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NIIT HiWEL receives ‘Digital Opportunity Award’ at WCIT 2008
First Indian company to receive this prestigious recognition by World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), for its innovative efforts in spreading computer education in remote areas and improving quality of education
Kuala Lumpur / New Delhi, May 21, 2008: Hole-in-the-Wall Education Ltd. (HiWEL)—an initiative of NIIT, a leading Global Talent Development Corporation and International Finance Corporation—has been conferred the coveted ‘Digital Opportunity Award’ for its path breaking work in spreading computer literacy and improving the quality of education at the grass root levels, by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).
WITSA is a consortium of over 60 Information Technology industry associations from economies around the world.
Our CEO, Vijay K Thadani received the coveted 'Digital Opportunity Award' at World Congress on IT 2008
Mr. Phil Bond, President Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) gave away the award to NIIT CEO Vijay K Thadani at 16th World Congress on IT (WCIT) 2008 Awards’ Ceremony—the annual congregation of world’s leading technology companies and associations held at Kuala Lumpur, last evening.
Receiving the award, an elated Thadani said, “This is a rare honour not just for NIIT HiWEL, but for the Indian ICT industry as well. It is a recognition of our innovative efforts in enabling computers touch millions of lives globally by making Information Technology reach the grass root levels.”
WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards held every two years, aim at identifying and honouring the most outstanding users of Information and Communication Technology. The prestigious ‘Digital Opportunity Award’ is bestowed upon individuals, academic institutions, corporations, NGOs or government entities that have made a remarkable and successful effort at reducing the digital divide, by ‘connecting’ previously ‘unconnected’ people. The eminent jury adjudges nominees on various parameters including the effectiveness of the program, number of people benefiting from the deployment of technology, degree of the program(s) technology intensiveness, and level of innovation demonstrated in achieving the program(s) goals.
NIIT (HiWEL) has been honoured for its commitment and efforts to help underserved groups bridge the digital divide, by offering exciting and effective education and learning experiences through innovative technologies in remote areas.
All Award Winners of WITSA IT Excellence Awards 2008 at World Congress on IT in Kuala Lumpur
NIIT CEO Vijay K Thadani 
Born out of an idea called ‘Minimally Invasive Education’ to maximize the reach of functional IT literacy, NIIT HiWEL has become a developmental initiative with governments globally to positively impact learning outcomes in elementary education and computer literacy. World over the governments are now looking at this innovation to address the digital divide issue.
NIIT experimented with ‘Minimally Invasive Education’ kiosk for the first time in 1999 in Madangir—a slum in South Delhi. This experimental education project undertaken by NIIT is aimed at promoting literacy amongst underprivileged children of the slum. As part of the project, NIIT along with Government of Delhi set up 6 unmanned, remotely monitored computer kiosks in the area, which generated tremendous curiosity among children who became regular visitors of the place. What started as a play tool—Mouse and Keyboard—soon became a means of computer literacy in absence of a teacher.
NIIT HiWEL has since then, reached more than 200,000 children in 150 remotest of the rural areas and urban slums, through its installations. Asia (India, Cambodia) and Africa (Mozambique, Zambia, Uganda, Botswana, Nigeria and Rwanda) are the key geographies where HiWEL is working with Governments to help reduce school dropout rate and is enabling the education system in these countries to provide effective and interesting teaching-learning experience.
The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is a consortium of over 60 information technology (IT) industry associations from economies around the world. WITSA members represent over 90 percent of the world IT market. As the global voice of the IT industry, WITSA is dedicated to:
advocating policies that advance the industry’s growth and development;
facilitating international trade and investment in IT products and services;
strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations through the sharing of knowledge,
experience, and critical information;
providing members with a vast network of contacts in nearly every geographic region of the world;
hosting the World Congress on IT, the premier industry sponsored global IT event;
hosting the Global Public Policy Conference; and
hosting the Global Information Security Summit.
Founded in 1978 and originally known as the World Computing Services Industry Association, WITSA has increasingly assumed an active advocacy role in international public policy issues affecting the creation of a robust global information infrastructure, including:
increasing competition through open markets and regulatory reform;
protecting intellectual property;
encouraging cross-industry and government cooperation to enhance information security;
bridging the education and skills gap
reducing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to IT goods and services; and
safeguarding the viability and continued growth of the Internet and electronic commerce.
WITSA has a real impact on the global IT environment. It strengthens the industry at large by promoting a level playing field and by voicing the concerns of the international IT community in multilateral organizations, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the G-8 and other international fora where policies affecting industry interests are developed.
About NIIT
NIIT, Asia's No. 1 trainer and leading Global Talent Development Corporation, offers learning and knowledge solutions to 5 million students across 32 countries.
Leading IT magazine Dataquest has conferred upon NIIT, the Top IT Training Company Award 2007. Rated among India's Superbrands (2003-05), NIIT's Individual Learning Business offerings include: Industry-endorsed programs for students seeking careers in IT: GNIIT, Integrated ANIIT for Engineers (IAE) and Advanced Technology Programs for IT professionals.
For working professionals, NIIT Imperia, Centre for Advanced Learning, offers Executive Management Education Programmes in association with Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) at Ahmedabad, Indore and Kolkata.
NIIT Institute of Finance Banking & Insurance (IFBI), formed with equity participation from ICICI Bank, offers programs to develop talent for the banking industry.
NIIT offers turnkey IT integration program for schools. NIIT has provided computer-based learning to over 5000 government and private schools.
NIIT's Corporate Learning Solutions, offers integrated learning solutions (including strategic consulting, learning design, content development, delivery, technology, assessment and learning management) to Fortune 500 companies, Universities, Technology companies, Training corporations and Publishing houses.
Element K delivers learning solutions for customers and partners through a tailored combination of catalog learning products, technology, and services. The offerings include: vLab®: hands-on labs, instructor-led courseware, comprehensive e-reference libraries, technical journals, and KnowledgeHub™: hosted learning management platform. 
NIIT together with Element K is now the first and the best choice for comprehensive learning solutions, worldwide.
For media queries, please contact:
Prateek Chatterjee, NIIT, Ph: +91 124 4293041;
Shivanjali Singh, NIIT, Ph: +91 9811991107; 124 4293044;