Imran Khan – developer of 55 educational mobile applications
Self-taught computer programmer from Alwar District, Rajasthan
Developed over 55 educational mobile applications and more than 100 websites
Got more motivated after PM Modi mentioned him in his speech at Wembley Stadium, London, Nov 2015
Tell us about your family back ground and education briefly.
I am from village Khareda in Alwar district, Rajasthan. My parents are farmers. We are four brothers and three sisters in our family. My elder brother is a lecturer in a government school and younger brothers are engineers in private sector. I completed my primary school from my village and matriculation from another village, Prithvipura and after that + 2 from Senior Secondary School Malakhera. I was always a topper in my class. After +2 I did STC and became a teacher in Sanskrit Education Department in 1999.
What is your role as a primary teacher?
I teach Mathematics and Computers for primary classes. I established a computer lab in my school for primary classes with the help of Infosys and some donors. I teach students how to use computers and I use the lab as a Teaching – Learning Lab.
Were you always interested in doing something in Computer Science? What was your childhood dream?
I’m a Science-Maths student and like these subjects too much. I wanted to become a scientist. I got introduced to the computer for the first time in 2009 as my younger brother completed his graduation and left the computer at home. I started playing games for first 6 months and after that I thought I should use this computer for education purpose. So, I learnt how to create websites from the books of my brother and from Google search in 2011. I met district collector of Alwar, Mr. Ashutosh A T Pednekar and he inspired me to create educational apps for students. So I learnt how to create apps using internet and started to create educational apps. My first app was of science for class 9 according to NCERT science book in 2012 and my journey is still on.
How did you get notice by the Collector of Alwar?
In 2011, I created my first educational website www.gktalk.com and district collector Alwar watched it and called me. He liked the website and the statistics of the website so much that he told me to create websites for schools and educational purpose.
So, I created 52 School websites in 2011 for government schools and separate portal for Alwar schools www.alwarschools.org which contains School data of approximately 2000 schools in it.
Did you get any help from the government to build the apps?
District collector Alwar always appreciated my work and inspired me and it was quite a big help for me. Same time I was a member of project Ekta Alwar which works to strengthen elementary education in Alwar district. During my journey I haven’t received any financial help from government except above.
How was the experience when you were invited by HRD Minister Smriti Irani?
It was an amazing experience to meet HRD Minister Smriti Irani for the first time in Leela Hotel Delhi in a Summit of new education policy. She watched my apps and liked them so much and called me to Vigyan Bhawan for National ICT conference. There, my apps were presented in front of so many people. Mrs. Irani introduced me and my work to others.
Right now how many apps are there in your kitty? Any new ones in pipeline?
Now I have 55 educational apps in Google Playstore. One may find all my apps by searching “GK talk” at play store. All my apps are educational. Some are for primary classes, some for secondary classes and others are for competitive examinations. Yes, there are some apps in pipeline for Maths, Science and for Civil Services.
How helpful are your apps for the students?
I have put the content in easy language using various methods like quiz way method and play way method to create user friendly apps. Most of my apps are in Hindi medium because I think there is a lot of need to create apps in Hindi, my mother tongue and National Language. I want to use IT to fill the gap of facilities between rural students and urban. I think IT can play an important role to fill this gap.
How many users are there for your apps? Are your apps chargeable?
At present 55 apps have been installed by 33 lakh users. Though all apps are offline supported, these days users are using them online too. I receive 4 or 5 crore screen views daily for 20 Apps.
In your view what should be changed in our present education system?
We have to use technology to change educational system and provide more open educational content for students. In this era of Information Technology, we have to rethink how we can provide proper education to students.
The nation noticed you when our P.M, Mr Narendra Modi said that you are the symbol of India, share that memorable experience with us.
It was amazing experience, I never thought about it. Now a lot of people know me. I have to attend a lot of programs and at the same time responsibility has also increased. Before, I was responsible only for my school and for my surroundings but now I have to do a lot for my nation.
Your advice for our young readers?