Coordinator: Dr. P. K. Joshi, Prof. Savita Ladage, Prof. Sugra Chunawala and Dr. Anisha Malhotra-Dalvi
Coordinator: Dr. Ankush Gupta & Dr. Aniket Sule
Coordinator: Prof. Jyotsna Vijapurkar
Prof. Anurag Mehra, IIT Bombay
Frequent technological fixes are offered by policy makers to cure the problems that afflict the education sector. These problems are routine in many ways and concern the state of infrastructure, teacher quality and un-creative pedagogies. All of this operates within a system that requires huge scaling up in order to provide access to the large number of children entering the school system (and many more ought to). These challenges require political and economic commitment but instead we are given "technical solutions" such as tablets, on-line courses and of course digital boards that will provide "customized education by using artificial intelligence"! We examine why these solutions do not work (but provide tremendous "optics"), and the consequences of this kind of policies. The context of coaching classes, an authoritarian culture and deep rooted social hierarchies complicates matters further.
Professor Mehra is on the faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and an associate faculty at the Center for Policy Studies, IITB. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge and has been associated with many other institutions in various capacities such as IIM Bangalore, Center for Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He has also been a Summer Visiting Scientist at Unilever. He is a recipient of many awards such as the INSA Young Scientist Medal of the Indian National Science Academy, Associateship of the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Marie Curie Fellowship of the European Commission, and the Excellence in Teaching Award at IIT Bombay. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) and the National Academy of Sciences India (NASI). He has held several senior administrative positions at IIT Bombay: Head of the Computer Centre, Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Professor-in-charge Administration,and was responsible for initiating major administrative reforms in the Institute.
Prof Mehra has had an abiding interest in political and social issues relating to education, labour, science & technology, and the digital economy. He has been involved in supervising the Technology Development Supervised Learning (TDSL) projects at the Centre of Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA). He has taught courses titled 'Technology, Culture and Public Policy', and 'Perspectives of Society, Science & Technology'. He is also a prolific writer on issues related to education, and writes for the popular press. Some of his recent articles are: Indian Universities And The Problematic Race For Eminence; Higher Education is No Wonderland, but Does the New Education Policy Know? ; Draft Education Policy Fails to Effectively Address Rote Learning & Farcical Examinations Plaguing Indian School System. A detailed biography can be found on http://www.cps.iitb.ac.in/people/anurag-mehra/