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Dr Ganesh Raja, CEO, Kotak Education Foundation talks on their top education & skill development programs

Dr Ganesh Raja

CEO Dr Ganesh Raja on top education programs

Dr Ganesh Raja, CEO of Kotak Education Foundation, speaks to The CSR Journal about their Excel Intervention scholarship programme for students, Unnati skill development and livelihood programme, and their recently launched Model School Project. The following are some highlights from the conversation.

Please tell us about the Excel programme offered by the Kotak Education Foundation.

The Kotak Education Foundation has a long history and expertise in providing scholarships to students from underserved communities. The Excel Intervention began in 2007 with the launch of a scholarship project to assist deserving students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds in Mumbai’s M-East Ward, the city’s poorest ward.

The Excel Intervention has been working on the organization’s vision, which is to empower meritorious students from underserved communities to complete their education and rise above the poverty line by providing not only financial assistance but also opportunities for holistic development through two scholarship projects.

Dr Ganesh Raja

In 2022, how did Excel Intervention fare?

Excel Intervention has supported the dreams and aspirations of over 2800 students across India through its four projects by the year 2022. Last year, 79% of our graduates found gainful employment with an average CTC of 6.25 lakhs, while 21% continued their educational journey by enrolling in higher education.

In 2021-22, the Kotak Kanya Scholarship attracted 75 highly qualified students from across India, with 25 of them coming from top-ranked IITs and AIIMS. The Kotak Shiksha Nidhi Project provided financial assistance to over 1500 students, ensuring that they could continue their education.

Which parts of India are covered by the Excel Intervention? Where else do you intend to take this?

For students from KEF partner schools, the legacy scholarship programmes: 10 plus scholarship and 12 plus scholarship are currently in operation in Mumbai. The scholarship program’s long-term goal is to spread the proven model of scholarships and student engagement throughout Mumbai.

In terms of the coveted pan-India scholarship ‘Kotak Kanya Scholarship,’ which will be launched in 2021, KEF’s Kotak Kanyas are presently learning in India’s most prestigious and high-ranking institutes in technical, medical, law, and other professional fields. Based on the overwhelming response from students in the project’s first year, we intend to expand the project to include more girls from all over India.

KEF’s Kotak Shiksha Nidhi project is currently serving over 1300 students across India.

Could you please tell us about the Kotak Education Foundation’s Unnati programme? In which parts of India is this available Unnati is a skill development and livelihood programme for unemployed urban youth from low-income families who have dropped out of formal school. More than 18,000 young aspirants have been trained since the program’s inception in 2007. This has enabled over 12,000 families to escape poverty. The Project provides free training to youth aged 18 to 30 (Graduates and Non-Graduates), as well as placement assistance and other services to help them stay in jobs and advance in their careers.

How did Unnati programme perform in 2022?

Following is Unnati’s performance for the FY 22-23\sCDB (Aspirants Enrolled) – 2610\sAspirants Trained – 2259\sAspirants Placed – 1545

How many schools did the Kotak Education Foundation adopt as part of the Model School Project, and where did they go?

The Model School Project, in collaboration with the Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT), launched its pilot programme this year in 21 schools across Palghar, Pune, Nasik, Thane, and Raigarh as an initiative to improve the quality of learning in schools and provide a great learning environment for students. The schools will have infrastructure and education that is on par with 21st Century Skills such as Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Embracing Constitutional Values, and Collaboration skills.