Education in India & the role of the Azim Premji Foundation

by | Sunday, November 28, 2010

Just before the Thanksgiving break, the College of Education and Michigan State University had the opportunity to host Dilleep Ranjekar and Anurag Behar, Co-CEO’s of the Azim Premji Foundation.  The Azim Premji Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with a vision to “significantly contribute to achieve quality universal education that facilitates a just, equitable and humane society.”  Operational since 2001, the APF employs over 200 professionals and 1000 paid volunteers in realizing this vision for elementary education in India. APF is currently engaged with over 2.5 million children, in 20,000 schools in partnership with 13 Indian States. The work of the foundation has been characterized by a strong emphasis on systemic reform of Indian education at all levels.

Dileep Ranjekar
Anurag Behar Dileep Ranjekar

I met Dileep (and other members of the foundation) a couple of years ago, when I was in Bangalore for a conference (see here). Ever since then, I have been working on developing a partnership between MSU and the foundation. There have been visits by people from the foundation to East Lansing, as well as visits by us to the foundation offices in Bangalore. The recent visit by Ranjekar and Behar coincides with an important new initiative started by the foundation.

As a critical component of the Foundation’s strategy, Azim Premji University has emerged as an institution for learning and research in education and relevant development domains. Its focus is to develop education capacity and foster the development of professionals who are committed to social change. Working closely with the Foundation’s other education and development programs, the University seeks to significantly strengthen the connection between theory and practice. Key foci include: (a) Preparing a large number of committed education and development professionals who can significantly contribute to meeting the needs of the country; and (b) Building new knowledge in the areas of education and development through establishing a very strong link between theory and practice.

The past few days have been an exciting series of meetings and discussions around this partnership and I am glad to say that we appear to have made some important headway towards this. Of course there is a lot to be discussed / negotiated but I am excited by the possibility of the College of Education and the Foundation working together, both in the short-term and long-term.

While they were here, Dileep and Anurag made a presentation to the broader MSU community. This talk was sponsored by the College of Education and the Asian Studies Center. Details of the talk are given below, as well as a copy of the poster that was prepared and a link to the ppt presentation.

Educational development in India: The role of the Azim Premji Foundation [Download PPT]

Dileep Ranjekar & Anurag Behar. Co-CEO’s of Azim Premji Foundation

In this presentation, Dileep Ranjekar and Anurag Behar will provide a brief overview of the Indian educational context, and the challenges it faces. They will describe the work of the Azim Premji Foundation (APF), its vision, missions, programs, work culture and operational strategies, positioning APF’s efforts in the larger context of dealing with a culturally and linguistically diverse setting as in India and highlight the major initiatives that Foundation has undertaken thus far, including their latest initiative the Azim Premji University.


Topics related to this post: Housekeeping | India | Learning | Personal | Travel | Worth Reading

A few randomly selected blog posts…

A Socio-cultural Perspective on Creativity,  Tech & Ed

A Socio-cultural Perspective on Creativity, Tech & Ed

Almost exactly a year ago Danah Henriksen, Carolina Torrejon Capurro and I submitted a chapter for the second edition of the book Creativity and Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice edited by Jonathan Plucker. Given the time that had elapsed, since we had written...

What is this thing called text?

Steven Johnson has a great essay on the future of text title: The Glass Box And The Commonplace Book. I recommend reading the full thing but here is a quote that sort of captures his vision (though there is more, much more). Here is a great quote: WHEN TEXT IS free to...

School design in MLFTC News

School design in MLFTC News

One of the most exciting projects we have been involved with in the Office of Scholarship and Innovation (OofSI) has been our partnership with the Kyrene School District. We have written about it previously (on the OofSI site as well as on my website),...

The 60 second lecture

I received an email yesterday from the State News (our local university newspaper) about what I thought of the 60 second lecture—a trend sweeping through online courses. Some of my first thoughts about this are below. If you don't know what they are, check out this...

Slumdog night (and Rahman)

Slumdog rolled into the Oscars tonight. More important to me were the two Oscars for A. R. Rahman for original score and song. It is time that the world recognized his genius. Here is a cartoon by Kaladhar Bapu from his site Point Blank A.R. Rahman by Kaladhar Bapu

Handbook of TPACK for Educators, 2nd Edition

Handbook of TPACK for Educators, 2nd Edition

The TPACK framework, as we know it today, was first introduced to the world in 2006 in an article in TCRecord (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). An important part of the story of the success of the framework was the publication of The handbook of technological pedagogical...

Chimp number sense…

A video, brought to you by Slate, titled "How smart are chimps?" I apologize in advance for the commercial at the beginning of the video.

Font Face Off

Mike DeSchryver sent me this video... very funny particularly if you are a typophile like me...

But is it cheating? AI in Education podcast episode

But is it cheating? AI in Education podcast episode

I was recently invited as a guest on the 3Ps in a Pod, a podcast from Arizona Institute for Education and the Economy at Northern Arizona University and the Arizona K12 Center. I joined hosts Dr. Chad Gestson and Dr. LeeAnn Lindsey to discuss a topic that has been on...


  1. gaurav singh

    Yes, this is a good post without any doubts. You really doing a great Job. I inspired from you. So keep it up!!

  2. Yaswanth

    Great work by Azim Premji Foundation on quality and equity education in India and introduce digital learning for students and educators. Digital learning is very helpful in easy learning and understanding.

  3. ipad 2 Case

    I want to say that APF’s DLR work is good. I have gone through some of CDs sent to our school. Students enjoyed. Most of the teachers have not used these because they dont have much idea using computers. Presently at least 5% of the teachers are having knowledge on computers and can use these. I have got those CDs in 2007. At that time only few were interested. I suggest to try once again. Presently there are many websites which provide learning contents. like, etc. When compared with these there is good environment in APF’s works. Offcourse these websites are meant for the purpose of business. They are for sale of education.

  4. Grace

    A lot can be done bt these NGOs in India, I hope to see more corporates coming forward.

  5. Vinod Parekh

    Refreshingly insightful and practical strategy to rebuild India by way of making a stunningly amazing dent in the educational system and demonstraing an alternative approach to rebuild young India. We done APF.



  1. Off to India | Punya Mishra's Web - [...] Conference, India, Learning, Travel | No Comments » Other related posts and pages: |Education in India & the role…
  2. punya info pengobatan alternatif kanker kelenjar tiroid ga? :: Cara Memperbesar Payudara - [...] Education in India & the role of the Azim Premji Foundation … [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *