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Azim Premji Foundation Fellowship awarded at OISE


June 20, 2011

by Jennifer Sipos-Smith


Neville Panthaki

Neville Panthaki is the recipient of the Azim Premji Fellowship for 2011-12, announced on the occasion of the Azim Premji Foundation's fourth visit to OISE, June 13-21. The purpose of the award is to promote the scholarship of education and to foster Indo-Canadia partnerships on knowledge creation in education. Neville, a PhD student in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, will be supported to conduct research in India. His dissertation, Re-conceptualizing Development Education: Canada-India Initiatives to Build Capacity, Provide Access, and Sustain Inclusive Growth, for Secular Democracy, aims to examine the policy formation and various initiatives of higher education reform in Canada and India, as well as the strategic partnerships which have been forged in the area of development education between these two countries.

The selection committee, composed of OISE faculty and chaired by Normand Labrie, praised Neville's proposal for its depth, intellectual rigor, and potential contributions to a better understanding of the role of universities in globalized societies in the pursuit of equity and sustainability both in India and Canada.

In speaking of his plans on learning of the award, Neville said, "I am honoured to receive this opportunity to advance knowledge creation in education on the basis of Indo-Canadian partnership, the foundation of which is a shared commitment to secular democracy and multicultural diversity. My research will investigate the multiple solutions which India shall implement as it provides Education For All, specifically in the areas of capacity building, democratic participation, and sustainable development. The work of the Azim Premji Foundation in these areas, rank it as an institution with few parallels in the world."

In other highlights of the visit, OISE welcomed Mr. Dileep Ranjekar and Mr. Anurag Behar, Co-Chief Executive Officers of the Azim Premji Foundation of India, along with Azim Premji Foundation School Program head and several members, who participated in a varied program that included a visit to the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child study, where they were hosted by Professor Carl Corter, Institute Director Janette Pelletier, and Lab School Principal Elizabeth Morley and Vice-Principal Richard Messina. They also held discussions with OISE faculty and senior leaders on school leadership and research, curriculum development, in-service teacher development, teacher education, faculty development, and leveraging professional knowledge.

The not-for-profit Azim Premji Foundation’s vision is to “contribute towards a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society” by improving the quality of education in India. The Foundation’s outreach programs benefit over 22,000 schools and 2.5 million children.


View event photos from the Azim Premji visit on Flickr.