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January 2014

Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jan 2014

Search for affordable and quality education is a challenge for students all around the world. Better education is considered as a channel to provide future career opportunities. Internet and associated digital technologies focused towards education are capable of transforming the learning landscape. Initiatives like - online education from traditional universities; diverse learning content providers like Khan Academy, Alison.com, etc; MOOC platforms like Udacity, edX, Coursera etc - and not to forget the large number of self-learning content freely available through independent websites, all adds up to the online learning spectrum. Certification and degree recognition are some of the issues and challenges related to this form of education. According to University of Pennsylvania survey most of the MOOCs availing students are those that are already educated and take them up for enhancing specific knowledge and skills for career advancement, in poor countries accessed by mainly those who are wealthy and have computer and internet connection and 90% of those who register drop out without completing the course. Blended learning is also being utilized where online learning mechanism is adopted alongwith traditional education delivery. Coursera has started Learning Hubs in 10 countries that provide physical infrastructure to enhance learning access. Online learning and education space is expected to evolve innovative and more disruptive models in future particularly in a country like India with shortage of trained faculty and inadequate educational infrastructure. Read on...

The Hindu: India's virtually challenged universities
Author: C. Gopinath


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 jan 2014

Effective norms and guidelines related to corporate governance are essential to ensure accountable and transparent relationship of corporations with their stakeholders and to enhance investor confidence while dealing with entities of capital markets. SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), the market regulator, is expected to soon come out with detail framework on corporate governance structure with new models related to CEO salaries, succession planning and whistle-blower policy at listed companies. The other issue that might be included considers the number of directorships an individual can hold as an independent director. Currently according to Companies Act a person can be independent director of 10 publicly listed companies. Mr U. K. Sinha, SEBI's current chairman, mentioned that the regulator has kept checks and balances on its search and seizure powers. Read on...

The Hindu: SEBI to soon come out with norms on corporate governance model
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 jan 2014

As India's economy continues to grow and expand, the need for energy security becomes a critical component of the overall development policy. Currently most of the fuel is imported from Middle-East and Africa where political instability in some countries is a growing concern. Although India has vast coal reserves and presently uses it as main energy source, but there are issues at the policy level to pursue sufficient mining. Moreover there are environmental concerns related to overuse of coal. India intends to diversify its energy supply by focusing on wind, solar and nuclear sources. But it also has to encourage and expand exploration and production of oil and gas within the country. In last 15 years the investment in exploration has only been US$ 16 billion which is less than half of what Brazil has spent and much less than what India's own companies have invested in foreign exploration activities. Read on...

The Economist: A price worth paying
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 04 jan 2014

Architects play an important role in building and developing both personal and public infrastructure and participate in the growth of nations. India is undergoing rapid urbanization and it is critical for the government and private sector to plan, facilitate and manage it with collaborative and converged approach. India's 1500 architects recently came together at IIA's (The Indian Institute of Architects) National Convention 2013 to discuss and consider various aspects and issues facing architecture including urbanization, sustainability and innovation. The convention concluded with recommendations called 'Chennai Charter' - To work for the establishment of Ministry of Architecture, Regional and Urban Planning' & Public Architecture Department, both at national and state level; Based on provisions of the Architect Act (1972) promote employment of architects in government projects; Formation of agricultural university at location where sufficient architecture schools/colleges are present. Read on...

The Hindu: Building the future
Author: Hema Vijay


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 03 jan 2014

The two most important constituents of the Indian demographic, the rural population (nearly 70% of the 1.2 billion) and youth (65% of the population is under the age of 35) should be the main focus while gauging or predicting the future of India. In the article Adil Zainulbhai and Barnik C. Maitra, co-editors of McKinsey report 'Reimagining India', provide their views regarding the changes that India is going through and what are the opportunities and possibilites to drive speedier inclusive development of its population. They mention that India's innovative use of technologies at lesser cost to provide healthcare services in remote and rural areas, efficient delivery mechanisms for government's social services and benefits availed by the needy population, access to MOOCs from world-class sources through better internet connectivity and cheaper devices to enable and facilitate a learning revolution, application of innovative processes in the areas of infrastructure and energy by leapfrogging the traditional models, and utilizing similar innovative and technology enhanced methods in other areas like retail, banking, finance, agriculture etc to reach every Indian citizen will help India achieve better and faster inclusive growth and development. Read on...

CNN: How India can leapfrog to the future
Authors: Barnik Maitra, Adil Zainulbhai


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