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New Indian Express ‘ThinkEdu Conclave’ gets bigger in 2nd edition

Managed by Event Xpress, the two-day event will kick off on January 30 in Chennai and will debate on the education sector in India

New Indian Express ‘ThinkEdu Conclave’ gets bigger in 2nd edition

Managed by Event Xpress, the two-day event will kick off on January 30 in Chennai and will debate on the education sector in India

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | January 27, 2014

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Come January 30, Event Xpress, a full-service management company of The New Indian Express Group, is all set to host the second edition of The New Indian Express ThinkEdu Conclave in Chennai. The two-day event will see a host of notable speakers including Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, top bureaucrats and heads of educational institutions.

Prabhu Chawla Prabhu Chawla

Talking about the objective behind the conclave, Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express and The Sunday Standard, and CEO, Event Xpress Management Services, said, “As India moves ahead on the path of globalisation, it needs an education system that addresses current issues and gives our children the skills they need to compete in tomorrow’s world. At TNIE, we believe that it is our duty as thinking citizens to help our students get these skills and ‘be the most that they can be.”

Chawla added, “Everyone complains that our existing system is flawed. We say nothing is so wrong that it cannot be set right, and so the ThinkEdu Conclave is a platform for people who want to be part of the setting-right process. Our forum brings together relevant members of the government and the private sector, academics and intellectuals, historians and political scientists to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the education sector and to help fashion a system that is committed to India progress and yet rooted in our culture.”

The first edition of ThinkEdu Conclave got a tremendous response from both the participants and the delegates. It saw 65 speakers discussing the key aspects of education over two days. Among the speakers were former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Union ministers Shashi Tharoor, Jayanthi Natarajan, Jitin Prasada and Manish Tewari, Chief Ministers Sheila Dikshit and Vijay Bahuguna, and BJP leaders LK Advani and Rajnath Singh, in addition to IIT Directors, school and college principals, researchers, historians, social scientists and corporate leaders. All the sessions were thought-provoking and feisty. The 400-member- strong audience was made up of teachers, educationists, citizens with a deep interest in the future of this country and highly-involved and evolved students who quizzed and challenged the speakers.

Last year the conclave talked about Public Education and RTE, school syllabi, deregulating education, teacher training and remuneration, vocational studies and the politicisation of education. The conclave also debated the issues like secularism in education, the gender and class bias in the classroom, raising the standard of India’s professional colleges and the job readiness of our graduates.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better start, and we hope to build on it this year. This year’s topics are just as focused and powerful, and the speakers just as notable,” said Chawla. “The fabulous turnout and audience response to the first edition of ThinkEdu has brought many more partners to the event. I think they are all very excited about the potential of ThinkEdu.”

Event Xpress is a full-service management company that conceptualises and implements the most thought-provoking and well-attended events for The New Indian Express Group and other clients. It works across industry, and has organised high-wattage events in the fields of education, banking, clean energy, literature, sports and music.

Speaking on Event Xpress, Chawla said, “Be it the Best Bankers’ Awards in the Capital, the ThinkEdu Conclave in Chennai or the Odisha Literary Festival in Bhubaneswar, our speakers and delegates always include the best and brightest minds in the business. Almost all our events have become annual properties. Each event is impactful, given our skills in identifying and getting together India’s best brains and the biggest names to share their dreams, and discuss ideas and developments in their domain. Our events are marked by meticulous planning, constant innovation and immaculate execution.”

DETAILED PROGRAMME Day 2: January 30, 2014

10 am: Address by Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express

10.15-11.15 am: Lighting of the lamp and Inaugural Address by MM Pallam Raju, Union Minister of India for HRD

12-1 pm: The National Policy on education needs to be redrawn

Chairperson: Rakesh Mittal, VC & MD, Bharti Enterprises

R Govinda, Vice Chancellor, NUEPA

YK Bhushan, Chancellor, ICFAI University Nagaland

JS Rajput, Former Director, NCERT

P Sivakami, Former IAS officer and author

1-2 pm: Indian higher education is overly influenced by the West

Chairperson: G Viswanathan, Chancellor, VIT University

Ashok Thakur, Secretary, Dept. of Higher Education, MHRD

Kiran Bedi, Ex-IPS officer and Social activist

Savita Mahajan, Deputy Dean, ISB

S Gurumurthy, Co-convener, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch

2.45-3.45 pm: Private education leads to public good

Chairperson: S Vaidhyasubramanium, Dean-Planning & Development, SASTRA University

Suneel Galgotia, Chancellor, Galgotias University

V Raghunathan, CEO, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation

Vijay K Thadani, CEO, NIIT University

Kaustav Sengupta, Associate Professor, NIFT Chennai

3.45-4.45 pm: India has forgotten about research and development

Chairperson: Som Mittal, Former President, NASSCOM

Dr Achuthsankar S. Nair, Director, Centre for Bioinformatics, University of Kerala

Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, Former Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare

P Selvam, Professor-Chemistry, IIT-Madras

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO hotels (only Indian to win a Thiel Fellowship)

5-6 pm: Inter-college debate: “We are producing people of business, not leadership”

6.30-7.30 pm: Address by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev: “Should faith affect a child’s education?”

Day 2: January 31. 2014

10-11 am: Education frees women and threatens class and caste

Chairperson: Shankkar Aiyar, Author-Analyst

Sachin Pilot, Union Minister of Corporate Affairs

Sitaram Yechury, Member of Parliament

Smriti Irani, Member of Parliament

A Sampath, Member of Parliament

Dinesh Trivedi, MP

RS Surjewala, Member of Legislative Assembly

Kalvakuntla Kavitha, Founder, Telangana Jagruthi

11 am-12 pm: Our institutions teach neither leadership nor ethics

Chairperson: Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM-Kozhikode

CK Ranganathan, CEO, CavinKare

Chiranjib Banerjee, Country Manager, HP

Gowri Ishwaran, CEO, The Global Education and Leadership Foundation

Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO, Startup Village

12-1 pm: We don't need international rankings to prove our mettle

Chairperson: Bhaskar Ramamurti, Director, IIT-Madras

Jose Aikara, chairman, Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (ISCE)

V Vijayakumar, UNHCR Chair on Refugee Law, National Law School of India University

Dilip Cherian, Consulting Partner, Perfect Relations

1.45-2.45 pm: It's not skills vs intellect: education must provide both

Chairperson: Prafulla Agnihotri, Director, IIM-Trichy

Anupam Kher, Founder & Chairman, Anupam Kher Foundation

Prof SB Mujumdar, Founder & President, Symbiosis Society

S Ramalingam, Director, Pearl Academy of Fashion, Chennai

K Hariharan, Director, LV Prasad Film & TV Academy

2.45-3.30 pm: ‘India is supposed to skill 500 million people by 2020’. Can we do it?

Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for HRD in conversation with Kris Gopalakrishnan, Executive Vice Chairman, Infosys

3.30-4.30pm: India Inc is not doing enough to further the cause of education

Chairperson: Sushma Berlia, President, Apeejay Education Society

RV Deshpande, Minister for Higher Education & Tourism, Govt of Karnataka

Venu Srinivasan, CMD, TVS Motor Company

Usha Ananthasubramanian, CMD, Bharatiya Mahila Bank

Srini Raju, Co-founder & MD, Peepul Capital

4.45-6.00 pm: India needs to check its brain drain

Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy

Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister, Goa

Nadendla Manohar, Speaker, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly

Arun Shourie, Author, Economist & BJP leader

Chair: Prabhu Chawla

6.00 pm: Prize distribution for Inter-college debate

7 pm: Closing address: Mohd. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India

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