Digital Initiatives in Higher Education | ICT | UGC NET Paper 1

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Digital Initiatives in Higher Education: Digital revolution is bringing in sweeping changes in the Higher Education landscape. Every institute is taking various initiatives in promoting digital education.

The technology of online education and all the digital initiatives have the possibility to revolutionize higher education scenario in the near future. The use of technology through online education in higher education also becomes imperative due to the following factors:

Online education is cheaper than formal education without compromising on quality, thanks to low infrastructure costs and large learner base.

Online Education is directly delivered by the best teachers, assuring a high quality of instruction.

Online Education addresses the rural-urban divide which is manifested by the fact that at present India has 4.5% of graduates in rural areas as against 17% in urban areas. For females, the disparity is starker: 2.2% female graduates in rural areas, as against 13% female graduates in the urban areas.

By a flexible curriculum that is in line with the current market requirements, online education can enhance the employability quotient in the youth.

The penetration of IT infrastructure is expected to increase internet users from 40.9 Cr in 2016 to 73.5 Cr by 2021. This will enhance access to online courses to the youth.

Increasing penetration of smartphones, which is expected to increase to more than 60 Cr (2021), would further facilitate the use of the online courses using the telecom spectrum.

The households spend on higher education is going to increase in future, affording an opportunity for the hitherto unreached population to the portals of higher education.

The pressing need of the employment sector for re-training and career up-gradation as per the needs of the market is best served by online education leading to Life-long learning.

The Skill India Mission would certainly require online courses for reaching out to a large number of unskilled or semi-skilled population to help them to upgrade their skills.

Digital Initiatives in Higher Education and ICT For UGC NET Paper 1

These are the Digital Initiatives in Higher Education by MHRD, UGC etc.

SWAYAM is a programme initiated by Government of India and designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality. The objective of this effort is to take the best teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged. SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.

The SWAYAM PRABHA is a group of 34 DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite. … The channels are uplinked from BISAG, Gandhinagar. The contents are provided by NPTEL, IITs, UGC, CEC, IGNOU, NCERT and NIOS.

National Digital Library of India (NDLI) is a virtual repository of learning resources which is not just a repository with search/browse facilities but provides a host of services for the learner community. It is sponsored and mentored by Ministry of Education, Government of India, through its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT).

Filtered and federated searching is employed to facilitate focused searching so that learners can find the right resource with least effort and in minimum time. NDLI provides user group-specific services such as Examination Preparatory for School and College students and job aspirants. Services for Researchers and general learners are also provided.

NDLI is designed to hold content of any language and provides interface support for 10 most widely used Indian languages. It is built to provide support for all academic levels including researchers and life-long learners, all disciplines, all popular forms of access devices and differently-abled learners.

It is designed to enable people to learn and prepare from best practices from all over the world and to facilitate researchers to perform inter-linked exploration from multiple sources. It is developed, operated and maintained from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.

Spoken Tutorial is a multi-award winning educational content portal. Here one can learn various Free and Open Source Software all by oneself. Our self-paced, multi-lingual courses ensure that anybody with a computer and a desire for learning, can learn from any place, at any time and in a language of their choice.

They are 10-minute long, audio-video tutorial, on open source software, to improve employment potential of students. It is created for self-learning, audio dubbed into all 22 languages and with the availability of online version. The languages are C, C++, Java, PHP, Python, PERL, Scilab, OpenFOAM, OpenModelica, DWSIM, LibreO and many more. The Spoken Tutorial courses are effectively designed to train a novice user, without the support of a physical teacher.

FOSSEE (Free/Libre and Open Source Software for Education) project promotes the use of FLOSS tools to improve the quality of education in our country. We aim to reduce dependency on proprietary software in educational institutions. We encourage the use of FLOSS tools through various activities to ensure commercial software is replaced by equivalent FLOSS tools. We also develop new FLOSS tools and upgrade existing tools to meet requirements in academia and research.
The FOSSEE project is part of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India.

Textbook Companion (TBC) is a collection of code for solved examples of standard textbooks. About 2,000 college students and teachers have participated in this activity & close to 1,000 TBCs have been created in Scilab and made them available for free download.

Objectives
1. To provide remote-access to Labs in various disciplines of Science and Engineering. These Virtual Labs would cater to students at the undergraduate level, post graduate level as well as to research scholars.

2. To enthuse students to conduct experiments by arousing their curiosity. This would help them in learning basic and advanced concepts through remote experimentation.

3. To provide a complete Learning Management System around the Virtual Labs where the students can avail the various tools for learning, including additional web-resources, video-lectures, animated demonstrations and self evaluation.

4. To share costly equipment and resources, which are otherwise available to limited number of users due to constraints on time and geographical distances.

E-Yantra is a project for enabling effective education across engineering colleges in India on embedded systems and Robotics. The training for teachers and students is imparted through workshops where participants are taught the basics of embedded systems and programming. More than 275 colleges across India have benefited from this initiative. All the projects and code are available on the e-Yantra website www.e-yantra.org as open-source content.

Shodhganga” is the name coined to denote digital repository of Indian Electronic Theses and Dissertations set-up by the INFLIBNET Centre. The Shodhganga is set-up using an open-source digital repository software called DSpace developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in partnership between Hewlett- Packard (HP).

Under the initiative called “ShodhGangotri”, research scholars/research supervisors in universities are requested to deposit an electronic version of approved synopsis submitted by research scholars to the universities for registering themselves for the PhD programme Now it is expanded to MRPs/PDFs/ Emeritus Fellowship etc.

More than 15,000 international electronic journals and e-books are made available to all the higher educational institutions through e-ShodhSindhu initiative. This allows access to be the best educational resources in the world using digital mode. The INFLIBNET, Gandhinagar, Gujarat is implementing the Scheme.

VIDWAN is the premier database of profiles of scientists / researchers and other faculty members working at leading academic institutions and other R & D organisation involved in teaching and research in India.

It provides important information about expert’s background, contact address, experience, scholarly publications, skills and accomplishments, researcher identity, etc. The database developed and maintained by Information and Library Network Centre (INFLIBNET) with financial support from the National Mission on Education through ICT (NME-ICT).

The database would be instrumental in selection of panels of experts for various committees, taskforce, established by the Ministries / Govt. establishments for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Talk to a Teacher developed by IIT Bombay, is an initiative of the National Mission on Education through ICT, funded by MHRD to provide free access to a few selected graduate and postgraduate courses, taught at IIT Bombay by distinguished faculty members and scholars at large.

Establishment of 1 GBPS Connectivity to universities and 20 512 Kbps broadband connectivity to colleges has been provisioned under NMEICT. A total of 600 Universities have been connected through 1 Gbps Optical Fibre; 22026 Colleges have so far been connected with 10 Mbps bandwidth. On the lines of ‘Digital India’ initiative of the PMO, the MHRD has now decided that the campuses of Universities, (having 1 Gbps bandwidth) shall be made WiFi-enabled campus.

It is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Govt. of India (MHRD) to facilitate digital issuance, storage, access and verification of Academic Awards issued by Academic Institutions. NAD is a Unique, Innovative and Progressive initiative under “Digital India” theme towards achieving Digital enablement of the Education Records.

Digital Initiatives for School Education

The digital India campaign has promoted extensive use of ICTs in the teaching-learning process. The e-Pathshala, a joint initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has been developed for showcasing and disseminating all educational e-resources including textbooks, audio, video, periodicals, and a variety of other print and non-print materials for Students, Teachers, Parents, researchers and educators.

e-Basta is a framework to make schoolbooks accessible in digital form as e-books to be read and used on tablets and laptops. The main idea is to bring various publishers (free as well as commercial) and schools together on one platform.

DAISY Forum of India is a consortium of Not for Profit organizations from India who are involved in production and distribution of books and reading material in accessible formats for persons who cannot read normal print due to visual, cognitive or physical disabilities.

The DAISY forum of India envisions a world where people with print disabilities have equal access to information and knowledge without delay or additional expense in their own language.

The mission of DAISY Forum of India is to eradicate the “Book famine” for persons with print disabilities. According to surveys conducted world-wide, less than 1% of the published information is available in alternate and accessible formats for use by persons with print disabilities. The lack of books and reading material has negative impact on the education, employment prospects and personality development of persons with blindness, low vision, learning and certain physical disabilities.

National Teacher Platform (NTP) branded as “Diksha” is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. It is a state-of-the-art platform built to host Open Educational Resources (OER) and tools for Teachers in Schools, Teacher Educators in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) and Student Teachers in TEIs. It is built considering the whole teacher’s life cycle – from the time student teachers enrol in TEIs to after they retire as teachers.

Saransh is a tool for comprehensive self-review and analysis for CBSE affiliated schools and parents. It enables them to analyse students’ performance in order to take remedial measures. Saransh brings schools, teachers and parents closer, so that they can monitor the progress of students and help them improve their performance. It is a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) initiative.

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