14 Jun 2019
Meet IAS-officer Kundan Kumar, who will be Rajnath's private secretary
On Thursday night, the government informed that IAS officer Kundan Kumar has been appointed as Singh's private secretary.
Naturally, Kumar will be part of major decisions which Singh takes in the next five years.
Here's all about him.
Kumar changed the face of education in Bihar's Banka
Kumar is a 2004-batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre. His tenure will last till February 3, 2020.
Currently, he is serving as District Magistrate and Collector of Banka in Bihar. In this Naxal-affected district, education is a luxury. As per data, only 58.17% of the district's population is literate.
When Kumar took office, he made education his top priority and changed lives.
Kumar started the 'Banka Unnayan' program
Kumar started the 'Banka Unnayan' program to ensure education reaches everywhere. For this purpose, he teamed up with an education start-up, Eckovation, run by IITian Ritesh Singh, who hails from Chhapra.
This program encourages student-teacher interaction and uses animated and interactive video lectures to build conceptual understanding among students.
Singh said the project delivers quality education with the help of technology.
Students are shown interactive videos, taught subjects
Here's how this program works- From Monday to Saturday, Class 10 students of 143 senior secondary government schools in the district watch videos of various subjects like Maths, Science and Social Studies. The viewing exercise lasts for some 90 or 120 minutes.
In the end, the students get a quick recap of the lesson through bullet points.
The videos are kept interactive.
After watching videos, students are asked questions
Later, the students are handed over OMR sheets carrying five questions. What makes this exercise more interesting is that students check sheets of one another.
The results are then uploaded on Eckovation.
In addition to this, teachers conduct a 30-mark test every Monday to assess if students have learned everything or not. Students can also discuss doubts with experts on the platform.
Anyone can download the app for interaction, explained Kumar
Speaking on the project, Kumar said he started something like this in Nalanda.
"When I got transferred to Banka, I thought this is an ideal district to test the Unnayan concept. Anyone- parents, students, experts and people anywhere in the world- can download this app and interact with each other," Kumar said.
The pilot project started in August'17, and with time became a rage.
The program changed lives of underprivileged kids
The program has impressed everyone and the government is planning to replicate it in 5,000 schools across India. Kumar won International Innovation Award 2018 at the biennial Commonwealth CAPAM Conference and G-files Governance Award.
He underlined that this program boosted the confidence of underprivileged kids.
"Kids of masons and tea-sellers are now unafraid to lead seminars and answer questions from professors in the US," he said.