New Delhi : Prof. Sugata Mitra, Professor Emeritus at NIIT University, has been conferred with the prestigious Outstanding Achievement in Education Award at the 4th Annual Global Teachers Conference – Edufuturists 2022, UK on 30th June. The global Edufuturist awards were instated in 2019 to celebrate innovative institutions and educators, who have been path-breakers in the world of education. Teachers from around the world gathered online for the awards held virtually this year, to acknowledge those who are making the future of education a reality.
The Outstanding Achievement in Education Award highlights Prof. Mitra’s pioneering efforts in shaping educational models. In 1999, as the Chief Scientist at NIIT Limited, Prof. Mitra conducted the ‘Hole-in-the-Wall’ experiment by placing a computer in the wall of a Delhi slum. Children were allowed free access as the experiment aimed to show that they could be taught computers easily without any training.
Recounting his journey, while receiving the Outstanding Achievement in Education Award, Prof. Sugata Mitra, Prof. Emeritus, NIIT University said, “I don’t have a formal background in education. I am a physicist. However, I had an idea that could transform education. As early as 1982, I have been toying with the idea of using computers for unsupervised learning. Finally, in 1999, I got a chance to test my idea by carving a hole in the wall of the NIIT premises adjoining a slum in Kalkaji in New Delhi. A computer was placed in the hole that was accessible to all. Thus, ‘Hole-in-the-Wall’ came into being.”
“A project that created a self-organized learning environment for children is going strong in India and Africa. Implemented by NIIT Foundation in India the project reaches out to millions of children across the country.”
This ‘Minimally Invasive Education’ (MIE) model inspired many around the world. Author Vikas Swaroop’s bestseller, Slumdog Millionaire, which was later adapted into a film that won the Oscar, was inspired by the Hole-in-the-Wall experiment.
PhD in Solid State Physics from IIT Delhi, Prof Sugata Mitra is a prolific researcher responsible for more than 25 inventions in the fields of cognitive science and educational technology. He has been named the ‘Global Education Superstar’ by The Times. He is also the recipient of the prestigious million dollar 2013 TED Prize, wherein he shared his vision to ‘Build a School in the Cloud’ that encourages self-learning. A gamechanger, innovator, and inspiration for pushing the boundaries in education, Prof Mitra has pioneered the SOLE (Self-Organized Learning Environment) program.
About NIIT University (NU):
Established in 2009, NIIT University (NU) is a not-for-profit University under section 2(f) of UGC Act, notified by the Government of Rajasthan. A premier institution of higher learning and research, the University of the future, NIIT University, seeks to create original thinkers who can lead the knowledge society of tomorrow. The University inherits four decades of rich expertise and global know-how of the NIIT Group.
Nurtured by some of the foremost thought leaders and corporate-practitioners of the country, the multidisciplinary University focuses on emerging areas of technology and management. NU is a part of a 100-acre campus at Neemrana, Rajasthan, 90 minutes from Delhi Airport.
Nestled in the Aravalli hills, the fully residential green campus offers an idyllic and intellectually vibrant environment for pursuing higher education and research. Set up with the vision to be the role model of learning, research, innovation and sustainability for the knowledge society, the University of the future, NU, is dedicated to building great careers and ensuring excellent job opportunities for all its students. It has been developed as an institute of excellence to provide exceptional education based on its Four Core Principles that make learning Industry-linked, Technology based, Research-driven and Seamless.