Blogger or Writer? Both! 

nirupamaprv

Does this picture seem familiar?

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The start of every post on WordPress- this powerful phrase: “Start your story” compels me to write; along with the confidence that YOU, my readers and fellow bloggers inspire in me.

Blogging and motherhood have both made me face many fears and challenges head on. While not always successful, I have learned plenty from the experiences. With the confidence of my tiny triumphs, I finally took the plunge and published a debut novel.

I won’t brag- it took me a long time to complete. I began with the enthusiasm of NaNoWriMo session of 2015, finishing in 2016. Several edits and rejections later; the book is finally published!!! Hooray!

Delight of seeing one's name on a book! Delight of seeing one’s name on a book!

Check out the links:

Amazon&Amazon India

I have to say, most of the credit goes to YOU, my fellow bloggers, for giving me the confidence to write…

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“Nurturing Innovative Thinking for Sustainable Competitiveness” – 2

Part 2: Research Findings pertaining to ONGC

The Oil and Gas sector contributes enormously to the growth of Indian economy. The sector needs new ideas to face various critical challenges.

  • ONGC has been making efforts to create an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of Start-ups in the oil & gas sector which has a huge potential for technology-enabled ideas.
  • ONGC has launched a Rs 100 crore Start-up fund to foster, nurture and incubate new ideas related to oil and gas sector. The initiative, christened as ONGC Start-up, is in line with the Govt. of India’s initiative ‘Start-up India’.
  • ONGC Start-up has  set up a dedicated website to nurture innovative thinking that results in fresh implementable ideas in the oil and gas sector.
  • ONGC provides the support chain for start-ups including seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring, market linkage and follow-ups.
  • To encourage its own employees to innovate, ONGC has instituted awards to its employees for their innovative ideas.
  • In 2015, Rajendra Bhambhu and Deepak Naik developed an innovative Safety Device for rigs that facilitates setting up of emergency brake to augment safety mechanism on drilling rigs.
  • Prajesh Chopra developed a unique Dual SIM Cellular Router System that provides Data Connectivity at Work-over Rigs. This innovation curtails the hassle of frequent dismantling and reinstallation during rig transportation, resulting in saving of time and money.

 

Part 3: Research Findings pertaining to TCS:

Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) is an Indian multinational Information Technology (IT) service, consulting and business solutions company. It is a subsidiary of the Tata Group. TCS was ranked 64th overall in the Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies ranking.

  • TCS has been investing in research for over three decades, since the founding of the Tata Research Development and Design Centre in Pune in 1981. The innovation process has gained maturity with about 2,500 people in innovation, asset creation and research and development across the organisation.
  • In 2005, the company spent Rs 40 crores on research and development worldwide.
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in 2006 set up innovation labs and added innovation partner network and corporate technology board to stimulate innovative thinking to create new value propositions.
  • TCS partners from the innovation ecosystem and young people in TCS are invited to make presentations on their new ideas to the Board.
  • TCS plans for innovation in three time horizons: Derivative innovations to improve in current services and markets, Platform innovations to adapt to changes in the next two to three years, Disruptive innovations that are long-term research explorations which can be game-changers.
  • TCS set up innovation labs for engineering and automotive technology, financial services technology, banking technology, retail technology and airline technology.
  • TCS invested over Rs 7 billion in 2013 on innovation. They have been consistently investing about 1.5 percent of total turnover on research and innovation.
  • Their patent count has grown exponentially in the past few years. TCS filed for 1,746 patents and 114 were granted in 2014.
  • TCS has a 4E model for innovation management. The core research in the labs comes under the Explore’ Once the research concepts have been tested and are technologically sound and have market traction, they ‘Enable’ these ideas by engineering applications. Those that are most attractive to customers and business are then scaled up by an Exploit’ team. There is a fourth team, the ‘Evangelise’ team, that works as a glue between the other three ‘E’s, taking research to business and providing market information to research.
  • Anchored in TCS Innovation Labs, the TCS Co-Innovation Network (COIN) provides an environment for sophisticated IT research in leading-edge technologies across various domains.
  • COIN uses intellectual property management and partnering strategies to drive innovation. COIN forges and nurtures bonds with academic institutions, startups, venture funds, strategic alliance partners, multilateral organisations, Tata group companies, government agencies and industry trade bodies, the internal stakeholders of TCS and key clients. This helps to provide an ecosystem-like perspective to innovation to address specific innovation challenges.
  • Each year, several start-ups are channeled through the COC pipeline after undergoing rigorous business and technology due-diligence to validate go-to market readiness and product maturity.

Conclusion:

The research findings reveal that where a congenial environment is created to nurture and appreciate innovative thinking, there are tangible results like quantifiable saving in cost of operations and increase in efficiency.

Regardless of the organisational structure – whether Government department with social welfare as the primary objective or public sector undertaking or private for-profit enterprise; nurturing innovative thinking does help in improving productivity through cost benefits and higher efficiency, which in turn helps sustain competitive strength of the organisation.

Therefore Hypothesis is valid.

 

Interpretation of Research Findings:

The underlying basis for any form of innovation is in fostering creative thinking, building trust and authenticity and embedding a culture of innovation within an organization. Innovative thinking thus depends on the mindset and the ability to harnesses the collaborative genius of employees to intelligently address customer needs and wants.

Some of the strategies that companies employ to have a steady source of fresh ideas and access to unconventional thinking are collaboration with universities, research labs, creating technology accelerators, etc.

 

Concluding Remarks:

The fundamental driver behind any innovation process is the human factor associated with it. The quality of human capital determines the innovation capability of nations. Hence nurturing human capital at all levels and in all sections of society is crucial for developing innovation capabilities.

Human talent in an organisation can help create and sustain a competitive advantage because talented employees are carriers of intangible know-how assets, they are able to solve problems, have the power of innovative thinking and the ability to adapt. A qualified, motivated and integrated network of employees, properly adjusted to the culture of the company, is an asset that cannot be easily imitated.

India, with its billion plus population, being a nation with the largest population of young people, has the potential to create tremendous opportunities to drive future innovations, if human capital is nurtured.

Innovation is spurred by the availability of favourable conditions and a society that is open to new approaches. For this education, training, skill formation, diffusion of knowledge, etc. are necessary. India has to build up its education system into a source of high quality human capital to drive future innovations.

Countries should invest more in education, in building the human infrastructure to drive innovation and growth. Industry and businesses should also get involved in enhancing education systems. Businesses should create platforms for talented people to work and innovate together, to share the value created and achieve success.

The key to a nation;s economic growth is the nurturing and unleashing of its innovative and entrepreneurial talents. The challenge of development and stimulation of a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship cannot solely be met from top-down strategic planning from a central government, but through the development of a more entrepreneurship-friendly environment.

 

Scope for further research

  • Critical thinking is a pre-requisite for innovation. Development of human capital through nurturing critical thinking is an area that needs to be studied.
  • The role of education, particularly higher education in development of critical and innovative thinking and fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship, is an area that could be studied.

 

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References

 

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“Blended Learning – Redefining the Traditional Role of Teachers – 2

Recap:

Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace.

Blended Learning – Redefining teaching roles:

The move to blended learning represents a fundamental change in the way teachers and students approach the learning experience. The word ‘facilitator’ has emerged as an alternative to “teacher.”

As we transition to technology based learning, the interaction between content knowledge, instructional pedagogy and technology based skills development, becomes paramount to the success of the individual learner within the blended model.

 

Teachers must understand the content to be taught within the classroom.  They must also have deep understanding that allows the content to be morphed into a delivery system allowing the student to take ownership in their learning process.

Thus the crucial components for the success of blended learning are content knowledge, pedagogy and technology.

 

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Continued:

Through Blended Learning models the role of the teacher has shifted as also the role of the learner. Content can be accessed independently; investigation and depth of understanding can be found divergent of the teacher’s influence.

So, where does that leave the role of the teacher?

The teacher can focus on working with the student to develop the foundational skills to seek, identify and analyse content without the teacher’s help. The teacher has thus provided a lifelong resource to each learner. Learning to access and process information is of vital importance in the age of technology that we live in.

This is what I found out after reading and researching about Blended Learning:

  • Blended learning does not simply mean putting computers, tablets, and new software in front of students.
  • Blended learning is the intentional integration of online and in-person education to expand learning opportunities for students.
  • Teacher education and the way we develop and evaluate teacher educators must reflect the shifts in what teachers are expected to do.
  • In a blended context, teachers need to exhibit many of the same skills we would expect in a traditional school model.
  • Blended learning requires teachers to work in teams for planning and testing new instructional practices and assessing their efficacy.

 

My Findings about Skills required for teaching in a Blended Learning Environment:

  • One of the biggest shifts in a blended-learning environment is that students will be engaged in different activities and working on different concepts and skills.
  • Teachers must learn to be comfortable facilitating learning in this environment and creating a culture that sets high academic expectations and encourages students to take accountability for their learning.
  • A teacher should not be alarmed at seeing students conferring with peers while he/she is working in small groups or one-on-one with other students.
  • If teachers invest in creating a strong culture up front, with clear norms and expectations, blended learning will amplify that culture.
  • Responding to individual student data, in real time or even on a daily basis, is a significant and important shift for teachers to master.
  • Teachers will now need new skills to learn how to support students who are learning different things, at different paces, through different approaches, such as one-on-one tutoring, small-group instruction, project-based learning and lectures.
  • Teachers will have opportunities to specialize. Some may be content experts, others learning coaches or facilitators, and still others might be non-academic teachers.

 

Interpretation of Findings:

The question of whether blended learning is suitable for Indian education and whether it can be incorporated into the Indian educational system can be addressed, if we consider the following facts:

  • Given the large and growing student population in India and the rising cost of delivering education, it makes sense to invest in blended learning methodology.
  • Although the capital investment in technology will be high, it would be cost-effective in the long run.
  • Indian education, especially higher education is already using considerable levels of technology. Blended learning model would essentially give a direction to the spending being done on technology.
  • The new generation of learners in India are digital natives, who use technology effortlessly.
  • Blended learning would keep them actively engaged in the learning process and enable them to fulfil their educational needs in a manner that they are comfortable with.

 

Concluding Remarks

The problems in adopting new technologies range from paucity of funding, fear of new technologies, lack of trained and well-qualified staff, difficulties in imparting proper training to the staff – both teaching and administrative, to general organizational recalcitrance and resistance to change.

The key to a successful blended learning programme does not involve the mere choosing of software, although selecting excellent online content is critical. The bulk of the planning and execution of any lesson still falls on teachers. Any shift to blended learning means that truly effective teachers are now more necessary than ever before, to ensure rigorous content is being taught and that the technology is being used to extend learning opportunities of students.

 

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Bibliography

 

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