Dr. Jawahar Surisetti, Advisor to Government of India
Dr. Jawahar Surisetti is an eminent psychologist, futurist, TED Speaker, Advisor to Government, bestselling author, and innovator.
Have you ever thought about who is the mind behind all the policies and rules we follow? Well, our guest for today is one of the top 24 policy makers of India. Today we introduce you to Dr. Jawahar Surisetti. Dr. Jawahar is an advisor to the Government of India. He has also been recognised as a ‘Think Professor’ for his art of thinking.
Talking about how he was introduced to the Government of India, Dr. Jawahar tells us that while he was handling the charter school in the US, Dr. Manmohan Singh paid a visit to then US President, Barack Obama.
Dr. Manmohan Singh wanted to ramp up the Indian Education System, so he asked President Obama for a reference who could help with the task. As a result Dr. Jawahar Surisetti was recommended and he started working as an advisor to the Government of India.
Education challenges faced by India
Speaking of the challenges, Dr. Jawahar tells us that 15 years ago, access to education was a big challenge. Even today when schools are running online, about 37% of the school students are unable to access their classes because they are not digitally equipped.
He believes that even after the pandemic will be over and everything will get back to normal, the digitalization of education will remain the same as people have now understood that you can study even without having a teacher present in front of you.
Efforts of the government in making students digitally equipped.
In Dr. Jawahar’s opinion, there are two ways of providing digital aids to the public. They are; the political way and the bureaucratic way. The political way includes distributing mobile and laptops to the public before the elections. However, the current government of India has opted for the bureaucratic way for handling this situation. The bureaucratic way includes digitalization of villages. This government has digitalized over one lakh villages in the last seven years and plans to digitalize another lakh villages in next five years. Dr. Jawahar is confident to meet the target.
The ‘Think Professor’
Speaking of how he got recognised as ‘The Think Professor’, Dr. Jawahar tells us that once he was in Columbia University of New York and he had to address 1300 Vice Chancellors of different organisations. As Dr. Jawahar was being introduced, the speaker was trying to justify him being there as they believed that Indian researchers just copy-paste their research without actually having knowledge about it. The speaker insisted on the fact that Dr. Jawahar had completed his research from the US and not India. Dr. Jawahar felt insulted at this. When he got his chance to speak, he asked people there what they teach the pre kindergarten kids in their countries. He was told that the kids are taught A-Z and 1-10. To this he replied that it is the same taught in India, but he wished to ask why doesn’t anyone teach 0-9. He insisted that this question has not been asked in ages and we just learn what we are taught without questioning. This gave the people there a food for thought and his research on the art of thinking was funded by the same University and got recognised as the ‘Think Professor’.
Apps developed by Dr. Jawahar
In the global happiness index by the UN, India was placed at 123rd position. Dr. Jawahar was disappointed at this. Instead of going into what is right and what is wrong, he developed a happiness index for India and named it ‘Happy’. He asked corporates to measure the internal happiness of the workers department wise and plan and design their training and working environment according to the report of the happiness index.
Another app developed by Dr. Jawahar is called ‘Apprison’. This app gives you information on how much time one spends on his mobile phone, which app he uses the most and at what time. So the person has clear knowledge of his addiction to an app. He thought of making this app after seeing the digital addiction and its bad effects on health and family relationships.
Dr. Jawahar’s perspective on China’s restrictions on digitalization.
Dr. Jawahar believes that if you try to clamp down something to great extent it overthrows itself into a revolution. And China being a communist country often goes into such revolutions. These clampdowns are not very long term.
Books by Dr. Jawahar Surisetti
Discussing his book ‘Mama and Me’ is derived from the parenting mistakes parents make. He says that 65% of a child’s brain is developed in the first eight years of his life. And among those eight years, the initial 5 years are the most crucial. He says that parents want to fulfill their dreams through their child and make the mistakes they should never have made. So this book tells about parenting the children of 0-5 years.
His second book ‘Go to Hell or Come to Me’ is based on teenage years. He believes a basic trait of every teenager is either you listen to me or go to hell. Dr. Jawahar experienced similar things with his kids while they were in their teens. He came up with some experiments that worked for him. He played the Prime Minister of his house, his wife was the Home Minister and his children were Tourism and Library Minister as they used to travel to some state every three months and all of them were avid readers. He delegated them responsibility and they took up the task and performed well. These are some of the experiments he has mentioned in this book.
Dr Jawahar Surisetti is an eminent psychologist , futurist , TED Speaker , Advisor to Government, bestselling author and an innovator . He a doctorate in psychology from the University of Washington. He has been lately adjudged as one of the top 24 policy makers of India by leading daily New Indian Express. He has been bestowed the NYT Da Vinci Innovator title for the innovations in social education to help uplift the disadvantaged. His Career Yatra to the Mofussil and tribal areas of India and helping one lakh children every year find a meaningful career to be able to grow and sustain not just their education but later support the families have been supported by TATA CSR , Jindal Steel , Rungta Group , Dainik Bhaskar and Ministry of School Education of many states . He advises the Government of India on policy issues and innovations in education, start ups and youth affairs .
Known worldwide as the Think Professor for his Art Of Thinking , he engages with 2.4 lakh children and parents across the globe through the UN expedition called Explora – exploring the minds of the youths . His two bestselling parenting guides “Mama & Me “ for parents of kids aged newborn to 5 years having sold more than 1.7 million copies worldwide and “ Go To Hell or Come To Me “ for parents of teens released last year . His exemplary social enterprises have like MyBeti for the Girl Child , Religion of Youth for youth and Happea for the happiness of the world have been applauded by the UN and included in the SDG Report in 2017-18.
His innovation Think Curriculum, for which he has been awarded a honorary doctorate by Columbia University , fosters thinking in learning and has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation . His 1432 lectures , seminars and workshops till date in 76 countries of the world have received rave reviews for their effectivity and simplicity . His sessions for different categories have been eye-openers across the world. As an innovator, his pioneering work in the world on digital wellbeing, happiness, and peace in the schools , colleges, homes, corporates, and in the global perspective has been applauded.
He has “Happea “ an app being launched in July which measures internal happiness and suggests ways to improve happiness in the corporate setup because according to him, happy employees improve efficiency, and happy children or youth means better learning.
His second innovation is Apprison which is an app that measures mobile addiction and is the first gamified productivity app in the world that promotes digital wellbeing. He feels that mobile addiction, is going the be the biggest ailment of mankind and will surpass all other health issues and the future will see a spurt of digital wellbeing clinics, specialists, mobile lockers, mobile deaddiction centers, and so on.