One of the hallmarks of improvement in pedagogy is the peer-to-peer learning methodology which has produced over 27 IITians and 38 NITians, 6 medical students from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas. The programme leverages the strength of cohorts from class 11th and 12th and grooms them to take competitive exams. Started in Pondicherry with an NGO called Avanti Fellow with 92 students, the programme has evolved and replicated in the cities of Pondicherry, Mangalore, Dharwad and recently in Palghar. With 37% of the students from SC and ST category (159 SC/ST of 427 covered till date) and a conversion rate of over 70%, it surely is “accelerating the aspirations” of future leaders.
Impact – 70% of the students supported by TML make it to the prestigious institute (as against a national average of less than 1%)
Tata Motors along with the IIT Alumni Association conceptualized a unique self-perpetuating model in which the students who are given financial aid voluntarily donate back the amount (post getting a job) they once received from the institute; thereby creating self-revolving fund. TML is the first corporate in India to support IIT Bombay under AA for FAP program. Apart from financial support, senior leadership from Tata Motors mentored them.
Out of 111 students supported so far, 23 (21%) belong to SC/ST category. The graduated students have voluntarily donated back nearly 10% of the corpus created by Tata Motors to the alumni association. This marks the early beginning of the project on a self-sustaining mode and completes the circle.
With the help of TML, IITBAA similarly has replicated FAP at IIT Gandhinagar. Tata Samarth Scholarship programme – a joint collaboration between Tata Motors, Tata Communication and Tata Hendrickson began in 2014, and is supporting 31 SC/ST engineers from 5 engineering colleges, which is seeding the idea of a self-perpetuating model.
Aimed at producing ethical and noble bureaucrats, the project supports four-years of free, residential, professional quality coaching for UPSC Civil services entrance exams to select meritorious students from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds selected from the network of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) across the country.
The students are selected through an assessment process on parameters like ethics, integrity and values. This initiative is managed by volunteers who are associated with Mangalore based NGO called India Now Foundation.
Students avail distance learning degree from Mangalore University (for the first and second year students) and Annamalai University (for the third year students). In addition, they are given coaching for UPSC exams by reputed coaching institutes. It also facilitates all round development of the children with facilities for sports and music. Apart from academic performance, students are assessed on social service called ‘durbal ki seva’ which encourages them to give back to the society and in the process, learn to work with government mechanisms.
ASHA KIRAN, a school for special children housed in Jamshedpur that recognizes the special talent in each child and sensitise the community about the needs of a differently abled. The school is managed by the AIWC (All India Women’s Conference) – a women’s organisation formed by spouses of the employees at Tata Motors. The students are taught in the school till they attain an age of 20 years. The differently abled children studying at Asha Kiran School are taught about life skill education to help them lead a normal life. Students at the school have also been able to show their skills across different fields like drawing, sports and performing arts at national and international levels. Thereafter they undergo a vocational skill training at the skilling center, START (Society for Technical Assistance and Remedial Teaching) to support their livelihoods.
Both Asha Kiran and START stress on the abilities of the students instead of their shortcomings and help them to become socially self-reliant. Jagri Kumari, a student at Asha Kiran School is hearing impaired. With improved social, vocational and self-care skills, she had represented India at the World Winter Games in Austria in 2017 and was recognized for her effort by the Chief Minister of the State.