Global Teacher Prize 2020| First Indian Recipient - Ranjitsinh Disale

The Global Teacher Prize 2020 award is won by Ranjitsinh Disale, a government school teacher in Maharashtra, India. The news caught fire for two reasons, one Ranjitsinh Disale is the first Indian to have bagged the USD 1 Million Global Teacher Prize honour, second, he has decided to share 50 per cent of the prize money with his nine fellow finalists.

Before diving deep into the information about Ranjitsinh Disale, let us first know about the Global Teacher Award.

What is the Global Teacher Prize?

The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

The Global Teacher Award serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers not only on their students but on the communities around them.

Candidates preparing for any competitive exam can get assistance for comprehensive preparation from the following links-

Global Teacher Award – Overview & Significance

  1. The Global Teacher Prize Award is run by Varkey Foundation in partnership with UNESCO. Read in detail about the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the linked page.
  2. The Global Teacher Award celebrates exceptional teachers with the aim to raise the profession’s profile across the globe.
  3. It was started in the year 2013 by  Sunny Varkey, the Varkey Foundation’s Chairman.
  4. In the inaugural year, there were over 5,000 entries from 127 countries for the prize but over the years Global Teachers Award has been making a real difference to the profession and is positive effecting both a grassroots level and on the global stage. For 2020, it saw 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world.
  5. The Global Teacher Prize 2020 winning announcement was made at a virtual ceremony broadcast from the Natural History Museum in London, with Stephen Fry (comedian, actor, writer and presenter) announcing the winner. 
  6. This year, the ceremony also included a special recognition for one teacher – a COVID hero – who has gone above and beyond to keep young people learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  7. The COVID hero award was given to UK Maths teacher Jamie Frost and he won US$ 45,000.
  8. The Global Teacher Prize is set up to enhance the respect, reward and celebration of teachers around the world by shining a spotlight on great teachers and sharing their remarkable stories. 
  9. This way they also inspire the best possible candidates to join the teaching profession, and these goals are now successfully taking root in individual countries. The Prize has inspired over 40 National Teacher Prizes to recognise and celebrate teachers at country level. 

You can also go through the list of initiatives by the Government to help and support teachers and education in the country.

Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan Mentor India Campaign ATAL Tinkering Labs
School Education Quality Index – SEQI Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Beti Padhao Beti Bachao

Ranjitsinh Disale – First Indian to Win Global Teacher Prize

  • Ranjitsinh Disale won the Global Teacher Award 2020 on December 3rd 2020. The award recognized his efforts to promote girls’ education at the school, whose pupils are mostly from tribal communities and trigger a quick-response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India.
Ranjitsinh Disale’s QR Code innovation in education – Significance

  1. His unique innovation, QR codes on the textbooks gave students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments, greatly improving school attendance.
  2. In 2017, the Maharashtra government also decided to incorporate his idea of QR codes on the textbooks of all classes across the state. 
  3. After a year, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development announced that all NCERT books across India would have QR codes embedded in them.
  • Ranjitsinh was selected from over 12,000 nominations form 140 countries. He won the US$ 1 million prize and decided to share half of the prize money with other nine finalists to support their work as change-makers. This is the first time in the Global Teacher Prize’s six-year history that the winner will share the prize money with other finalists. 
  • The award’s nine runners-up are teachers working in the United States, Britain, Vietnam, Nigeria, South Africa, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia and Brazil. They will receive over $55,000 each.

Ranjitsinh Disale – Background

  1. Ranjithsinh Disale is a teacher at Zilla Parishad Primary School. He hails from the village of Paritewadi in Solarpur district of Maharashtra.
  2. In his village, he also campaigned to eliminate adolescent marriages and encourage the education of girls. He transformed the life chances of young girls at the Zilla Parishad Primary School, Maharashtra.
  3. Disale has earlier been recognised by Microsoft as the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and also won the National Innovation Foundation’s Innovator of the Year Award in 2018.

Aspirants preparing for different exams can go through other major awards mentioned below-

  1. Booker Prize Winners 2020
  2. Arjuna Awards Winners 2020
  3. Nobel Prize Winners 2020
  4. List of Padma Award Recipients
  5. List of Bharat Ratna Awardees From 1954 to 2019

Way Forward for Innovation in Indian Education 

Ranjithsinh Disale’s QR code revolution on textbooks has brought a major change in school education. Like the Maharashtra government, other state government should also incorporate the use of QR Codes in the state textbooks for easy access to education. Read more on Innovation in Education on the given link.

All these innovations in education can be aligned with the New Education policy that aims to have a ‘radical restructuring’ of India’s educational system and equalising opportunities for education for all, to accomplish national integration and better economic and cultural development. You can know in detail on the New Education Policy 2020 on the linked page.

Other Related Links

INSPIRE Awards – MANAK Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana – UAY Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship Scheme
National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovations Atal New India Challenge Atal Innovation Mission – AIM

Education and topics related to education in India are relevant for the IAS Exam and are often seen in the news and hence are important for various other competitive exams. Candidates preparing for the UPSC exam can check the links given below –

  1. UPSC 2021
  2. UPSC Calendar 2021

Candidates who are preparing for different Government exams must go through the topic carefully for the general awareness section. 

You can also check out the preparation strategies for competitive exams to fine-tune your exam prep.

free online quiz for IBPS, SSC and other government exams


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