Having completed my postgraduate degree 'Master in Computer Applications' (2004-2007) from the top-ranked Savitribai Phule Pune University in India, I started working with the corporate sector and was anchoring the software development process. Apart from my corporate assignments, I engaged myself in projects which had a social impact. I developed Environmental Awareness game called Fidothon where a character named Fido runs for spreading the concern about Global Warming. Due to my technology and gaming background, I got an opportunity to work on a few technology interventions for education. I worked with the organization named Learning Yogi based in Bangalore on a gaming platform for Early Childhood (3-5years) Education. This platform is focused on 21st-century skills like Critical Thinking which are essential for Citizenship, in addition to Early literacy and numeracy. This project also gave me international exposure as my teams were based in India, Australia, USA, and Russia. Another technology intervention was for the education sector program management. I conceptualized and developed a technology platform for managing the field operations for large-scale educational programs like Mulyavardhan. This gave enough background to start my action research project on Teachers Continuous Professional Development using Blended approach of ICT. I am currently conducting research with teachers from close to 30 schools. Microsoft provided 500000 free licenses and another London based organization offered their LPP365 platform. This study will try to establish that Online CPD is effective for the value related domain which connects to attitude, skills, and behavior.
Having completed a postgraduate certificate course in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), I was also voluntarily driving the Social Responsibility initiatives for these organizations. During my tenure, I made sure that employees go out of the office and actively participate for a cause they were concerned about. I was of the opinion that such participation can take them closer to the social concerns and they will find their own path to resolving those issues. My career path gradually shaped from a software engineer to a development sector enthusiast. I was involved in organizing events, campaigns, and few serious social sector projects, in anticipation that such engagements will encourage civic participation. I believe, Education is one of the important means towards this end. It laid foundations to a volunteer non-profit organization focused on child education, which I co-founded and am leading for more than a decade now.
Samidha designed projects which gave children the opportunity to identify their social concerns and participate in solving those. I designed a framework called Social Sensibility framework, based on Paulo Freire’s Critical Pedagogy. It was my introduction to educational research and specifically in Pedagogy research. Currently, this project is being piloted in the urban slums and rural context and soon it will be piloted in the tribal region. As part of Samidha, I got the opportunity to work with Dr. Sugata Mitra and Dr. Suneeta Kulkarni during two interesting research projects, namely Self-Organized Learning Environment (SOLE) and The Granny Cloud. Children at Samidha centers interact with Grannies all over the world. This research is trying to establish that children can learn by themselves when a conducive environment is provided. This project also helped me understand that there are different notions of Citizenship all over the world. During my stay in Singapore and while working with teams at Canada, Australia, USA, I have had marginal exposure to international cultures. At this point, I felt the need to widen my ideas of Civic Engagement, Social Participation, Citizenship Education and place it in the Global Context.
These efforts gave good insights, but mainly working on small projects which had a short reach and were touching only a few hundred children. Identifying a need to understand the education system in a huge country like India and learn to implement large-scale educational programs, I decided to let my IT career take back seat and devoted to the education domain. I enrolled for my second post-graduate program, Masters in Education at the Azim Premji University Bangalore, which is known for its expertise in Education. I got the opportunity to understand the mammoth government education system here. I visited remote places like district Almoda of Uttarakhand to understand the functioning of district Education Departments. I did a field study at a district Sirohi, Rajasthan, to understand how policies are implemented in such a geographically spread and populous country. This exploratory study helped gather details about the policy rollout strategy, by taking ‘Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)’ as an example. During the same time, I volunteered for the project on developing the Scientific Temperament in school going children, being implemented in a conflict-prone district Bandipora of Jammu and Kashmir. During my post-graduation, I could visit various states of India for different studies and projects. It helped me understand the diversity in a real sense and challenges faced in designing the large-scale educational programs. I graduated in 2016 with the specialization in ‘School, Organization, Leadership and Management’ which was focused on the large-scale Educational Program Design and implementation.
As part of the program, I managed to go through various policy documents. I realized that Policy discourses are also changing in India post-independence. There are programs which are concentrating on the constitutional values. Mulyavardhan (translates to Nurturing Values) is one of such programs which is being recommended by the central government and has been positively accepted by few state governments in India. It is focused on the skills, attitudes, dispositions, and behavior, required to become a democratic citizen. Three states in India namely Maharashtra, Goa and Jharkhand have already decided to implement it in all government schools, spreading to more than 10,00,00 schools. After my post-graduation in Education, I chose to work for this Program where my specialization complemented to assure my rapid growth. I am fortunate to be part of the higher management and strategic decision-making team of the organization which designed, piloted and implementing this program with the state governments. I am currently heading the Research and Technology departments here.
I invested my initial days in the Education sector, for designing the Monitoring and Evaluation of large-scale program. I improved the M&E framework, developed tools, and designed analysis frameworks. Apart from providing regular monitoring reports, I have also conducted the program evaluation studies. I was part of the two state-wide baseline studies. I single-handedly drove one of the baseline studies with the help of 30 researchers. I am still advising the program monitoring team and supporting Program teams in better implementation. Apart from this, Data Analysis is my niche skill. My background in Computers makes it easier for me to handle the data. I can design a Database (DB) schema, designs tools to collect the data and retrieve data from DB. I have very comfortably managed the data collected from nearly 30000 schools and also analyzed the training feedback data from more than 40,000 respondents. I have a good understanding of the Quantitative data analysis tools like SPSS, basic programming skills in R and also have hands-on experience with the Qualitative data analysis tools like MAX QDA, QDAMinor. I developed an automated live report generation mechanism which was feeding to my program teams using CRM tools like Salesforce, and the Data visualization tool like Tableau.
I studied the time-on-task during the Alternative Pedagogies in the primary grade classrooms through empirical quantitative research. I designed a snapshot tool to sense engagement of the children after every minute, which captured more than 8000 snapshots from 200 classroom observations. This study got accepted worldwide. I received a publishing request from 6 peer-reviewed Journals and invite from 3 international conferences. My research paper is published in the European Journal of Education Studies(https://oapub.org/edu/index.php/ejes/article/view/901). I also presented this paper in 2017 at the prestigious Hawaii International Conference on Education, Hawaii, USA.This opportunity gave me a chance to interact with the researchers from all over the world and help me understand the international standards of research. I continued my research using the non-participatory classroom observations in the Mulyavardhan schools. My recent study claims that when activities for constitution values are conducted regularly in the classrooms then it helps children inculcate those. Statistical evidence was established based on more than 16000 classroom observations.