Nandan Nilekani Plans Tech Project ‘Ek Step’ to Hone Children’s Basic Skills

Monday, February 16, 2015

Infosys co-founder and billionaire Nandan Nilekani, who spearheaded the country’s massive unique identification project, is gearing up for an equally ambitious project – to help elementary school children across the country improve their reading and arithmetic skills using low-end tablets and smartphones.

Nilekani is launching a social enterprise, Ek Step, and has roped in technologists and former colleagues at Unique Identification Authority of India, Pramod Varma and Vivek RaghavaVivek Raghavan, and data analytics firm Marketics cofounder Shankar Maruwada to be part of his team, people familiar with the development told ET.

“Primary education remains an unsolved problem in the country and that is what Nandan (Nilekani) wants to solve,” one of them said.

An email query to Nilekani to share insights about the initiative remained unanswered as of press time on Sunday.

Education entrepreneurs and experts said there is huge need to focus on the basic education skills like reading, writing and arithmetic. “Nandan has an excellent track record of doing thing at scale,” said K Ganesh, a serial entrepreneur. “He is the best person to take such an initiative on an enormous scale touching millions of people.”

Ganesh, who sold online tutoring firm TutorVista to UK’s Pearson for Rs 1,000 crore three years ago, runs online higher education firm Avagmah.

Source: The Economic Times (link opens in a new window)

Education, Technology
social enterprise