India promotes e-learning across schools and universities

Recently, the Government of India announced that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has launched multiple schemes to promote e-learning across students in schools and universities.

The progress of MHRD was shared by the Minister of State (HRD) Dr Satya Pal Singh in a written reply to a question from the Rajya Sabha or Council of States.

According to Minister, the major e-learning initiatives rolled out by MHRD include: (1) the National Digital Library of India, (2) National Repository of Open Educational Resources, (3) E-pathshala, (4) the Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds, and (5) SWAYAM Prabha.

Credit: National Digital Library of India

(1) The National Digital Library of India (NDL) is a project to develop a framework of virtual repository to integrate several national and international digital libraries in one single web-portal.  of learning resources with a single-window search facility. There are over 60 types of learning resources and more than 15.3 million digital books available in over 70 languages through the NDL. The educational materials are suitable for readers from primary school to post-graduate level.

NDL India provides single window search facilities to act as a one-stop shop for all digital resources. Information can be personalised based on education level, choice of language, difficulty level, media of content and such other factors while other Digital libraries in India may not include all these choices.

Credit: National Repository of Open Educational Resources

(2) National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER) aims to make digital resources available for teachers and students as free and open source material. It is a collaborative platform, which brings together everyone interested in school and teacher education. It enables the participation of the community in development and sharing of digital resources, as well we facilitate the adoption and creation of digital resources in different Indian languages.

NROER is initiated by the Department of School Education and Literacy of MHRD and managed by the Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

(3) E-pathshala: E-books of the resources developed by NCERT, State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), State Institutes of Education (SIEs), State boards etc. E-resources and uploaded on e-pathshala website and disseminated through mobile app. E-pathshala has been listed on the Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) of the Indian Government, which was launched by the Prime Minister in November last year.

(4) The Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) is an integrated platform for online courses, using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and covering schools from 9th to 12th grade to post-graduate Level. At present, about 1000+ massive open online courses (MOOCs) are listed on SWAYAM, wherein about 3 million students have enrolled to these courses.

Credit: SWAYAM Prabha

(5) SWAYAM Prabha: SWAYAM Prabha is an initiative to provide 32 high-quality educational DTH (Direct to Home) channels across the country on 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite. Every day, there will be new content for at least 4 hours which would then be repeated 5 times in a day, allowing the students to choose the time of their convenience.The SWAYAM Prabha has curriculum-based course content covering diverse disciplines from school education (Grade 9-12), higher education content at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, to courses that can meet the needs of life-long learners in India.

Over the last three financial years, the Government of India have invested Rs 247 million, Rs31 million, Rs1.76 billion and Rs 638 million on NDL, NROER & e-Pathshala, SWAYAM and SWAYAN Prabha respectively.

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