Dr Subra Dravida is the new President of Ekal Vidyalaya US chapter

Dravida wants digital technology equipped with tablets and computers to transform education, train teachers, add vocational skills, and expand Ekal’s reach
Representative Image
Representative ImageAFP

WASHINGTON DC: Known for its pioneering education system in the rural and tribal areas of India, Ekal Vidyalaya has appointed Dr Subra Dravida from Qualcomm as the head of its US chapter, a move which it said would usher in a new era of primary education from slate to tablets.

“Ekal is launching a new technology-driven era by appointing Dr Subra Dravida, the Vice President of Qualcomm’s technology division, as the new president of Ekal-USA,” the organisation announced on Monday.

Dr. Subra Dravida replaces Suresh Iyer.

A decision in this regard was taken at Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’s in-person ''International Conference'' in Chicago for its USA, Canada, and India components to review and recalibrate the roadmap for the future.

Dravida wants digital technology equipped with tablets and computers to transform education, train teachers, add vocational skills, and expand Ekal’s reach, a media release said.

Ekal is the largest literacy movement globally undertaken by NRIs and Indians to provide healthcare training, economic empowerment, and integrated village development to rural folks.

Currently, Ekal is running 78,000 schools that are grooming 2.1 million students each year across rural-tribal parts of India.

Dravida, who has over 50 patents in Networking and Cellular Communications and has numerous research papers to his credit, has been associated with Ekal for some time now.

He was the president of the New England Chapter of Ekal for four years, then a member of the Board of Directors and recently, an executive VP working closely with Suresh Iyer and Ekal-USA Chairman Arun Gupta.

Dravida received his B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Madras in 1979 and earned his MS and PhD from RPI, Troy, NY in 1980 and 1984.

From 1984 to 1998, he worked at Bell Labs. In 1998, he moved to Massachusetts to work in a start-up, MaxComm Technologies, as the VP of Engineering before subsequently ending up as the VP of Technology with Qualcomm.

“I had been attending Ekal fundraisers for some time and it is Ekal's concept of running a whole school for a mere USD 365 a year that pulled me in,” he said. “This modest amount permanently transforms the lives of about 30 children and indirectly that of the whole community and so what better investment there could be for the brighter future of India,” he said.

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