Dr Nuzhat Ali: Leveraging change through CSR for a better future

Progressive, passionate about achieving   excellence   and encouraging  the  team  to constantly learn, Dr Nuzhat Ali is looking after Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) portfolio at Aricent, which is a global design and engineering company innovating for the digital era. She believes that CSR is to visibly contribute to larger societal welfare as a proactive, accountable and socially receptive unit to the immediate world around it.

The CSR Act has created this opportunity which may leverage change for the betterment of the society and enabled an ecosystem to contribute towards the national/international development commitments.

In her current profile at Aricent, Dr Nuzhat is responsible for some of the most innovative employability enhancement projects designed to strengthen the engineering domain, improve lives and build a better future for those engineering students who belong to the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid. Aricent Employability Enhancement Programme, the flagship CSR initiative of Aricent, which was recently christened as Arise, works for scalable quality engineering education to bridge the demand and supply gap in the IT and ITeS sectors, especially for women.

Arise is a training-based skill development programme aimed at creating employable skills among students from engineering colleges of tier-II and III cities. Aricent being a global design and engineering firm, as part of this initiative, has planned to train and develop skills for engineering students. Under the programme, the students are trained in the qualification pack for software developers, as developed by the Sector Skills Council NASSCOM. It includes training the  candidates on core engineering skills as well as developing their professional acumen and helping them become better professionals in the future.

Dr Nuzhat employs CSR programmes to leverage change for a better future. A conscientious person in reviewing existing development practices and creating opportunities to facilitate change, Nuzhat is a doctorate in education psychology from the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university in New Delhi. As a development domain leader, she has more than 17 years of experience in CSR and educational development.

In her previous assignment she has served as the thematic head of education at Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF), the CSR arm of Tech Mahindra India. She comes with extensive experience, both as an educationist and an educator, and in her previous roles she has served in senior profiles at some of the most prestigious NGOs like Bodh Shiksha Samiti, Prayas Juvenile Centre Society and Centre for Education Management and Development. She has also served as a lecturer with the Faculty of Education at her alma mater, JMI. For her extensive work, she has received wide recognition and has won several awards from various agencies.

Dr Nuzhat takes a keen interest in inception, development and establishment of large-scale and long-term educational programmes. As thematic head of education, she has led popular projects such as the Shikshak Samman Award Programme. She also conceptualized and was the central figure in overseeing projects like All Round Improvement in School Level Education (ARISE) and Development of In-service Teacher Education Institute operated with the help of government, non-government institutions and grassroots NGOs.

These projects have created a niche for TMF in the education domain and supported in the actualisation of TMF’s vision of empowering through education.

Dr Nuzhat has a special area of interest—working for marginalised groups of society. She has the vision to work at grassroots and emphasizes on good governance. She has been a key factor in developing M&E systems for her projects and expanding programmatic reach to the most marginalized and some very critical beneficiaries in the far-flung areas of the country in partnership with the government agencies and local NGOs.

Most often Dr Nuzhat is seen on field visits, overseeing the programmes and finding collective measures to deal with programmatic challenges so that change is real for the beneficiaries.