While addressing the Indian community from London’s famous Wembley Stadium, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Imran Khan, a 34-year-old mathematics teacher from Alwar, for distributing 52 education apps for free. Modi also thanked him and said that it was a small step taken by him as a teacher.
In his speech, the Prime Minister said, “My India resides in people like Imran Khan.”
Modi said that he was sure of India’s bright future because his vision of India, was the India of Imran Khan who created and gave education apps for free; and of the Sarpanch who had conceived ‘Selfie with Daughter’.
Imran Khan is a mathematics teacher at a government-run Sanskrit senior secondary school in Rajasthan. He became a third grade teacher in 1999 after doing a two-year basic teacher training course.
He has developed around 52 mobile applications and dedicated those apps to the students for free.
These apps have been downloaded by 2.5 million users and has up to 18 million screen views.
You may wonder that Khan must be a software engineer to develop such apps, but on the contrary, he doesn’t even have any formal training in computers. He gained all knowledge through Google and his brother’s books.
“My younger brother, Idrees, left his books at home after he bagged a job at a Gurgaon software firm. He had completed his B Tech in Computer Science. As I was free after school, I began looking up those books. I learnt HTML and designed a website.”
Back in 2005, he learnt HTML and designed his first website- www.gktalks.com – to answer general knowledge-related questions. Though he has created more than 100 websites, he only maintains two of them – gktalks and gyanmajari.
In his website, he introduces himself as a web developer.
“I like to make cool and creative interfaces. My interfaces are always full of refreshing ideas. I like challenges, without challenge I can’t work. Web development is my hobby,” he wrote.
Imran’s journey into the app world began in 2012 when he called by then district collector of Alwar, Ashutosh AT Pednekar to make a website for the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET).
“Pednekar was the one who suggested that I start developing apps. I had no clue what an app was – he had to show me some on his tablet,” he said.
His first app was the NCERT Learn Science for students of class 9.
In 2014, Imran also participated in a national seminar on education organised by the ministry of human resources in September 2014, and undertook sessions on IT in education with trainee IAS officers as his audience.
Among all the apps that he has made, General Science in Hindi witnessed over 500,000 downloads.
Regarding PM Modi’s appreciation, Khan said that it was a small step taken by him as a teacher, but it is a big thing that our Prime Minister has praised me.
Khan believes that tablets, computers and other IT tools should be provided to people in rural areas.
“The softwares installed in those gadgets should be available in the regional languages. Many good types of software are available in English but to extend their reach to the villages, they should be provided in regional languages like Hindi, etc as well,” he said.
Khan was posted in Kota for four years, before being transferred to the government school in Jaton Ka Bagh – just five kilometres from his native village, Khareda, in Malakhera.
Besides Khan, Modi also praised Sunil Jaglan, who started ‘Selfie with daughter‘ campaign in June this year.
The campaign launched by the village head of Bibipur in Haryana against female foeticide gained nation wide momentum.