The Innovation Revolution

Only through nurturing a culture of innovation at scale can our education systems change fast enough to meet the needs of 21st Century learners. IDEX Fellow Chloe Edmundson shares how this belief brought her to Bangalore, and to Quest Alliance.

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I am a devout believer in the power of innovation. Innovation has the power to completely shift existing realities both in incremental ways and on immense scales. I strongly believe that one of the most important areas to be harnessing the power of innovation is in our education systems. Our educational systems are simply not built to support the current state of our world. Lack of access to education or using antiquated models means that we are not preparing students to flourish in our rapidly changing world. We are individually and as a planet facing overwhelming issues threatening our very existence, and I believe that the foundation of addressing these issues is through education.

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Digging Deeper: Budget Implications for India’s Youth

The 2018 budget saw the highest ever allocation of funds for skill development. What does this mean for players in the sector, and how can we help translate this investment into a real difference in outcomes for India’s youth?

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Quest Alliance’s Ashutosh Tosaria, who manages the 45-member MyQuest team helping youth across India learn employability skills for career development, shares his thoughts on the 2018 Budget with Manish Sharma, in this Q&A piece.

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Campfire, Community and Common Purpose

What does it mean to be a learner? For Divas Vats, participating in the School for Democracy fellowship has been a lesson in the value of struggle, the importance of hope, and the need to do justice to the opportunities for learning that come our way.

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I can’t recall a better start to the year than 2018.

On December 20, my mentor Bezwada Wilson walked into the room and asked me to book the tickets for the fortnightly long workshop of the Democracy Fellowship by the School For Democracy, an initiative of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS). Over the course of three years, it brings together 52 grassroots activists from 17 states. We fellows engage with the state and work to influence systemic change and struggle for rights and entitlements.

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Education & Skills Sector Reading List, January 2018

The Quest Alliance round-up of must-reads in the employability, education and skilling sector this month.

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EMPLOYABILITY

It is about time that India rethinks its attitude towards education and realises that professional qualifications without skills will only further widen the employability gap. Read more in the Financial Express here

Misinterpreted data led to claims of India generating 55-lakh jobs every year. Read more in The Hindu here

Predictions suggest that the Union Budget will prioritise the skill development ecosystem. Read more in The Hindu here

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Grit and Determination plus Digital Literacy? A Recipe for Success

Is the youth bulge a problem of plenty? India must combine old wisdom and new technologies to harness its demographic dividend.

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By 2020, India will become the world’s youngest country in terms of its population. When the certainty of this ‘demographic dividend’ became clear, it was seen as a huge opportunity by economists, academics, think tanks and social scientists, a problem of plenty. As the sheer size of the issue became clearer, and as more data on youth entered the public domain, employers, civil society and the government soon joined the conversation. Over the past decade, this one issue has become arguably one of the most emotive of issues in several Indian policy circles.

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The Future of Social Sector Storytelling

The next step for storytelling in the development sector is “democratization” – enabling more people to capture and share narratives.

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Why do we tell stories? It’s a basic human need, and you can trace it right back through history – through oral traditions, art and literature. Storytelling through the moving image, or video, is a more recent phenomenon, but speaks to the same part of the human spirit. Seeing action unfolding visually before you can have a very profound impact on the viewer.

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Beyond the Bottom Line: Making CSR Sustainable

What should we be asking ourselves to enable Corporate Social Responsibility funds to tackle complex problems in 21st Century India?

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“In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder, but is, in fact, the very purpose of its existence” — Jamsetji Tata

August 2013 turned out to be harbinger of sorts. With the President’s assent, the Companies Act 2013 came into force, mandating voluntary spirit on part of Indian business, thus giving it a dedicated space in the development ecosystem, and accelerating the shift from foreign aid to corporate resources, as a direct result of India’s economic growth. Estimates say that close to INR 15,000 – 20,000 crore will be contributed towards CSR by Indian business in a given year. But is CSR only about channelizing financial resources towards a noble cause or is there something more to it?

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