Gandhinagar: Exploding the commonly-held belief that the IITs and the IIMs are elitist institutions, the Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar (IIT-GN) on Wednesday launched the second edition of a unique program to train aspiring engineering students from humble backgrounds in communication and leadership skills.
A part of the “IITGN-Dakshana Leadership Programme”, the initiative will prepare as many as 70 students from the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and other government schools from 16 States. The average annual income of the parents and guardians of these students is less than Rs 2 lakh.
The students have been picked from the Pune, Bundi, Kottayam, and Lucknow centres of the Dakshana Foundation based on their exceptional performance in IIT-JEE preparation at Dakshana. This year’s cohort includes 10 students who are already studying at various reputed institutes with the Foundation for Excellence (FFE)’s scholarships.
Dakshana, a not-for-profit, which helps bright and economically disadvantaged students largely from rural India to prepare for IIT and medical entrance exams through intensive coaching for one to two years. However, a need was felt to build their soft skills, like leadership, critical thinking, and communication, to add more value to their talent.
IIT-GN teamed up with Dakshana and Ruyintan Mehta, a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, to start this month-long leadership programme for academically outstanding but economically underprivileged students.
Shivangi Bhatt, Communications and Media Officer at IITGN said in a press release that, “Over the next one month, these students from across India, who have showcased outstanding academic abilities despite the weak financial condition of their families, will be provided with the best training and knowledge in an IIT environment to help them reach their full potential.”
The communication skills module will hone their English language and communication skills to build their confidence, while the Leadership module, integrated with a uniquely designed “Finding a Leader in You” (FLY) programme, aims to make students aware of their strengths and work on their weaknesses to become confident leaders.
The critical thinking module will encourage students to ask critical questions about existing theories, principles, and possibilities and engage with thought experiments. All these sessions will be conducted by some of the best mentors from the Competitive Mindset Institute (CMI) and IIT-Gandhinagar.
Apart from the core modules, the month-long residential programme will also immerse students in various extracurricular activities like arts, dance, sports, swimming, yoga, learning Science and Mathematics concepts through DIY toys with the Centre for Creative Learning at IITGN, and visit to the Sabarmati Ashram.
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