The National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) was conceived and established by the vision and initiative of the late Mr. J. R. D. Tata.
He sought to create an institution which would conduct advanced research in multidisciplinary areas, and also serve as a forum that will bring together administrators and managers from industry and government, leaders in public affairs, eminent individuals in different walks of life, and the academic community in the natural & social sciences,and the arts & humanities. For the last 25 years, NIAS enjoys it’s own space within the Indian Institute of Science campus at Bangalore.
Dr. Raja Ramanna, as the Founder Director, immensely contributed to the growth and development of this Institute at Bangalore in India . Over a period of time, NIAS initiated several research programmes and other activities that brought recognition and fame.
In subsequent years, Dr. Roddam Narasimha and Dr. K. Kasturirangan became the Directors of NIAS. Presently Dr.V.S. Ramamurthy is the Director.
Project for Gifted Children and their Education
- The project was commissioned in 2010 by the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India.
- NIAS is anchoring the project with Delhi University and Agastya Foundation as partners.
- Professor VS Ramamurthy has been the driving force behind the Gifted Education programme.
- Dr Anitha Kurup is the Principal Investigator of the NIAS Gifted Education Project to identify gifted children age 3 – 15 years with a special focus on Maths and Science.
The NIAS gifted children’s programme, supported by the Principal Scientific Advisor’s Office to the Government of India, is the first collaborative attempt in India to draw together a research base to address the issue of equitable educational opportunities for the gifted and develop talent through appropriate nurturance. The project has developed through a series of consultation meetings starting in Jan’10 with Indian National Science Academy’s (INSA) INDO-US Forum.
Aims of the project
- To develop tools for the identification of gifted children in India, and
- To develop a framework for the nurturance and education of gifted children in India.
- At a conservative estimate of 3% of the population as gifted, the project is targeting approximately 13 million children.
Dr Anitha Kurup along with her Gifted Education team conducted identification programmes at many schools of India.
The instruments used to identify were developed with inputs from a number of experts in psychometry, developmental psychology, child development, giftedness, and education.
- In September’13 they conducted the preliminary test at Silver Oaks
- 350 children from Grades 1 to 10 were recognized as gifted.
- The baffling numbers encouraged the team to conduct another level of challenging tests on the 350 children in October’13
- 250 children cleared the tests. Intriguing number of gifted children in one school made the NIAS team conduct another complex and challenging test on the 250 children in Nov’13.
- 38 children cleared the test. They are in Grades 3 to 10.
Dr Anitha Kurup and A core team of teachers from Silver Oaks discussed and developed an intensive science and math programme for these 38 children to be given in a 10 day full time in house programme.
Solar Energy and Sound have been selected with an interdisciplinary approach and the same has been validated by IISC and NIAS.
From 7th to 17th April 2014, the first summer course for gifted children in India is being organized at Silver Oaks Bangalore.
This first summer course for gifted children is being inaugurated by Professor KRK Easwaran INSA Senior Scientist and Emeritus Professor Molecular Biophysics Unit IISC on 7th April’14 at 4PM
Valedictory function will be presided by Professor VS Ramamurthy on 16th April’14 at 4PM in Silver Oaks Bangalore.
Dr Anitha Kurup and her team lauded the concept based transdisciplinary program of learning and the diligent curriculum construction at Silver Oaks.
They attributed the credit of having so many gifted children in one school to the commitment and enthusiasm of school leadership and the teaching team.
Silver Oaks aspires and intends to create a critical mass of scientists and mathematicians to build a sustainable world.