspire’s innovative formats to improve conceptual learning and access to quality content.”

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About Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press (OUP) is a department of the University of Oxford. It further affirms the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

OUP is the world’s largest university press with the widest global presence. It publishes in many countries, in more than 40 languages, and in a variety of formats – print and digital. OUP products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum, and it aims to make content available to users in a format that suits them best.

Celebrating 110 years – Trivia about Oxford University Press in India

  1.             OUP is credited with revolutionising publishing in India. Oxford books were being sold in India much before the Oxford University Press was set up in India in 1912.
  2.             The first academic book published by the branch was Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s Essentials of Psychology in 1912. Dr. Radhakrishnan was then Assistant Professor at Presidency College, Madras (later became the first Vice President and then, the President of India).

     iii.            By 1915, the India branch began to publish the Oxford School Atlas.  The Atlas, currently in its 36th edition, has sold over 0.7 million copies since it was published in January 2020 and is one of OUP’s most recognized products.  OUP publishes Atlases in Hindi and regional languages such as Bengali, Marathi and Odia. It currently has 18 titles, including Oxford Student Atlas for India and Atlases for Nepal and Sri Lanka.

  1.             The Press’s first employee, Mangesh Rau, Chief Accountant, Madras, joined in 1912 and retired after 45-years of service.
  2.             One of OUP’s earliest books by Roy E.Hawkins, the Press’s longest serving manager, was My Early Life (1932) by Shri M.K.Gandhi, an adaptation of his authoritative autobiography for younger readers.
  3.             Jim Corbett’s Man Eaters of Kumaon, published in 1945, remains one of the bestsellers for OUP

    vii.            Dr. Salim Ali’s Indian Hill Birds (1949) and his autobiography The Fall of a Sparrow (1985) encouraged readers about birds in India.

  viii.            OUP published about thirty books authored by Verrier Elwin, an anthropologist, starting with The Agaria (1942).  His autobiography, The Tribal World of Verrier Elwin, was published posthumously (1964).

  1.              Oxford English Dictionary started selling in 1928 and is currently published in 12 Indian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, and Urdu.
  2.             The early 1980s saw David Horsburgh and his son Nicholas begin work on the Modern English series, which remains the Press’s longest running and most popular English series. The English school book series caters to grade K-8.
  3.              Girish Karnad, one of India’s foremost dramatists and actors, was associated with OUP as an employee – a manager of the Madras branch since 1963 and later as an author.  His book Three Plays represent three phases in the career.

    xii.            Neil O’Brien, widely acknowledged as the ‘Father of Quizzing’ in India, joined OUP as Calcutta Manager in 1965 and retired in 1996 as its chairman and managing director.

  xiii.            In 1987, OUP celebrated 75 years in India with the launch of Encyclopedia of Indian Natural History, in collaboration with Bombay Natural History Society

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