Athena Insurance & Reinsurance Brokers, a Mumbai-based firm licenced by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) offers comprehensive advice relating to appropriate customised insurance coverage incorporating hospitalisation, personal accidents, loss of baggage and tuition fees due to non-attendance of classes to outward bound students.
“There are a number of insurance products offered by insurance companies in India for students going overseas to pursue full-time studies. The several special features incorporated in these policies try to bridge the gap between university compelled coverage and requirements of students far from home. We can help students by clearing any misgivings in these matters,” says an Athena Insurance spokesman.
The premiums range from Rs.700-15,000 per year and claims are processed by a reputed claims settling and medical and emergency assistance agency with 24-hour call services and rep offices throughout the world.
Sona-GMU executive education programme
The Bangalore-based Sona Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS) has signed a collaboration agreement with the School of Public Policy, George Mason University (GMU), USA to offer a first-of-its-kind postgraduate study programme â€” Master of new professional studies (MNPS): organisational learning and change management. The MNPS programme was established by George Mason University in 1996 to provide leadership education to working professionals.
“This five semester part-time study programme for corporate executives, NGO and education leaders features an interdisciplinary curriculum ideal for professionals moving into positions of increased responsibility, including business process design, information technology implementation, knowledge management practice and specialised human resource management services,” says Prof. J.L. Gandhi an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur and IIM-Calcutta and incumbent dean of corporate education at SIAS. “Senior faculty of the School of Public Policy at GMU including Dr. Kingsley Haynes, Dr. Roger Stough, Prof. Mark Addleson, Dr. Tojo Thatchenkery and other distinguished faculty will be personally guiding the students from India to achieve the privilege of a prestigious professional degree from this top-grade American university based in Washington DC,” he adds.
SIAS was recently (2004) established in Bangalore by the Sona Valliappa Group which has promoted and manages several education institutions in Salem (Tamil Nadu) including the Sona College of Technology, Sona School of Management, Thiagarajar Degree College and Arts College & Polytechnic.
Bishop Cotton Schoolâ€™s Exquizite launch
Bishop Cotton Boysâ€™ School, Bangalore is all set to launch its annual quizzing event Exquizite 2004. This maiden inter-school quiz is scheduled for August 28 at the schoolâ€™s new 1,400 seater state-of-the-art Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton auditorium. “Exquizite 2004 aims at fulfilling the need for a school quizzing programme following international standards. It will set a unique benchmark in testing the knowledge, speech and accuracy of participants,” says Dr. Abraham Ebenezer principal of Bishop Cotton.
Exquizite is open to class VIII-XII students who will represent their respective schools in two member teams of two participants each. At the time of going to press, teams from 51 schools including several from Chennai, Gulburga and other towns and cities have confirmed their participation.
The winning school will receive a cash prize of Rs.25,000 and the Dr. Ebenezer Rolling Trophy while the runner up will be awarded Rs.15,000. Certificates will be issued to all participants.
IETS celebrates successful initiative
Il&FS Education & Technology Services Ltd (IETS) (formerly Schoolnet India) is celebrating the third anniversary of the introduction of its technology-aided classroom lessons for government schools.
“Today children in the government school at Dodanakundi are upbeat about their next history class. Unlike other school students, they find geometry easy to comprehend. Mathematics is fun to learn. In some of the government schools where the infrastructure is not up to the mark, children sit around a computer to view subject lessons. Teachers switch between subject topics at the click of a button and can explain topics in much greater detail. The reason: usage of our Technology-Aided Lessons (TAL),” says Umashankar Vishwanath the Bangalore-based vice president of IETS.
According to company sources, IETS started working with government schools in September 2001 with the intent of providing them access to technology and helping students acquire technology related skills. To meet the considerable investment needed for this ambitious project, the company approached donors in India and in the US to contribute to the cause. Donor funding to each of the 10 government schools provided for a 29″ television set, an Averkey and a computer to be used for audio-visual learning.
“Technology-aided learning pioneered by IETS has also helped in better student attendance. For example in Beratana Agrahara Government Higher Primary School, student attendance has risen by 20 percent since 2002-03. Use of technology has also led to better student performance across subjects and decrease in student dropouts,” adds Vishwanath.
West Bengal governmentâ€™s Medfest
Medfest, a sports meet with a difference, was staged in Kolkataâ€™s Salt Lake Stadium by the West Bengal governmentâ€™s department of health and family welfare on July 27 in association with the state special Olympics committee. “The purpose of Medfest is to promote and popularise the participation of disabled children in athletic endeavours,” said West Bengalâ€™s sports minister Subhas Chakraborty speaking on the occasion.
An estimated 500 mentally and physically challenged students aged between eight-30 from across the state participated in the event which combined athletics with a free medical check-up for all participants, courtesy Woodlands Hospital. While inaugurating Medfest, Chakraborty lauded the effort made by the state government vowing that West Bengal will set an example to the rest of the country for the promotion of healthy athletes, as per the Medfest motto.
Add-ons at Medfest included training for coaches dealing with disabled children and free eye tests organised by the International Eye Bank. Handcrafted products made by challenged children and special educational aids for their use were also on sale-cum-display.