By Aryeman Raj
Inspired by the Gandhian precept “strength through knowledge and knowledge to all,” Dr. K.M. Vasudevan Pillai founded the Mahatma Education Society in 1970. What followed was a journey of trials and tribulations, of old ideas challenged and new ideas explored and implemented. On this day, Dr. K.M. Vasudevan Pillai releases his book, EDUNATION The Dream of an India Empowered, as the culmination of this rich and revealing journey. The book is a treasury of insights for every Indian educator, policy-maker, and custodian of this key sector. The highly talented and renowned actor, Mr. Anupam Kher, who is himself an educator, attended the event to support Dr. Pillai in his sterling initiative.
About the Book: EduNation – The Dream of An India Empowered not only exposes the glaring inadequacies of the Indian education system, but through a deep study of how things work in advanced countries (like Australia, China, Switzerland, Singapore, and the U.S.) and through examples of ground-breaking entrepreneurship from the author’s own lifeprovides an invaluable resource for all those interested in shaping a vibrant and progressive India. Policy-makers looking for change; entrepreneurs looking for management truths; institution-builders wanting to get their foundations right; educators intent on delivering 100% results; and teachers interested in functioning as mentors: the book provides a wealth of insights for all who wish to make a difference, who believe that an India empowered is an India poised to lead. EDUNATION is not a personal story as much as a blueprint for meaningful social and economic change, a book that shares generously, delivers hope, and holds a torch to India’s vast untapped human resource potential.
About the Author: It is said, “Education teaches us to leave the world a better place than when we found it.” In Dr. Pillai we have a man whose life is his message, his institutions are his stories, his ideas and initiatives his legacy. Starting out of a small shed and driven by the sole aim of making education accessible, he worked relentlessly, over forty years, to build institutions of learning: from schools, international schools, and colleges, to teacher training institutions and colleges for Architecture, Engineering, Management Studies, and Vocational Skills. Venturing into areas of little or no development, he worked to create an infrastructure, to provide employment opportunities, and bring about tangible social and economic change.In between managing his institutions, driving expansion programs, and initiating key policy changes, Dr. Pillai would take time off to visit advanced countries and bring back global methodologies, which would then be adapted to local needs. “The whole purpose is to expose students to a global environment and global opportunities, at highly affordable prices,” he would say.
Today the Pillai Group has 48 institutions spread over four locations (Borivali, Chembur, Panvel, and Rasayani), employs over 2000 teachers, and teaches over 35,000 students annually.The whole focus is to deliver holistic education that makes for responsible citizenship. To do so, Dr. Pillai ensures that his teacher function more as mentors and that community development is integrated into the learning curriculum. “Education is as much about character-building as about career-building,” he says. “And at a deeper level it results in true nation-building.”