The Ravi J. Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation (RJMCEI) was established in memory of Professor Ravi J. Matthai (1927-1984), the first full-time Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. From an initial focus on institution building and higher education, the mandate of the RJMCEI has gradually expanded to include primary education, literacy and secondary education. The common thread running through the Centre’s various activities is a focus on innovations and innovative approaches to countering problems in education.
1986: The IIMA proposes a research centre to be named after Prof. Ravi Matthai.
1988: A steering committee appointed and proposes “Education, training and research (including action research, experimentation and action initiation) in management of, and building up, institutions and people involved in education and social development" as areas for attention.
1989-90: Three RJMCEI Fellows, who worked for about a year, appointed.
1991: Steering Committee dissolved and RJMCEI becomes a Centre of the IIMA.
1993-94: Three faculty members, who worked for about two years, recruited.
1996-97: Second round of faculty recruitment; basic education, literacy and secondary education added to mandate.
- Mainstreaming the Knowledge of Innovative Practitioners: This project researches the practices of outstanding elementary teachers working in state-run systems.
- Case studies of Innovative schools (ongoing): Nilobray Vidyalaya, Ralegaon Siddhi (a school which takes in failed and antisocial students), Parikrama School, Bangalore (English medium school for slum children)
- Project Based method of teaching and learning: Its relationship to cognitive- motivational aspects of students’ learning and to teachers’ job satisfaction, self-esteem and creativity.
Training/ teaching programmes
- Strategic Leadership for Schools in a Changing Environment: This is a one-week leadership development programme offered once a year for principals of schools.
- Innovating for Excellence: This is a one-week leadership development programme offered once a year for directors of institutes of management education. The third programme will be offered in 2011.
- Excellence in Leadership: Management Development Programmes for Principals of Industrial Training Institutes (2010-11)
- Elective Courses: Postgraduate Programme in Management, in addition to courses in the Fellow Programme and Faculty Development Programme of IIMA
Some of the more important projects undertaken by the RJMCEI are listed below.
- Institution Building at IIMA (1993): a collection of reflections of various stakeholders
- In continuation of this activity, a volume titled Nurturing Institutional Excellence: Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, edited by Profs. Vijaya Sherry Chand and T.V. Rao, was published in March 2011 (Macmillan India Ltd.). This volume brings together papers on institutional development processes at the IIMA, especially post-1993, and was published as part of the Institute’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
- Innovations in Rural Higher Education (1993-94)
- Local Ecological Knowledge in the Primary Curriculum (1994-96)
- Management of Primary Education (1994-1999): A set of inter-related projects on enrolment, retention, decentralization of basic education and in-service training strategies
- Teachers as Transformers (1995-98), a study of creativity and innovation in primary education
- Kayakalp, A Newsletter on Innovations in Higher Education, supported by the UGC (1995-98)
- Same Language Subtitling (1997 onwards): This project, undertaken in collaboration with Doordarshan Kendra, Ahmedabad and DECU, ISRO, built on the principle of reinforcing the learning of newly-literate people through sub-titling of songs in the same language. Same Language Subtitling (SLS) on TV for National Literacy won the Best Social Innovation for the year 2000 in the Education category from The Institute for Social Inventions, London (U.K.), and was winner at Development Marketplace, World Bank's Global Innovation Competition, January 9-10, 2002.
- Institution building in management education: a series of case studies on Indian management education institutes (1999)
- An evaluation of teaching-learning packages for primary education in Madhya Pradesh, for the Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission (2001)
- Feasibility of Multipurpose Community Telecenters in Rajkot, Gujarat for UNESCO (2001)
- Review of the implementation of the Convention of the rights of the Child in the state of Gujarat, for UNICEF (2001)
- Evaluation of telecentre in Jakar and feasibility study of e-post in Bhutan, International Telecommunications Union (2001)
- Emergency Education for Earthquake Affected Regions in Gujarat (2001)
- A study of the policy framework for quality assessment in institutions of higher education, for Department of Higher Education, Ministry of HRD, Government of India (2002)
- Overview study of Same Language Subtitling (SLS) on TV for national literacy, World Bank (2003)
- External evaluation of District Primary Education Programme of Phase I for Maharashtra and Karnataka, for Department of Primary and Elementary Education, Ministry of HRD, Government of India (2003)
- Cases on Asian and African Management Education institutes (Pokhara University, Nepal, Rajarata University, Mihintale, Sri Lanka, Peninsula Technikon, Cape Town, Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology, Namibia, and Mauritius College of the Air, Mauritius (2000-2003)
- Cases in higher technical education: Fachhochschule system of higher education, University of Applied Sciences, Landshut and University of Applied Sciences, Freising-Weihenstephan (2003-2004)
- Development of ‘Vision Document’ for Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (2006)
- Shiksha Sangam: Innovations under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, MHRD (2006)
- Management Study of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghathan (2009)
Past Conferences and Training Programmes (select list; training programmes of less than one week are not listed)
- Eighth AIMS International Conference on Management: Management Education in 2020: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities, January 1 to 4, 2011, jointly organized by IIMA and the Association of Indian Management Scholars International, and coordinated by Prof. O.P.Gupta from AIMS International and Prof. Vijaya Sherry Chand and Dr. H. Anilkumar, from IIMA.
- Management Development Programmes for heads and teachers of higher educational institutions in the developing countries of the Commonwealth, conducted with support from the Commonwealth Secretariat: A programme for management teachers in March-April 1996, a workshop for heads of institutions in April 1996, a one-week management development programme for heads of institutions in September 1997 and in December 1998
- A one-week programme for building capabilities among college principals of Gujarat (1999)
- Pedagogy in Management, a programme for management teachers, conducted in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (1999)
- Professional Development Programme for University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka (August 2000)
- ‘Reading Beyond the Alphabet: Innovations in Post and Lifelong Literacy’, National literacy conference, August 18-19, 2000.
- A programme for principals of colleges affiliated to Delhi University (2003)
- Leadership for Schools in a Changing Environment Programme for Principals of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (2005, 2006)
- ‘Universalisation has to be from the village upwards: Primary school teachers’ innovations,’ First Sir Ratan Tata Trust Conference of Innovative Teachers, Gandhinagar, December 2004
- ‘Aren't four grades enough?’ Second Sir Ratan Tata Trust Conference of Innovative Teachers, Madurai, December 2005
- ‘Open a School; Close a few Jails’ Third Sir Ratan Tata Trust Conference of Innovative Teachers, Lonavala, December 2006
- Strategic Leadership for State Educational Research and Training Councils, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, March 19-25, 2006
Anil K. Gupta