TC-I Tidbits

Here is your daily dose of headlines about innovative or anti-innovative ideas from around the country:

  • Microfinance
    • ACCESS Development Services and Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development will work to build cooperation between Europe and India to assist 20 MFIs in the country.
    • SKS Microfinance and Bajaj Allianz will form a partnership to provide clients with insurance products.
    • Standard Chartered expects to ramp up its investment in Indian MFIs.
  • Global Trends
    • The lure of high salaries and chance of returning home has encouraged many non-returning Indians to become returning ones.
  • Central Government
    • Power Generation and Transmission
      • In order to address load demands between the two countries, India and Sri Lanka will build a power line between them to help each deal with supply shortages.
      • The centre’s support for private initiatives to produce and provide hydro-electric power has come under scrutiny for whether only the wealthy have enjoyed access to the energy.
      • The government also presented its report on the safety of its proposed civilian nuclear program at the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
    • Climate Change
      • Pushing forward on the way the country will tackle global warming, the federal government looked to split up the effort into three parts.
  • State and Local Governments
    • Andhra Pradesh
    • Maharashtra
      • Education: Proposed rules will prohibit private school teachers from providing tuitions outside of the classroom, in order to eliminate the chance that these teachers favor these tutees over their own students.
    • Pune
      • Health: A NGO here utilizes pets to bring about emotional stimulation in autistic children.
    • Visakhapatnam
      • Housing: The ‘Rajiv Swagruha’ scheme has finally become a reality — promising the ability to own housing for over 10,000 applicants has begun, with the first acquisition of land by the city.

Pune finds better way to build better roads

A recent post on Avashya commended the Pune Municipal corporation for fully embracing the benefits of technology to reach out to its constituents. The city has recently overhauled its website and has provided the community with much needed services and features. One feature in particular, aims to facilitate the “better roads” initiative.

Any web user can go and register complaints using Google maps. If you have a road dug up, potholes or any other road related complaints just find your area on the map and register the complaint.

This is a very cool way to use a Google map mashup to help one’s constituents.

Constructing educated children, fundraising event

In an unusual initiative, Pratham has begun a targeted effort to educate the children of construction workers in Pune. Pratham enlists the help of specially trained teachers that go to the construction sites themselves or even teach on the nearby crowded streets (From OneWorld South Asia).

Every day, between 3 to 7 pm, groups of children aged between four and fourteen are enthusiastically urged to recite rhymes, read English lessons, attempt basic arithmetic and speak the Queen’s language … For a majority of these children, the concept of education is a novelty. They admit that they have never ever seen the inside of a classroom.

Targeting a constituency where parents may not necessarily see the immediate value of educating their children, Pratham had to use persistence and persuasion to get their message across.

“It has been a tough task to start this project because the parents had to be first convinced about the need to send them here for schooling. They were not interested because they thought it would be a waste of time. Most of these children did not have birth certificates and so our primary job was to get this documentation done because we would eventually like to enrol them in mainstream schools,” states Suman Mane, one of the teachers trained by Pratham.

More after the jump, and information regarding Pratham’s fundraising event in New York City.

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April 4th — VC Circle Growth Capital Forum

Slated to be held in Pune, this conference intends to be a meetup of many if not all of the major VC firms in India. The conference is held in Pune in order to focus on startups and ventures happening outside the borders of the major cities like Mumbai or Delhi.

Why a VC/PE event in a city like Pune? We believe the India growth story lies not just in Delhi and Mumbai, but in other regions too. Pune, for instance, is known for companies from thriving sectors like Engineering, IT&ITES, Education, Specialty Retail, Food Processing & Agro-based Industries, and Biotech. VC Circle believes that investors need to go where companies are. And they are indeed doing it.

Here is the info for the conference, and a list of confirmed speakers can be found after the jump:

Venue: Le Meridien, Pune
Date: April 4, 2008
Time: 10.30 am-5.30 pm
Registration fee per attendant: Rs 3,000 inclusive of all taxes.

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