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Sugata Mitra

Born: 12 February 1952

Nationality: Bengali

Sugata Mitra is a professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication, and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, England. He is best known for his “Hole in the Wall” experiment and widely cited in his works on literacy and education.

Since the 1970s, Professor Mitra's publications and work has resulted in training and development of perhaps a million young Indians, amongst them some of the poorest children in the world.

In 1999, the “Hole in the wall” experiments on children's learning, was conducted. In the initial experiment, a computer was placed in a kiosk in a wall in a slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to use it freely.The experiment aimed at proving that computers could teach children very easily without any formal training. Mitra termed this Minimally Invasive Education. The experiment has since been repeated.

Presenting his experiment in May 2013 in TED Radio, Mitra claimed that children in the rural slums of India, many of whom had never seen a computer in their lives had, when left with computers in kiosks, taught themselves everything from "character mapping" to advanced topics such as "DNA replication" on their own, without adult assistance.

He suggested this would lead to "unstoppable learning" through a "worldwide cloud" – where children would pool their knowledge and resources in the absence of adult supervision to create a world of self-promoted learning.

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