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Mohit Chauhan: The face of World Voice Programme April 15, 2013

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The World Voice Project was launched in India with a four-day workshop on singing was held from 14 to 18 March 2013 at the N.I.E. Auditorium in the N.C.E.R.T. Campus, New Delhi. The workshop was led by Mr Richard Frostick (Artistic Director, World Voice project) and Mr Mohit Chauhan (Musician and Indian World Voice Champion), with around 70 participants including, school students (age groups 9-11), school music teachers and independent music trainers from various public and private schools across Delhi in India.

The World Voice Programme is a pioneering initiative between the British Council and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). It endeavours to promote arts in school education and uses music through singing to support the development of musicality and contribute towards a wider learning. It will promote sharing of British expertise in singing education with classrooms globally and to promote an exchange of skills, knowledge and understanding between all participating countries; support colleagues from around the world who wish to learn more about singing leadership techniques; provide a network where countries can forge long-lasting working relationships; provide resources which teachers and young people can use in the classroom; and last but not the least, celebrate singing as a fundamental global expressive art.

During the much enjoyed workshop sessions, the school children learnt six English songs well as a Hindi song, ‘Morni’ (a Himachali folk song from the western Himalayas) taught by Mr Mohit Chauhan. The other Hindi song, unanimously selected by the participants was ‘Saare Jahan se Accha’. The sessions were joyful, lively and interesting as Mr Richard Frostick, employed a step- by- step approach to explain the background as well as the geographic, historic or cultural context of each song. In addition to this, he emphasized on correct body posture; proper breathing; voice modulation and accuracy in pronunciation. The students were fascinated with the new words and phrases that they learnt while learning the songs.

During the interactive sessions, the teaching techniques and learning experiences were discussed and exchanged by the school music teachers and the music trainers. Richard emphasized on integrating music into the curriculum, for which he felt lesson planning was necessary. He stressed on ‘learning to be fun for the children’.

Post workshop, Mohit who never had any formal training, said that “music has a way of doing things with people”. He also remarked that he was delighted to teach kids as they picked up lyrics and tune of a Himachali folk song within two hours.

It is interesting to know that the idea for the World Voice project grew in the UK with one goal: to promote learning through music and, in the process, connect classrooms around the world. Cathy Graham, Director Music, British Council, who has 14 years of professional experience in music, said, “Singing is a joyful experience. If you start it young, you have it for life. We would like the World Voice Programme to leave a legacy such that perhaps 10 years from now, children of one country are happily singing the traditional songs of another. They are all doing it without knowing why.”

So, would you agree if we say that such is the magic of music as it connects people globally by transcending the physical limits and connect directly with you? Share your views with us.

HUM_7026

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From Orator to an ardent Debater March 5, 2013

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Debating Matters India enriched us with experiences that made us competent in the arena of debating. It was a platform that brought our latent debating skills to the fore. We all started our journey of debating from DMI and hopefully would want to continue with it.
Unlike conventional debates, we were exposed to a forum which demanded thorough research, understanding and knowledge of the topics. We understood that debating was not only about statistics, facts and examples but with what content and passion you put forward your arguments. The topics, of course, were current and thought-provoking. It was all together an intellectual supplement. The unpredictability of the outcome taught us to be well-equipped to face any ‘uphill battle’. It was a test of our ability to respond under pressure which empowered us and sparked our enthusiasm. It developed our critical analysis, improved our confidence and enhanced our presence of mind.
The experts’ seminar was very illuminating and we were extremely fortunate to meet celebrities of various spheres of life. The programme in total was very efficiently organized, well-anchored, the atmosphere- welcoming, and the cuisine- excellent! It was a cross section of ethnical diversity and there was warm cultural exchange.
Walking past the threshold of the British Council, New Delhi, we evolved from what we were to what we have become now- confident, strong, rational, focused, research-oriented and a better personality. We advanced from being a mere orator to an ardent debater.

Paljor Namgyal Girls’ School
Debating Team, 2012-13

Students:
Nistha Sharma
Leah Grace Tenzing Namchyo
Rachel Ongmu Sangay Lepcha
Priyanka Chettri

Teacher co-ordinator:
Ms Alka Chhetri

Paljor Namgya girls

Track, engage, inspire – Revolutionary Social Media April 23, 2012

Posted by British Council India in Climate Change.
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Information is power, said Robin Morgan. And this power is gaining more and more momentum online or in the ‘new media’ sphere. It engages and empowers millions of internet users. Internetworldstats.com pitches the figure at 2267 million users worldwide.

The mediums are many- blogs, video blogs, youtube, social networking sites, online petition campaigns. This medium is fast gaining recognition for lobbying for environmental action. We all are familiar with the power of the ‘share’ and ‘like’ button, thanks to a certain Zuckerberg.

The COP meets for past few years had a number of civil society observers and independent bloggers. There were a lot of independent videos and documentaries produced. There are now official ‘tracking teams’ at such summits, each responsibly and dedicatedly reporting back to their home countries from these international forums. Though traditional media continue to report at the forefront of such events, but the dynamism and the connectedness of the online media is unmatched. Especially among the youth, it continues to be the top most source of their daily news dose.

Off late, I have realized the power of the audio-visual media to tell inspiring stories and the power of sites like Reddit, Digg, Stumble upon and of course Facebook to spread this work around.

I participated in a two month online film-making course by noted environmental film-maker Nitin Das, organised by the British Council for select climate champions from India. Short documentaries were prepared by all participants and we have been circulating this work through a group called ‘Circle of good’ on Facebook and other social media tools. It was formed with the objective of creating a platform to find an audience for our creative work (mostly of environmental and climate change advocacy category). This viral experiment is on-going and we hope to take our stories to a wide audience using social media.

I chose to make my documentary on the subject of solar energy called ‘Solar Sangh’ which tracks an initiative of two young postgraduate students trying to spread solar energy technology to the masses. In India, the target audience for solar technology is associated with villages and the rural poor. We miss out on the urban poor that form a sizable segment in our cities.

There are many such stories waiting to be told. In the coming times, youth will play a major role in taking mitigation and adaptation actions for climate change. And social media will humbly be the medium of their messages. ‘Medium is the message’ coined by Marshall McLuhan holds a new meaning.

Rozita Singh is British Council’s International Climate Champion.
If you are an environmental filmmaker (professional or amateur) or are simply interested in watching environmental films, you too can join the Circle of Good group on Facebook.

Films for the Future April 2, 2012

Posted by British Council India in Climate Change.
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What does the future hold? A question that is relevant for each of one of us. Not just as individuals, but also as a society. Our world is undergoing a period of rapid change and a lot of this development is happening at the cost of the environment.  But the positive aspect of this development is that it is connecting the world together. Helping us share knowledge, ideas and solutions.

In a world of digital media and social networks, films on environment are a very important tool to sow the seeds of awareness and inspire a large number of people

To build on this idea, we carried out a very interesting project. We worked with a small group of dedicated young people from the British Council Climate Champions network and trained them in the art of filmmaking over a period of 2 months.

Given below is a selection of some of the films that were made by the climate champions.

    • Film by Ayush  (Save Electricity) – “Through this film I have thematically tried to bridge the gap between our daily-practices and their indirect but definite impact on the environment” says Aayush.
    • Film by Dinesh (Car Pooling) – “Cars, cars everywhere; not a hint of movement’, this was the thought in Dinesh’s mind when he made this film.
    • Film by Tanya (Plastic Bottle Reuse) – Tanya feels that “waste pickers in Pune have always been doing work that is beneficial for the environment, but have never really received their due. This film is to showcase their contribution to effective waste management.”

About the facilitator: Nitin Das runs a production house that focuses on producing socially relevant films: www.filmkaar.com. For the past 2 years he has been working on a project that uses films and stories from around the world to create awareness about the environment: http://www.elfproject.org

For more information on the British Council Climate Champions project visit this link.

London Experience January 12, 2012

Posted by British Council India in Young Creative Entrepreneur.
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About YCE

The British Council has been pioneering to build a strong community and professional network of creative businesses, through the reward programme Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards. The awards help nurture enterprise across seven categories – design, music, fashion, screen (film, TV and animation), interactive (software, entertainment, games and social media platforms), performing arts (theatre, dance and “live” art) and publishing. It aims to inspire and facilitate the sharing of best practices in building skills and access to resources, professional development, markets, mentoring and resources to increase business opportunities between India, UK and internationally.

YCE  2011 -Designs

YCE 2011 award was very special because unlike other awards it did not end on stage with trophy, but it actually started on the stage. YCE opened a new stage for us and offered an amazing journey , which even if you pay millions you would not get. As a part of YCE winner, British council planned a visit to UK for almost ten days, with events packaged for us with interaction, exposure, fun and learning. I was looking forward to meet other 23 winners from over 19 countries, truely once in a lifetime opportunity.

London

  

London is awesome for many things but I specially like  sweet smell in the air and seasonal day ( there are seasons in a year, but in London you might get all of them in a day ! ). It is fun to walk all around in London, and  nothing like exploring the city on bicycle, thanks  to awesome support system created for hiring , returning bicycling ..

Truly International

23 winners from 19 countries, I couldn’t even imagine what it will be like to meet and spend time with such a diversed  set of talented people. In my wildest dream I wouldn’t have imagined that I would know so much about design and life in Estonia, Poland, Syria Turkey, Vietnam , Mexico and more.  Each one of us had a very unique style of work and cultural values, but there was one thing in common; entrepreneurial energy. Everyone was on the same path of exploring their dream but on different stages of evolution and experiences. It was nice to see how each one has his/her own way to manage their own context and create magic  with their work. Thanks to British Council for putting all of together, it was decade worth experience condensed in a week.

London Design Festival

London Design Festival and London Fashion Week happens  at same time of the year, and i guess , it is not a coincidence, it is planned to pack as many design activities to promote London as creative hub of the world. Other interesting fact, all these events are privately run organizations. In context to Indian scenario, whole lot of us were hoping that Indian Design council, NID, or CII will run such activities, but I am convinced that it is not sustainable. We also need entrepreneurs initiating such activities here, and I think IDC, CII or Govt will happily support.

100% Design

100 % Design is been great platform for designers to showcase their talent in home products, furnishings, and lighting. Visitor ranging from buyers, stores, distributors, and general people make the show very special. it has become launch pad for many upcoming designers to show case their talent.

100%  Design is very keen to have India pavilion in 2012 show and we have initiated the discussion amongst IDC and NID to explore this further. I will be personally pleased if we could take part in next edition of 100% Design and share new and notable with rest of the world.

 

Investing in Indian Creative Industry

One of the key program of YCE award was to connect all designers to investors and see how design could play larger role in creative industry economy. There is great deal of interest from investors in Indian creative industry , especially in Design. This was the really the key outcome of  YCE award, and this program includes mentorship to the Indian design firms to make them investor friendly and bring investment and partnerships which will impact the overall economic contribution in big way. It will also open up opportunities for many international collaborations with Indian design firms.

I would like to thank British council for creating such wonderful launch pad for all of us, especially  BC teams from India and London for making our experience  memorable and enriching . Beyond all the business rewards from the program, there is one more thing I value the most; friendships with  people from so many countries, truly a treasure.

Post by – © Abhijit Bansod

Kick-off for Kolkata Goalz July 21, 2011

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On a hot and rainy July afternoon inKolkata,UKForeign Minister Jeremy Browne kicked a football into a muddy field at Shibtala community ground in Topsia, one of Kolkata’s more deprived neighbourhoods. For the three hundred youngsters who had gathered there, it marked the beginning of a chance to change their lives through the game.

Minutes later, Madan Mitra, Hon’ble Sports Minister, Government of West Bengal, Sovan Chatterjee, Hon’ble Mayor of Kolkata and Rob Lynes, Director British Council India took turns to kick balls to the coaches and young people on the ground, signalling the launch of Kolkata Goalz, an inspirational initiative by the Premier League and British Council to encourage young people from across Kolkata to aim for a more positive future.

Kolkata Goalz is a new strand of the Premier League and British Council’s hugely successful Premier Skills programme, which uses football as a tool to engage with and develop the skills of young people. It is inspired by and modelled on the groundbreaking Kickz programme in theUK, a partnership between the Premier League and Metropolitan Police that targets youth at risk in deprived parts ofUK.

In Kolkata, the project has been launched by the Premier League and the British Council with the Kolkata Police, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, All India Football Federation and Indian Football Association (West Bengal) in association with six Kolkata Premier League Football Clubs, who will directly be involved in the delivery of the project. The six Premier League Clubs are Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, East Bengal Club, George Telegraph Sports Club, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Police Athletic Club and United Sports Club. Children’s charity Future Hope will support the project in an advisory capacity.

This is a project for young people in difficult areas. Youngsters in the age group of 12 – 18 years will join the programme. The youth, identified by the police, are those at risk, and in some of the most deprived parts of the city.

Kolkata Police have selected six neighbourhoods in Kolkata where the project will be piloted and helped in selection of the youths. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation is providing the ground and infrastructure for the project in these areas.

The clubs have provided their most experienced coaches who will train the young people in the neighbourhoods, thrice a week round the year in the evenings in football and engage with them in a range of other constructive activities.

The coaches involved in the programme underwent a three-day Induction training with Rubel Ahmed from the Active Communities Network and Michael Nyarko, the Social Inclusion Manager of Crystal Palace Football Club, both of who work with the Premier League.

In this intensive but fun training programme the coaches focussed on the essence of community sports, worked on a delivery plan, learned through role play about engaging, challenging and mentoring hard to reach young people and techniques of developing volunteers. The trainers also stressed on the importance of monitoring and evaluation to measure success.

“In this room we are all experienced football coaches but you have opened our eyes to social inclusion through community sports. We will try our best to apply the learning in the training sessions with the young people,” said Kalyan Chaubey, former Mohun Bagan and India goalkeeper, speaking on behalf of the Indian coaches while thanking the trainers.

Speaking at the launch, Rob Lynes, Director British Council India thanked the partners for joining hands to achieve the key objectives of the project.

R K Pachnanda, Commissioner of Kolkata Police thanked the British Council and Premier League and reiterated Kolkata Police’s support and commitment for the project.

Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation, speaking on behalf of the football fraternity, wished the project all success and committed their support.

Sovan Chatterjee, Hon’ble Mayor of Kolkata representing the Kolkata Municipal Corporation lauded the Kolkata Goalz initiative and said he was happy to support the project by providing the infrastructure.

Madan Mitra, Hon’ble Sports Minister, Government of West Bengal commended all the partners and stated that the Government of West Bengal was delighted that the project was being piloted in Kolkata and that his department would extend all possible support to make it a big success.

Speeches over, dignitaries took turns to demonstrate their skills in football and kicked the ball to the coaches and young people in the ground. The coaches then gave a mini-demonstration of their coaching techniques with the young people.

The training will begin soon at the six venues. As the young people wait excitedly to join the programme, we at the British Council wish the project all success. Our endeavour will be to set up a sustainable model in Kolkata which could then be potentially replicated across India in collaboration with other police departments, municipal authorities and football clubs. We hope that in the future we will be able to encourage young people from across India to aim for a more positive future.

Partners celebrate the launch with football balloons

Partners celebrate the launch with football balloons

UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne kicks a football into the Shibtala community ground in Topsia at the launch of Kolkata Goalz

Rob Lynes, Director British Council India, kicks off the programme in the presence of West Bengal Sports minister Madan Mitra, Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and Commissioner of Kolkata Police RK Pachnanda

Premier League trainers Rubel Ahmed from the Active Communities Network and Michael Nyarko, the Social Inclusion Manager of Crystal Palace Football Club

Premier League trainers Rubel Ahmed from the Active Communities Network and Michael Nyarko, the Social Inclusion Manager of Crystal Palace Football Club

Children from different areas who will be participating in the programme in club jerseys

Children from different areas who will be participating in the programme in club jerseys

Children from different areas who will be participating in the programme in club jerseys

Children from different areas who will be participating in the programme in club jerseys

Children from different areas who will be participating in the programme in club jerseys

Children from different areas who will be participating in the programme in club jerseys

From Pixel to Pixelloid April 21, 2011

Posted by British Council India in Young Creative Entrepreneur.
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Our day in London started with ‘Power to the Pixel’ a digital distribution and film innovation forum where presenters like Michel Reilhac, Exceutive Director of ARTE France Cinema talked about ‘Gamification of life’. Where he explained different behavioral changes with games from disorder to order and how people get attracted more towards games as players can be anyone in their fantasy games and do anything they want, that is something not possible in real life.

Mike Monello, co-creator of highly successful cross-media film project ‘The Blair Witch Project’ shared ideas on how to design and develop a cross-media project and cleverly market it. Few points: Design for communal experiences where many people can participate. He mentioned how to create sensational news and get extra publicity by quoting ‘Stolen Audi in a car expo’ incident which created a lot of hype. He also mentioned, one should build a larger world than the characters and have tangibility.

Among all the presentations, WireWAX was one of the most exciting new technologies that were showcased. WireWAX is a clickable interactive video service where you can tag people and products. It opens up huge doors for advertisers, sellers and for interactive information.

The next day, the first meeting was with Protagonist films at British Council, London. They do lot of distribution and rights management for films. They produced world’s first 3D dance movie ‘Streetdance’.

Second meeting was with Film London. It’s the capital’s film and media agency. They explained how they promote London for filming and the services they offer. Film London plays a major role in helping film productions and makers to find suitable locations, post-production facilities and to avail government tax credits. One of their recent projects was ‘Inception’.

Rebecca O’Brien, Co-founder of Sixteen Films was our 3rd meeting. She’s a highly regarded producer who works with director Ken Loach. They have a long history of film making. They have just 2 rooms for the office and manage all their projects. Another surprising thing I got to know is they still use traditional ‘Steinbeck’ for their film editing. We went to Rushes along with Rebecca where we met Joe Bateman, he is the festival director at Rushes Soho Shorts Festival. He explained how Rushes started their short films festival, how they organize and screen the shorts. It’s a 10 days festival where they attract more than 1000 entries from all over the world.

On the third day, our first meeting with Big Talk productions. They produced hits such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, most recently, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Matthew Justice and Rachael Prior gave us a lot of insight of growing the company from just a few people to more than twenty. At the time of expansion, they needed someone very experienced and networked and they recruited Rachael Prior who was then working with ‘Working Title’.

City Screen Picturehouse is a leading independent cinema operators in UK. Their venues screen a lot of mainstream, independent art house and foreign language films.

We met Tina McFarling, Head of Industry Relations of UK Film Council and British Council office. UKFC is a government funded agency for film in the UK ensuring economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are effectively represented. They fund around 100k for British Productions and have a program called First Light for young film makers. Recently, UK government merged it with BFI London and we’ll have to see what kind of changes they come up with.

Our last meeting for the day with Eddie Berg, Artistic Director with BFI. He worked with British Council before moving to BFI and he understands about YCE and other programs British Council takes up. British Film Institute (BFI) promotes understanding and appreciation of film and television heritage and culture. BFI London is one of the most popular film festivals in the world.

Day 4 was our Judging day at British Council followed by a day off. On Sunday we travelled to Bristol.

Monday morning started with meeting with Mehjabeen Price, Director of Finance and Operations at South West Screen. SWS funded by UKFC, Skillset & South West of England Regional Development agency. There are about 1800 companies in wildlife media and 90,000 in creative media industries. Bristol has tech companies like HP and airplane industries. 25% of world’s nature programs created in Bristol. They have well known media companies like BBC, Aardman Animation, Endemol, Bournemouth. South West Screen fills the gap carries industry need to policy makers.

Second meeting at Aardman Animation. A very pleasant and joyful place to work and visit. They have a huge studio and a nice entrance with some of the characters created for their movies and TV programs. Our young entrepreneurs turned kids and ran around the whole place to take pictures. We met Miles Bullough, Head of Broadcast who gave us a presentation about Aardman. Just 2 people started the company and they won several Oscars as well. We had a pleasure meeting Mr.David Sproxton for a few minutes.

Our third meeting was with The Watershed. It’s Britain’s first dedicated ‘Media Center’ and delivers a year round diverse, cultural programme of films, festivals and is a leading exponent and commissioner of digital and online creativity through its website dShed.net where you can view and engage with debate, projects, pod casts and artists commissions and short films and through its Pervasive Media Studio.

Then we travelled to Cardiff where we began by meeting Dragon DI, which is located in Sony Technology Centre outside Cardiff. It’s more like a boutique studio running Quantel systems for their digital intermediate services. They primarily work on London, Scotland and some of the European budget productions, where London handles high-end post.

Our next meeting was with Boomerang. They have a group of companies whose activities include program production, post-production services television facilities and talent management. They have both English and Welsh language productions specifically made for Wales. They have co-productions with some of the French and Canadian companies due their welsh language speaking population in those countries as well.

British Council, Cardiff.
We had a networking lunch at British Council, Cardiff. There were a few presentations from Owain Gillard, Film Office, Wales Screen Commission explaining how they are trying to promote film and related activities in Wales. Films like Robinhood shot in Wales beaches and forests.

Fresh Launch event at Atrium. They offer courses in animation, design, broadcast, music, fashion, communication and drama. They have huge space dedicated for their educational facilities.

Day 9: Back to London and a meeting at Dodwoof, a leading UK film distributor specializing in social issue films, documentaries, independent films and world cinema. They are known for their ethical documentaries, such as Black Gold, Burma VJ, Food Inc among others.

Q&A with Duncan Kenworthy, a highly respected producer whose credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually. He shared his experience from his days when he was working for someone then eventually took the risk of being a producer and the hardships then the joy of it.

Then there was a panel discussion about cross platform trends from the UK and emerging international markets. 19 years old Jamal Edwards, SBTV gave an interesting presentation about his YouTube channel with more than 13,000,00 upload views and Top 100 most viewed & subscribed directors of all time. http://www.sbtv.co.uk/

Another presentation from DamianoVukotic, RSA Films turned the attention of all the audiences when he showed Philips Cinema Parallel Lines – The Gift. http://www.rsafilms.com/company/rsa-uk/director/carl-erik-rinsch/philips-cinema-parallel-lines-the-gift-1265

Day 10: End of IYSE Tour.

It was a great opportunity for all of us to get together learn about each other, then visiting and meeting different companies and people. It was once in a life time experience. I’m sure at least some of our IYSE finalists would work on something together at some point. It was such a great group and total pleasure being a part of the whole program!

Thank you British Council and Aanchal, Claire & Rwituja!

Post by – © Yugandhar Tamareddy

Tomb Raider, Hitman and TouchMagix April 21, 2011

Posted by British Council India in Young Creative Entrepreneur.
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Recently I was fortunate to be a part of the YCE awards arranged by British Council and was also lucky to be the winner of “International Young Creative Interactive Entrepreneur 2010” award in London. I feel along with the award, it was the journey that was quite exciting and here is a summary of my experience and thoughts of the tour.
On winning the national YCE awards, 12 winners from different countries like Poland, Columbia, China, India, Mexico and many more assembled in London to compete for the International YCE award and go on a 10 day creative industry road-trip in UK. This full trip was sponsored by British Council to promote cross border collaborations in creative economy.

On arriving in London on 13th, our first meeting was with Ian Livingston, who is regarded as founding fathers of interactive entertainment in UK. His company is well known for creation of game characters like “Tomb Raider” and “Hitman”. The key learning was how he took his hobby of traditional games to modern computer video games to create a successful venture. We also met the UKIE, the trade body for UK’s interactive entertainment industry on the same day.

After our presentation day, we had a some free time to explore London and places around. I also found some time to visit our customers in Cambridge and a few more companies who were intending to do business with TouchMagix in London. On 17th, some of us took an early train to Edinburgh so that we could explore the beautiful city. I met with Shadab, a friend of mine who was studying at University of Edinburgh. He showed me around the university and we were discussing the similarities and dissimilarities between the UK and Indian education systems. On 18th morning we headed out on a road trip to Albertay University in Dundee. I was quite amazed to see a college who was training talent for the interactive and gaming industry. This kind of education is unheard of in India. We visited their game development studios and got an overview of the type of courses that were being offered there. We met with some interesting companies in the area like Digital Goldfish, a start-up who develops iPhone games and Tag games which was a big company developing mobile and online games. After quite a busy day, we headed back to Edinburgh to catch a train to Middlesbrough.

On 19th morning, we visited the Teeside University, which was one of the highlights of the trip. Dr.Simon, the dean of School of Computing was kind enough to give us a tour of the university and the various activities that were happening out there. We met with some students who were part of an entrepreneurial fellowship program conducted by the university. This program was conducted to encourage creation of start-ups in interactive media space. We then visited a cluster called Digital City, which was a hub for many start-ups in interactive media. We met with founder of Assyria games, Twisted and Iguana who were based in the cluster.

After returning to London on 20th, we visited several digital agencies like RGA, Unit9, PlayGen, IShift, Trampoline Systems, Moving Brands to name a few. It was very interesting to way these companies were working to serve different niche needs of the growing interactive creative economy. There were wide range of target customers these companies were serving. PlayGen was a company who was specialized in making serious games especially for the government sector where as Moving Brands was a company who were helping brands connect with people through interactive media and fun. On 22nd we visited Wired UK the popular magazine which showcases latest innovations. We also met with Paul Croft from Mediatonic who design online games and work with large publishers to tailor and distribute their IP. The day ended with a networking event of people from digital media industry. Made some new friends there and also got a change to present our companies in brief.

Just to summarize, the whole trip was filled with great learnings and following were some key ones –

  • Interactive industry is evolving as a modern story telling mechanism.
  • Forming small and efficient teams is the way to start a business in game development.
  • Creating your own IP or riding on someone else’s IP is an important part of being in creative business.
  • Talent hunt problem is common everywhere. Universities like Albertay and Teeside are helping reduce those by imparting right training.
  • Interactive industry clusters are a neat way to create good companies who contribute towards creative economy.
  • UK market is a growing market for creative companies to work with.
Anup
Post by – © Anup Tapadia

When Library became College April 21, 2011

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It was John Keats’s birthday when I became a member of British Council Library, Kolkata, in 1996. I had tried to become a member of the British Council Library earlier but the library officials stated that I had to be at least a graduate student to become a member. It was a haloed turf for me because the library had a great collection of English Literature books, which were of great interest to me. Located in Shakespeare Sarani (formerly Theatre Road), the library had an old world charm to it if a telescopic view into almost fifteen years past is taken from now. The wooden interiors, the manual catalogues, the lending of audio cassettes, the blue-covered notes on literature, all had become an integral part of my life.

As years passed by the interiors became plush, the audio cassettes gave way to CDs, computers took over cataloguing and issuing, the notes on literature got neglected, the cafe became in-house, a kids’ section was added, film DVDs were compiled, subscription of academic journals diminished, internet and photocopying facilities were introduced, and the library itself  shifted from its Shakespeare Sarani address to Larsen and Toubro Chambers in Camac Street. But my attachment remained undeterred.

It is so because when I didn’t have a college to go to, the British Council library became my college. When I didn’t have a university to go to, the British Council library became my university. When I didn’t have a professor to consult with, the British Council library became my professor. When I didn’t have a peer to lift my mood, the British Council library became my peer. I treasure the Pictorial Retrospective of V. S. Naipaul that I won at the V. S. Naipaul quiz organized by the British Council library. The six Best of Bookers shortlisted books, which I won in another British Council organized quiz, adorn my bookshelf. The library still provides me with books for sustenance and a space to cherish. It has been a constant in my life and will always remain so. I believe there are many people who have had intimate associations with this or other libraries in their lives.

Post by – © Amit Shankar Saha

Amit Shankar Saha

2010 in review January 3, 2011

Posted by British Council India in General.
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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 24 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 79 posts. There were 29 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was September 11th with 258 views. The most popular post that day was YCE Design Preksha Baid.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, britishcouncil.org, britishcouncil.org.in, networkedblogs.com, and google.co.in.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for british council india, role of english in india, manish sabharwal, a disappearing number, and a disappearing number mumbai.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Complicite’s A Disappearing Number in Mumbai this August July 2010
7 comments

2

The Role of English in India November 2009
11 comments

3

What variety of English should be taught? November 2009
58 comments

4

English for Progress October 2009
1 comment

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