How online learning is the way forward

Online learning is the new way millennials are educating themselves. When Lucky Gautam decided to take the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) during his final year as a BTech student at Amity University in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, he was worried about the stiff competition he would face from students of India’s premier engineering institutions.

On a friend’s suggestion, he signed up with the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), an online platform that offers free courses (but charges a minimal fee for an exam for certification), to brush up on topics like analogue circuits and the principles of signals and systems.

Online learning has become the norm

A government-funded initiative by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), NPTEL helped Gautam earn an all-India rank of 58 in GATE and a job offer from Indian Oil Corporation. “Sometimes books and a library just aren’t enough. With this platform, I could learn from the country’s top faculty at my own pace,” says the 25-year-old.

One needs to be a lifelong learner to stay relevant.

Other than providing high-quality content in high-demand fields, online courses are affordable and flexible, and therefore easier to access.

Cognitive computing, automation and globalization are impacting the nature of jobs and the skills required. One needs to be a lifelong learner to stay relevant. “We can’t afford to stop learning and still expect to grow in our careers. Online platforms are the most accessible for this purpose,” says Raghav Gupta, director for the India and Asia-Pacific region, Coursera.

The formulaic framework of online courses or webinars can be a millennial’s best friend. “Millennials have an intrinsic trust and connect with technological tools and advances, adapting to new technology rapidly,” says Andrew Thangaraj, professor, electrical engineering department, IIT, Madras, and NPTEL coordinator .

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Deal with post Diwali blues by donating

Hope you had a fantastic Diwali. Now add more lights to it by donating. The best way to feel good about yourself is to bring in light into someone else’s. It lifts your spirits up and makes you feel thankful for what you already have. With this Diwali’s wishes, I wanted to share a few of my favourite places to donate to. Donate to one of these causes, write back to me and I’ll send you a signed-copy of any of my books. In case of How to Steal a Ghost @Manipal, it would have to be an ecopy with a personal email 🙂 Donate. Now. Believe me, you’ll feel great.

Independent Media

Citizenmatters: They are a team of passionate journalists and a long list of voluntary bloggers who want to do good, reveal inefficiencies in the system and make their city beautiful, warm and welcome. I would recommend this one if you’re based in Bangalore. Donate here. The Wire: A team of fantastic journalists who are coming up with in-depth insight into current politics, culture and our society. Right now, they’re better than any mainstream media. Find here how they’re funded and donate.

13886427_494847720639720_1485080451208064134_nEducation

Donate A Book: This is a library crowdsourcing platform through which you can help build a library in a school. The initiative is run by Pratham Books, one of the more innovative children books publishing house and is fabulous. For a book in a child’s hand opens a new world. It allows the child to dream, to think of new possibilities, to know that a different future is possible for her. Give some kids stars, by donating here. Kalap Trust: Kids of a remote village in Utharakhand are looking for people to sponsor their additional education. This genuine work is done by a friend of mine.  Sponsor a child here. (images courtesy Kalap)
Know other NGOs doing great work? Comment below and I’ll add them on in a future blog. Till then, keep donating!  

Sponsor a child’s education. Get Cult of Chaos!

I’ve always wanted to be associated with causes that have to do with education and children. Be it donating books or assisting a child’s formal education. I deeply believe that for a society to reach anywhere, for a kid to achieve anything, sound education is a requirement. Which is why I completely and with passion recommend this wonderful initiative that my ex-Bangalore friend Anand, now in Kalap, a tiny village far away from roads and electricity, has started. He shifted base a few years ago and through wonderful media as well as social media coverage, is bringing sustainable tourism and increasing everyone’s income and lifestyle in the village. His  new initiative is a school he’s opened as part of Kalap Trust, to improve the standards of education in Kalap. And I fully support the project.

Educate a child.

They need sponsors for 60 more kids. Open up your hearts and wallets. I personally vouch for the genuineness of this project. It’s made with a lot of love and passion, so please go ahead and donate. Write back to me if you’ve donated and I will send you a signed-copy of Cult of Chaos! For love needs to be shared. Here are the details.

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