"The wealth of NER is its people – its human resources. If we can develop these human resources through education, and give them the necessary skills of technology usage, they will take the region forward on all frontiers".
- Shri U. K. Sangma, Secretary, North East Council
The mission of Intel® Initiatives is to drive educational excellence through systemic transformation by integrating ICT’s in the teaching – learning process. To enhance education in the states of the North East, this Mission is supported by regular interactions and workshops and the introduction of programs such as Intel® Teach, Intel Learn and IRIS.
On 21st June 2010, Intel organized an event to celebrate the successful signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the North Eastern Council and Intel, to release a position paper on the ‘Role of ICT in the development of NER’ and to discuss the way ahead.
Mr. Handique, Hon’ble Minister for Mines and Development of North East Region was the Chief Guest for the occasion while other dignitaries included Shri Lalsawta, Minister, School Education, Mizoram, Shri Bosiram Sairam, Education Minister, Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Anil Sarkar, Minister, Higher Education, Tripura.
Shri U K Sangma, Secretary, North East Council gave the welcome address where he emphasized their commitment for the development of the NER. He spoke on how “Education and technology are the two pillars on which the development of the region rests”, and thanked Intel for helping on both fronts. Shri UK Sangma and Dr. Praveen Vishakantaiah, President, Intel; India released the position paper on NER & exchanged the MoU.
Dr. Praveen Vishakantaiah reiterated Intel Education’s vision for improving teaching and learning through effective use of technology while advancing math, science and advocating research for solutions to global developmental issues.
He was very happy that Intel had a contribution to the positive evolution the region was going through.
The Guest of Honor, Shri Handique was of the opinion that the MoU between NEC and Intel would go a long way to support the government’s plans for the development of the North East Region. He appreciated Intel’s sustained commitment to accelerate educational improvement.
This was followed by a Panel Discussion chaired by Shri Sanjoy Hazarika, author, filmmaker and independent columnist - on the challenges and the solutions for achieving excellence in education in the NER.
Shri P. D. Rai, Member of Parliament, Sikkim the first speaker of the day spoke on the use of technology to overcome the barriers of accessibility, especially wireless technology and 3G for reach in remote villages. He encouraged the use of Common Services Centres (CSCs) for communities to use for e-governance options. He felt Public Private Partnership (PPP) models would provide an impetus in this regard.
The next panelist Shri S C Khuntia IAS, Joint Secretary , Department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD, focused on the possibilities for harnessing ICT for education and employment and felt this would provide better prospects for higher education and employment. Ms. Jayshree Mukherjee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of DoNER, spoke on the issues of access and good infrastructure to empower students. She also felt good quality digital Teaching Learning material should be developed and disseminated to teachers.
Prof. Marmar Mukhopadhyay, Director of Educational Technology and Management Academy, New Delhi, felt that It is very important to choose the right technology and recommended netbooks for all students and teachers as they costs less, weigh less and have longer battery back-up. He found Intel’s innovation of bringing out a trolley where 24 netbooks can be stacked and charged at the same time to be useful in rural and remote areas, which have erratic power supply. Dr. Abhishek Singh, Director, MoCIT, spoke on the technology infrastructure needs in NER. While Prof. Bhattachrjee from IGNOU, spoke about teacher education in NER and how ICT should be used to make teacher education effective.
The Panel Discussion proved to be very beneficial for all the audience. The Minister from Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Bosiram Sairam, felt that such discussions helped in finding solutions to the problems of AP and in the development of literacy in the state. The Minister from Mizoram thanked Intel for providing an opportunity where the ministers, bureaucrats and academia could discuss education and how to make it more effective. Shri Anil Sarkar, Agriculture Minister of Tripura felt such discussions should be taken up on a regular basis and be followed by concrete action plans. Dr. P. P. Srivastava, Member, NEC felt that to achieve these goals renewable energy sources should be tapped while Prof. T.R. Kem, Director, CEC, shared with the house the digital content developed by the CEC which could be used through EDUSAT in the NER.
Mr. Rahul Bedi, Director, Corporate Affairs, Intel gave the Vote of Thanks to conclude the event and expressed his delight at the multitude of ideas and options that had opened up for thought and action in the future. He reemphasized Intel educations commitment to the region and towards progress in the NER.