IIITH and Agastya announce collaboration to bring innovative digital technologies for rural and government school children

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The International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH) and Agastya International Foundation are collaborating to create solutions that will bring innovative, high-quality, and high-relevance learning and training to economically disadvantaged school children. The partners will jointly identify problems in the grassroots that can be addressed by solutions based on emerging technologies such as AI&ML, language technologies and computer vision. The objective is to enable those on the wrong side of the digital divide by leveraging cutting-edge research.

The partnership is set up under the aegis of the Raj Reddy Centre on Technology in Service of Society at IIITH. This center is an initiative of IIITH to enable research and emerging technology-led solutions for grassroot education and public health, with specific emphasis on the rural population. The centre will pursue two broad directions for high societal impact: Innovations in rural education, and Innovation in Healthcare for the bottom of the pyramid.

Agastya International Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, India with a mission to spark curiosity, nurture creativity and build confidence among economically disadvantaged children and teachers in rural India. Founded in 1999 Agastya runs hands-on science education programs in rural and semi-urban regions across 14 Indian states.

IIITH and Agastya will collaborate on research and development of specialized solutions and tools, aimed at enhancing the learning experience of children and teachers through the latest technologies. The center will focus on areas that include vernacular language tools which will provide interactive knowledge access to students with minimal resources, improved teaching tools, gamification of learning through animations, interactive experiments, augmented reality models, and measuring learning effectiveness.

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Speaking on behalf of IIITH, Prof. Ramesh Loganathan, Chair Outreach committee, said “IIITH has always had social good as a key outcome of all research from the institute. This collaboration with Agastya Foundation and Navam makes this possible in a very fulfilling way. Clear and present problems addressed through emerging research led technology, deployed and value realized on ground. We are very excited about this collaboration.”

Mr. K.Thiagarajan, COO, Agastya International Foundation, also spoke about the initiative, “Agastya has been pioneering hands-on and experiential based pedagogy in building curiosity, creativity and confidence in school children. This collaboration with IIITH will help us increase our digital reach and richness manifold. Ubiquitous learning, sharpening of our pedagogy and being prepared for future uncertainties/pandemic situations are some of the expected outcomes from this collaboration. Looking forward to leverage technology leadership of IIITH”