Express Digital Education Series, Raipur focuses on tech for effective education

(L-R) Raghuvesh Sarup, CMO, Microsoft India; Sudhir Kumar Agrawal, Director, State Council of Educational Research and Training, Government of Chhattisgarh; Vikas Sheel, Principal Secretary, School Education, Government of Chhattisgarh; and Mohd Ujaley, Principal Correspondent, Express Computer.
(L-R) Raghuvesh Sarup, CMO, Microsoft India; Sudhir Kumar Agrawal, Director, State Council of Educational Research and Training, Government of Chhattisgarh; Vikas Sheel, Principal Secretary, School Education, Government of Chhattisgarh; and Mohd Ujaley, Principal Correspondent, Express Computer.

With the focus on ‘Technologies for Effective Education’, the Raipur edition of Express Digital Education Series, was organized by Express Computer in partnership with technology giant, Microsoft India. Thought leaders, visionaries, policy makers and education leaders from the state came together to discuss and debate the great potential that Chhattisgarh offers and how modern day digital transformation can overhaul the existing infrastructure for state education sector.

The conference began with the address of Raghuvesh Sarup, CMO, Microsoft India. He talked about the evolution of education and how over a period of time technology has played critical role. He specially focused on  use of technology to address the need of students with special needs.

While delivering his keynote address, Vikas Sheel, Principal Secretary, School Education, Government of Chhattisgarh spoke in detail about the impact of technologies on life of people. He shared details about some key initiative taken by state government in the area of teachers and students welfare. He emphasized that technology is being used to ensure quality education and improvement in administration of school education in the state.

Citing an example of ‘Shaala Kosh’ software application for Department of School Education, he said it has enabled a real-time continuous monitoring of government schools and self-reporting of various aspects related to school education to improve the quality of education in government schools in the state. He said that bio–metric devices are being used to monitor teacher’s and student’s daily attendance and ensuring their presence in school which in turn are reducing leakages in delivery of schemes like mid day meals, student’s scholarships etc.

The conference also featured a panel discussion on “Emerging Technologies for Effective Education” moderated by Mohd Ujaley, Principal Correspondent, Express Computer. The panelists discussed about various challenge, opportunities and role of technology in education sector in Chhattisgarh.

Participating in the debate, Kalpana Chaudhary, Group Director, N.H. Goel World School emphasized on the need to incorporate technology in schools and college for students with special needs. While sharing the details about her school work on children with special needs, she said “Technology intervention can help the schools in automating the different process and ensuring the availability of education for students with special needs.”

Raghuvesh Sarup of Microsoft India agreed with her and informed that Microsoft was specially working  in this area to bring technological solution to help students and people with special needs. He shared about some of the global example of use of artificial intelligence to help people with special needs to do the ordinary work easily.

On the question of how state is trying to improve the skills of its young population, Shiv Anant Tayal, CEO, Skill Development, Government of Chhattisgarh said that there was greater emphasis of the government to use technology to reach-out to large number of students to impart skills and training. Sudhir Kumar Agrawal, Director, State Council of Educational Research and Training, Government of Chhattisgarh also informed that SCERT is  making most of the information available online to ensure transparency. In details, he elaborated about the different government schemes aimed at use of ICT in education. He specially focused on  Shaala Kosh which according to him has been able to improve administration.

While participating in the debate P C Choubey, Joint Director, Higher Education, Government of Chhattisgarh mentioned about the use of GIS technology in higher education. Satheesh Ananth Subramanian, Joint CEO, CHIPS agreed with the observation made by panelist and added that lot has happened and more needs to be done and state is on right track in the area of use of ICT.

Replying to many questions raised by the panelists, Swati Kaushal of Microsoft India gave a broad overview of cloud and other Microsoft technology. She emphasized that technology has immense role to play in governance, education and health sectors. She advocated for creation of sustainable IT infrastructure in the state.

A major attraction at the conference was the experts presentation from Microsoft. Speaking on the topic of ‘Enabling productivity in the mobile first world,’ Bhaskar Basu – Director Product Marketing, Microsoft India said that cloud technology offers huge opportunity to meaningfully harness the data and deliver education to students which has not been done in the past. He gave detail overview of Microsoft Kaizala platform.

During his presentation Varun Dua of Microsoft India talked about some of the work that Microsoft can do with Chhattisgarh government. He presented detailed overview of ‘Azure- Cloud Spark platform. Ashish Gupta – Director Education Marketing, Microsoft India spoke about the driving productivity with M365 in Education. In his 20 minute address, Gupta demonstrated and presented detail overview of Microsoft 365 Education platform.

The other major attraction at the event was the showcase of Microsoft Surface devices. Microsoft team was on the spot to give the first-hand experience of surface device to delegates. They informed about different functionalities, features and security aspect of the Surface laptops.