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EdTech Startup for Indian School kids, BYJU raises $75M in funding

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screen-shot-2016-03-22-at-11-21-52-amSAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — BYJU, an educational app for Indian schoolchildren, has set its sights on revolutionizing learning formats and products after raising $75 million from Sequoia India and Sofina.

The company, founded as an online education platform in 2001, has now raised a total of $90 million in funding. BYJU launched its app just six months ago and claims it has already been downloaded 2.5 million times, and has more than 120,000 paid annual subscribers. Courses on the platform are aimed at students in grades six to 12, and supplements their regular classwork while preparing them for upcoming major exams.

Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of the company, recently told TechCrunch during a conversation that India possesses the largest K-12 education system in the world, but frequently ranks poorly in worldwide assessments of progress. He opined this is because Indian students lack access to quality educators, and are forced into a “one-size-fits-all approach,” because of the country’s high teacher-student ratio. Students spend too much time “driven by fear of exams rather than the love for learnings,” he added.

Raveendran has spent countless hours working with students, prepping and teaching them for math and entrance exams, with a true passion to transform the nature of learning worldwide. He recognized the catalyst of his mission was taking his platform mobile with the app.

“We have been a very successful offline brand, but last year we launched our first application through a mobile platform, and that has helped us leapfrog to the next level in terms of users,” he said. “We are making an impact where it matters, and how students learn in those crucial years where they start failing (in a) subject, in the 6th or 7th grades. We know we are making a much bigger impact because we are changing the way India is learning today.”

His app is adding nearly 20,000 students each month to its teaching base.

Raveendran’s ultimate goal is to create educational tools for all students, not just the extremely motivated. BYJU’s teaching methods focus on visual learning with diagrams and engaging videos which relay facts contextually so that students can see how they’re relevant to their lives. Along the way, BYJU’s learning platform analyzes how students are performing, providing them with personalized feedback and recommendations as they progress through the coursework.

“The platform adapts to the pace of learning, size of learning, and style of learning, in the sense that a student will know what to learn, when to learn, how much to learn, and how fast to learn,” Raveendran said.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at 87. She was the oldest sitting member of the court. Justice Ginsburg was only the second woman named to the Supreme Court. A cultural and feminist icon, Ginsburg was appointed to the Court by President Bill Clinton, and her passing will set off a showdown in the coming weeks before the November election. In a message left this week as her health waned, Ginsburg said “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shortly after Ginsburg’s death was announced said the Senate will conduct a vote to replace her and President Trump is expected to put forth a nominee to fill the seat in the coming days.

An Indian American doctor filed a federal lawsuit against the Aurora, Colorado police department after one of their police officers pointed a gun at him on his own property while he was trying to park his car. The incident was captured on video. The officer, Justin Henderson, has been suspended for 40 hours without pay and will be required to attend de-escalation training. 45 year old Dr. Paramjit Parmar, who is known in Aurora for his aid to refugees, believes race affected how he was treated and said Henderson’s punishment is “terribly inadequate.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Recall efforts against Kshama Sawant moves forward

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Recall efforts against Kshama Sawant moves forward | Diya TV News

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — The recall effort against Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant can move forward after a ruling by a King County judge. Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers said four of the six accusations against Sawant are legitimate. They include misuse of city resources, misuse of her position by letting protesters into City Hall, relinquishing her duties of office to an outside political organization and leading a protest to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s house despite her address being protected due to threats from her time as a U.S. Attorney. 

Now, the group of residents leading the recall must get about 11,000 valid signatures before the recall gets on the ballot. Sawant in response said this battle is just the latest attempt by corporate interests and Mayor Durkan to derail her efforts to reform the city and announced she will lead a grassroots campaign to fight the charges.

Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is facing heat as well from U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who suggested prosecutors consider filing charges against her over the mass protests this summer that led some protesters to establish a police-free zone in downtown Seattle. In a tweet, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara offered his help to Durkan pro-bono.

Indian Prime Minister Modi turned 70 years old and received birthday wishes from around the globe, including from President Trump, who called Modi “a great leader and loyal friend.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indiaspora & AAPI data survey Indian American voters

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Indiaspora & AAPI data survey Indian American voters| Diya TV News

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — At a virtual event featuring the former CEO of the Democratic National Committee, Seema Nanda, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Republican Ohio State Representative Niraj Antani, non-profit Indiaspora teamed up with AAPI Data to reveal the growing political power of the Indian American diaspora. The joint report says 66% of Indian Americans currently favor Vice President Biden, and 28% favor President Trump. The study shows an enormous rise in political engagement from the community. There are 1.8 million Indian Americans in the U.S. who are eligible voters and both sides of the aisle recognize the need to further engage Indian Americans, who AAPI Data notes is now the largest part of the Asian American community, surpassing Chinese Americans.

Eric Trump, President Trump’s son, took part in an Indian Voices for Trump event in suburban Atlanta. It was an indoor rally with appropriate social distancing measures in place. Trump was on hand to win support from the community in a vital state that will be tightly contested this fall. Georgia, like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Texas are considered in play and have growing Indian American populations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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