JGU Wins "Digital Innovation of the Year" at the Times Higher Education Asia Awards 2021


20 Dec 2021 7:58 AM GMT

  • JGU Wins Digital Innovation of the Year at the Times Higher Education Asia Awards 2021

    "Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."

    - Pele

    O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) has won the "Digital Innovation of the Year" award at the coveted Times Higher Education (THE) Asia Awards 2021.

    JGU was the only Indian University to be shortlisted in this category alongside prestigious universities like Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong; Mabalacat City College, Philippines; University of Malakand, Pakistan; National University of Singapore, Singapore; National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan; Soochow University, China; Yonsei University, South Korea

    For years, THE has been one of the leading higher education ranking agencies in the world. THE Awards are recognised as the "Oscars of higher education". THE Asia Awards, launched only in 2019, is an international recognition of outstanding leadership and institutional performance, and celebration of higher education excellence in all of its diversity across the Asian Continent.

    JGU was the Only Indian University to be Shortlisted for the "Digital Innovation of the Year"

    JGU's win at the THE Awards is a recognition of JGU's successful digital transformation and impact over the last two years. This award is also a reflection of JGU's commitment to ensure continued education for its students during the ongoing pandemic. In March 2020 we were faced with one of the most unprecedented crises of our time. However, with the collective effort put in by the faculty, students and staff and the digital governance led by our IT team, by December 2020, 24,000+ online classes were completed, 1250+ unique online examinations were conducted and 69,000+ assessments were submitted.

    Having transformed the education experience at JGU with technology, JGU decided to extend our technology capability and innovation to make a broader social impact. We realized that when it comes to technology, ours – Schools' and the University's, needs are very similar. This is when we innovated the application 'Tou, which is an amalgamated version of the internal software tools that JGU uses to operate the University online, tweaked to be used at K-12 schools.

    As per the THE article on announcement of the award winners on their website: 'Winner in the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category, India's O.P. Jindal Global University, created a free, cloud-based application to help schools and universities manage data – especially useful given India's digital divide.'

    Tou, an out-of-the-box tool, comes with an array of modules and features that can bring in the digital disruption we need to operate online. These have been carefully designed after extensive research to ensure that all the school's needs are fulfilled. More importantly, the application is a social venture by JGU, and is available to all schools, at no cost.

    Tou was born with a vision to create social impact: A school of 2000 students would have to pay more than INR 15 lakhs per annum to get a similar solution from the market, which JGU is providing at no cost to the schools in the form of Tou.

    Tou has enabled the digital transformation of educational institutions across 12 states of India: by enabling over 20,000 Assignments with nearly 3 Lakh Submission, INR 4 Crore Fee Payments, and 30,000 Results Automations. Therefore, this digital innovation has enabled institutions to leverage technology to imbibe sustainable efficiency in institutional operation and transform the future of the Indian Education System.

    You can read more about Tou at: https://tou.jgu.edu.in

    Further, to broaden the impact of our internal digital innovations to other institutions, we also translated our (e)learnings into a detailed "Covid-19 Response-Toolkit for Indian Higher Education Institutions: Institutional Resilience for Academic Planning & Continuity". This toolkit was made possible by the efforts of academic and research teams at the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and the International Institute of Higher Education Research & Capacity Building (IIHEd) at JGU. Being released by Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Hon'ble Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and also the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development enabled us to broaden the outreach and impact of the toolkit.

    Note: During the award ceremony on the COVID-19 Toolkit: 'An incredible effort putting together the COVID Response Toolkit. "fantastically useful document", said the judges'

    For JGU, having just stepped into the second decade of their journey, winning this award at the competitive THE Asia Awards 2021 is indeed a moment of great pride. Therefore, I feel humbled that our effort to create an impact for our students, and our nation, and driving initiatives to make education more accessible particularly during unfortunate times of this pandemic have been recognized globally.

    Continued support of the Founding Chancellor and Benefactor, Mr. Naveen Jindal, to endeavours has enabled to win this award at the coveted THE Asia Awards 2021. Needless to say, this achievement would not have been possible without the outstanding and able leadership and commitment of Mr. Karan Kumar, Head & Additional Director - Information Technology who led the imagination of the digital transformation at JGU and beyond, and the dedication and hard work of the entire JGU IT team. Lastly, the relentless efforts and commitment of students, faculty and staff members to build the institution as the leader of higher education in India is praise worthy. This recognition is truly a reflection of their sustained and united hard work, perseverance and commitment.

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