Going beyond SOS Internet Portal of S2S Launched for the stranded students in COVID19

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Pune, 3 April 2020, Much needed internet tool for supporting poor, needy and stranded students in the midst of lockdown due to COVID19 was launched with express speed by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) today.

Within two days of the video conferencing between TERRE Policy Centre and AICTE on need assessment, the experts from AICTE got into action to enable the Support to Student -S2S portal which was launched by Hon. Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank”.

Marginalised and weaker sections of the society always suffer the most when the crisis unfolds. COVID-19 is the crisis that has brought the human civilization on the brink of global disaster. Many among the school, college and university student community in India, known as the most diverse and dispersed segment of youth in the world, were caught in nationwide lockdown since 25th March.

Many were stranded in hostels and rented accommodation or at home separated from their alma mater. While they are the most understanding and aware of the COVID 19 crisis there was urgent need to support them and re-connect them to their family, schools, colleges and meet their urgent personal needs including psychological support.

On 1st April, the need assessment video conferencing was held under the guidance of Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe and participation by Chairman AICTE, Dr Rajendra Shende, Chairman of TERRE Policy Centre, Prof Joe Thomas, an expert in Public Health from MIT WP University and Mr Rajas Khobragade, President of Republican Student Federation

Based on the priority agenda 10-point assessment that emerged from the conference, the website https://helpline.aicte-india.org was tested and launched within a record time of one day on 3rd April with the expertise of Shri Buddha Chandrashekhar, Chief Coordinating Officer, AICTE and student interns Shivanshu and Akash of Graphic Era University.

“I appeal to all social, cultural, voluntary, philanthropic organizations and foundations to pitch in and support this noble cause at such a crucial juncture in the history of mankind”, said Prof Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of AICTE.

AICTE and TERRE Policy Centre have joined hands through partnership agreements aimed at developing smart solutions for the education on sustainable development through a Smart Campus Cloud Network-SCCN

The website-portal essentially connects those students who are in need of those who are willing to provide help. The nature of support includes accommodation, food, on-line classes, mentoring, queries on examinations, admissions, scholarships, health, transport and

harassment. More than 6500 colleges have already come forward to provide support at such a crucial juncture.

“Technology has potential to lead the world out of crisis and continue our march towards sustainable development goals of United Nations”, said Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE and former director, UNEP. “This web site itself would act as the candlelight to drive away from the darkness of COVID19 and support the efforts of PM Narendra Modi”, he added.

TERRE would be organising webinars to outreach the S2S internet portal over the next few days and provide input to AICTE for improvement.

Interested voluntary organizations, NGOs, social organizations, philanthropists, aid foundations are requested to participate in Project S2S to nurture tomorrows path-finder citizens in this unprecedented crisis. Contact AICTE at cconeat@aicte-india.org and TERRE at sccn.team@gmail.com

SCCN facilitates colleges and universities to mainstream the future policy-makers and policy-implementers in implementing the SDGs by promoting sharing of the information on transformative actions undertaken by students and faculties in the campus. More importantly, it encourages to deploy the digital technologies like IoT (Internet of Thing), AI (Artificial Intelligence), Cloud-networking, Machine-to-machine learning and Blockchain for optimum use of energy, water in campus and catalyse effective waste management, sustainable transport, air pollution and nature conservation within the campus. (www.sccnhub.com)

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