CSIM E-Learning Launch at IIT Chennai

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Learning Entrepreneurship the E-way!

E-learning and Entrepreneurship are undoubtedly the two E’s whose baby-steps might just result in one giant leap for mankind. As familiar as one may be with these concepts, there’s no denying the fact that these principles have started becoming the driving force for almost any basic form of growth, be it knowledge, wealth, or all-round development. Given the huge potential that these concepts hold within themselves, one can only imagine how viable and noteworthy a combination of these two principles may be. A realization of that dream is exactly what was to be at the launch of CSIM’s online course in Social Entrepreneurship. A revolutionary course by nature, and inventive and path-breaking by virtue of its content, the online course in Social Entrepreneurship offered by the Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM) got off to a grand start on September 7, 2010 as the course itself was launched at the IIT, Madras campus by Prof. M.S. Ananth, Director IIT, Madras. Designed and developed in collaboration with Cognizant Technology Solutions, the online course in Social Entrepreneurship offered by CSIM involves the intricacies of entrepreneurship which has been tempered with a social angle.

Perhaps the most innovative method of instruction of a concept such as entrepreneurship, the online course in social entrepreneurship offered by CSIM consists of ten modules with a total instruction time of about 40 hours. These modules deal with legal aspects, fund development, social marketing, management, tools, project management, finance management, and human resource management (several aspects of social entrepreneurship). Besides, short films and documentaries on successful social entrepreneurs are included as case studies. Thus, with a practical approach to the concept of entrepreneurship, it is widely believed that this course will go a long way in carving out social entrepreneurs from its students. “This course will certainly help me to have a better understanding of my undergraduate course,” claims Ramya Ravi, a student of MOP Vaishnav College and an applicant for the course in social entrepreneurship, “As of now, I plan to complete my bachelors degree. But when the time comes for my Masters, I will be better prepared for it, owing to the experience I will have gained from the course.”

Speaking at the launch of the online course, Prof. Ananth, the Director of IIT, Madras praised the efforts of CSIM in launching the course, “It’s important to know the society we live in,” said Prof. Ananth, “The venue of instruction has moved from the Gurukula (House of the teacher) to the Sishyakula (House of the student) and we must move with the times.” The Director also praised CSIM for their initiative in the field of education, “It’s heartening to note that CSIM not only caters to social needs but also launches educational programmes,” said an enthusiastic Prof. Ananth.

Another interesting aspect of the course in social entrepreneurship is the user-friendly nature of the course itself. Allowing for audio aids, the course also caters to the aspirations of the visually challenged. Heaping praise on this aspect of the programme, J.S. Shekhar, Governing Council Member of, CSIM said, “It is our duty to ensure that the differently abled are as able-bodied as we are. With regard to this, we may need to recognize, identify, and assist people who need to be assisted.” Shekhar also praised the programme for its disabled-friendly makeup. “Education for the differently abled is important as they are normally considered by society to be social stigmas. Thus most students who are unable to move around can sit in their homes and learn,.” he added.

Prof. Ananth, in his keynote address expressed the need for creating trustworthy sources of information. “The only difference between Beethoven and a fish-market is the signal-noise ratio,” quipped the professor, with all simplicity. “It is important to separate the music from the noise – separate the logical from what’s not true, as access to programs on the internet is vast,” warned Prof. Ananth. However, the professor declared his belief that the online course of CSIM would live up to its expectations. In attendance at the launch of the course were several students, teachers, academicians, and corporate representatives. The launch of the online course in social entrepreneurship is expected to benefit all walks of society be it academic, industrial or technical. Several students have reposed their faith in online education as a means of studying a subject in addition to a normal study routine. What provides an impetus to the program is the association of a software giant such as Cognizant with the program thus allowing the inflow of ideas and syllabus design to take place in a more efficient manner – in keeping with the demands and challenges thrown up by modern society.

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CSIM offers online training program on Social entrepreneurship.
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