PM’s praise strengthens Imran’s cause for education
JAIPUR: “You might not have read or heard [about him]. [But] in Rajasthan’s Alwar, there’s a man named Imran Khan… [who] has developed [over] 50 mobile apps for students and has made them available for free,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing a massive gathering at London's Wembley Stadium, on Friday night.
Imran Khan, a 37-yearold Sanskrit teacher dedicated to the cause of education and with no formal education in Information Technology (IT), has, in the past three years developed 52 Android apps in Hindi on topics varying from General Knowledge to Science to one on Rajasthan Administrative Services. Clicking on ‘Play Store’ in the Android phone and searching for ‘gktalk’ fetches a series of educational apps designed to assist students on varying topics. However, unlike other apps, these are in Hindi, are neatly designed and are free.
A teacher at Alwar’s Varishth Upadhyay Sanskrit school, Mr. Khan is also a member of Alwarbased team EKTA which works towards strengthening elementary education.
He designed his first website in 2009 and gives credit to the internet for most of what he learned about website designing and creating apps.
“I also took some help from my younger brother’s engineering books,” Mr. Khan told The Hindu.
Later, appreciating the websites he had designed, the then Alwar District Collector Ashutosh A.T. Pednekar asked him to develop apps for mobile phones. Mr. Khan, who learnt to develop apps from online tutorials, started in the year 2012 with an app called ‘NCERT Learn Science’, which he designed for class 9 students. Three years later he has 52 Android apps and is working on developing more apps.
Of all the apps, the one called ‘General Science in Hindi’ has been downloaded by over 7 lakh users. “The app on General Science has been downloaded the most. In total the 52 apps have been downloaded by 30 lakh users,” Mr. Khan claimed.
Thanking Mr. Modi for appreciating his efforts, Mr. Khan, on Saturday, said, “If Digital India is to be executed in the field of education then rural areas need to have access to internet, and computers and smart phones.”
“We also need to have good content in Hindi, which, unfortunately, isn’t available today,” he said.
Minister promises help
Further appreciating his efforts, BSNL, on directions of Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, shall now be providing free Internet to Mr. Khan.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr Prasad said, “I spoke to Imran on phone and congratulated him….By sheer hard work he has created many apps which are being used by more than 30 lakh students.”