Media, a new company floated by Network18, has announced the launch of Topper, billed as India's first curriculum based education TV channel.
Topper will cater to Classes 9 to 12 at first. It will provide validated curriculum based content, complying with the CBSE and the state boards. Initially, the content on the channel will cover physics, chemistry and mathematics.
Sunil Khanna, co-founder, Greycells18, says, "Statistics show that there are around 300 million children enrolled in schools across India. With limited seats available in colleges and premium professional courses, it becomes imperative to have a strong primary and secondary education background. Topper presents children with a significant opportunity to supplement the existing school system and make the best of their secondary education." Khanna is optimistic that Topper will provide a major impetus to the current education system.
Greycells18 Media is a joint venture initiated by Sunil Khanna, erstwhile chief executive officer of Reliance ADAG's Bluemagic, and Sricharan Iyengar, former vice-president and business head, ESPN STAR Sports. The entity is co-promoted by Raghav Bahl of Network18 and Shantanu Prakash of Educomp. Both Bahl and Prakash are supporting the venture in their personal capacities and under Network18's private equity initiative, Capital18.
On the programming front, the channel will telecast six fresh episodes daily, four episodes based on the regular course and two exam specials, keeping in mind that the board examinations start in March. The modules on the shows are designed to complement the existing tools of traditional classroom teaching and to have the technological muscle to deal with concepts that are difficult to explain theoretically.
Iyengar says, "Topper features a group of teachers with an exceptional track record. The educators and subject experts associated with Topper come armed with experience of teaching in the best institutes of the world, and are strongly driven with a passion for their subject. Our team will present modules to students in the simplest manner possible."
Among the faculty members are Chandralekha Singh, a PhD from the University of California, currently teaching at Pittsburg University; Shankar Venkatagiri, a PhD from Georgia Tech, currently teaching at IIM Bangalore; Debabrata Goswami, a PhD from Princeton University, currently teaching at IIT Kanpur; Shaleen Sharma, B Tech (Hons) from IIT Roorkee; Sumeet Luthra, MBBS, FRCS (London); Mona Srivastava, M Tech, IIT Delhi; and Pavan Chauhan, B Tech, PGDBM, IIM Bangalore.
GreyCell18 has also rolled out a web portal, www.topperlearning.com, with a view to backing up the lessons done on television. The portal will offer an interactive facility whereby students have access to a panel of experts who will answer their queries online.