Pune to have animation school, gurukul style

August 8th, 2008 - 9:56 am ICT by IANS  

By V. Vijayalakshmi
Pune, Aug 8 (IANS) Who says technology and tradition are poles apart? Modern subjects like animation, gaming and broadcast journalism will soon be taught ‘gurukul’ style - modelled on the ancient Indian education system - at a Pune school. The unique venture, called Seamless Education Academy or SeamEdu, will be run by Saurabh Gadgil, a jeweller, and aims to cater to the fast growing animation industry’s huge demand for trained personnel.

“There is a huge demand for talented animators in the country - around 200,000 in a couple of years. So we thought this was a very good business idea,” said Gadgil, a major stakeholder in the venture.

Those behind the project say they only mean to simulate the gurukul tradition’s aspect of individual attention.

“Gurukul education is based on individual attention and that’s what we plan to do - identify the talent and harness it for industry needs,” said Arun Nigvekar, Pune University’s former vice chancellor under whose guidance the school will be run.

To be launched Sep 30, the school has acquired two animation studios in the city, including Toolbox Animation Studio run by Chetan Deshmukh who worked for the Hollywood blockbuster “Chicago”.

The academy expects to enrol about 2,000 students by next year.

“Our education would not be restricted to the traditional mould and our careers would explore tomorrow’s avenues,” Nigvekar, who also had a stint as University Grants Commission chairman, told IANS.

His son Kedar is also collaborating in the project.

SeamEdu is seeking collaboration with foreign universities too and will have visiting faculty from leading production and media houses, Kedar said.

“While the style of teaching will be that of a gurukul, it will be run like a private limited company. So one can expect quality education and courses tailor-made to the industry’s needs,” he explained, adding that the course fee would not be very high.

Anand Khandekar, chairman of the animation and gaming division of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), will be the strategic board adviser to the academy.

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