Nagrik Dialogue

Collins Learning and SDG Choupal partner to launch the firstAll-India SDG Innovation Challengefor Schools

One more step in the direction of achieving a better and more sustainable future for all

Collins Learning, the Learning Division of HarperCollins Publishers, and SDGChoupal, in association with UN-HabitatNairobi, Nagrik FoundationandRishihoodUniversity, launched an initiative to encourage schools- both public and private- to work towards understanding, identifying, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their communities. The SDGs are a set of 17 goals set by the United Nations, which all member states will try to achieve by 2030. Asa first-of-its-kind initiativein the country, 20 private schools will partner with 20 public schools to participate in the Collins-SDGChoupal All-India SDG Innovation Challenge for Schools. Nine years, 17 global goals: Each one can create a difference.

About the Challenge:

The Collins-SDGChoupal All-India SDG Innovation Challenge for Schools is a five-month-long virtual ideathon for schools and schoolchildren to become the primary engines of positive change by designing practical solution ideas for challenges faced in their local communities at the grassroots level, using their ingenuity in arts, science,and technology.

The initiative was launched on 16 August 2021, with a webinar on Design Thinking that was attended by students from across the country and subsequentlya nationwide quiz was conducted to identify the top 20 private schools from across India that would partner with a public school each to collaborate to identify a challenge in their local communities and design a solution idea(s) that can transcend into tangible action to advance the SDGs.

Each team will be guided by an SDG advocate, who has already represented India in global forums to help attain the SDGs. Each SDG Advocate will share their expertise for the entire duration of the challenge, helping schools identify the challenge in their communities and work towards finding a solution towards it.

A jury comprising six eminent members from different walks of life who have contributed towards advancing an SDG,includingMs.Abhilasha Singh, Principal, Shining Star International School Abu Dhabi ; Brig. (Dr.) B.K. Khanna, SM, VSM, Lead Senior Consultant, FICCI and CEO ARISE INDIA; Mr. Douglas Ragan, PMO, Specialist in Children and Youth, UN-HABITATNairobi; Dr. Kalyani Rao, HOD, International SDG Research & Development Training, IIU; Mr. Nixon Joseph, Former President & COO, SBI Foundation,and Dr.Rakshit Tandon,Cyber Security Expert, Founder-Hackershalawill run periodic checks on the progress of the 20 teams.

The initiativewill culminate on 25 January 2022, with the announcement of the winners. The winning team will receive exciting prizes and also get to represent India on an international forum to discuss their solution to attain an SDG.

Prof. Deepak Dwivedi Chairman Nagrik Foundation & SDGChoupal said engaging with the young changemakers on SDGs is working with the future leaders.The SDGs cannot be achieved without the realization of child rights. As world leaders work to deliver on the 2030 promise children around the globe are standing up to secure their right to good health, quality education, a clean planet and more. The leaders of tomorrow, children’s ability to protect the future for us all depends on what we do to secure their rights today.

Mr Douglas Ragan UN-Habitat Nairobi said this initiative will enable localization of SDGs engaging with children sinceall of the SDGs impact Children whether poverty (Goal 1), hunger (Goal 2), health (Goal 3), education (Goal 4), gender equality (Goal 5), climate change (Goal 13) or violence against children.

Mr Sahil Agarwal, Co- founder and CEO, Rishihood University said as Rishihood University, we are proud to participate in this programme as it would help students explore and understand the concepts of SDGs, allowing them to take inspiration of it and implement in their own lives and communities. As a University, we are dedicated to social impact, areas like health care, education, culture and entrepreneurship, water and environment are issues that are close to us and through this initiative, we hope to guide and mentor several students who are interested in contributing to the wellbeing and positive impact in the society.

Rageshree Niyogi, Head – Marketing, Collins Learning, said:Looking at how our young learners magnificently create an impact in shaping the world today, we decided to launch this initiative in collaboration with SDG Choupalto focus on attaining the SDGs for India. The idea is not to have a participate-and-move-on challenge – through this innovation challenge we aim to foster public-private partnerships, instill social entrepreneurship skills in students, and create an environment wherein students work on human-centered approaches to solve real-life problems.

About Collins Learning: Collins Learning has been publishing educational and informative books for 200 years. Throughout this rich heritage we have maintained an impressive record in creating market-leading products across various sectors. As the educational publishing division of HarperCollins Publishers, part of News Corp, Collins strives to promote holistic development of children of all ages. As one of the fastest growing companies in the K12 segment in India, our educational publishing continues to deliver up-to-date and engaging student resources and exceptional teacher support to help schools tackle new initiatives and utilise the latest technology.

About SDG Choupal:The SDGChoupal (flagship initiative of Nagrik Foundation) is a collective community initiative launched on 20 Dec 2019 at The NITI Aayog New Delhi, supported by Dr Ambedkar International Centre, Ministry of Social Justice Govt. of India, MSME Govt. of India, NSIC, RIS, TERI, Nagrik Dialogue, UN-Habitat, FICCI-ARISE India, CII India@75, WHO, UNESCAP, ONGC, GCNI, BSE Samman, KPMG, Akshayapatra Foundation, Rotary International, Sulabh International, Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with other stake holders. 

It is dedicated to support the national and state Governments, and institutions on advocacy and community engagement for SDG implementation in India. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets that all 193 UN Member States, including India have committed to achieve between 2016 and 2030. 

About Rishihood University:Rishihood is a social-impact university headquartered in India. It is nurturing a learning ecosystem in the areas of entrepreneurship, healthcare, creativity and education. The Rishihood University is established under The Haryana Private UniversitiesAmendment) Act, 2020 and as per Section 2(f)of the UGC Act, 1956.

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Nagrik Dialogue is the face of Nagrik Foundation’s communication skills that comes in the form of a monthly magazine. It will work as a bridge for those working at the grass roots level and those who support them in any form and manner.