The Asian Age | Sep 17, 2016 – Nitin Mahajan | New Delhi |
Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative and push to promote Internet-based learning, the Union human resource development ministry’s plan to launch its massive open online courses (MOOC) platform “Swayam” has been delayed repeatedly. Government sources said that Swayam’s launch was repeately delayed because the ministry wanted to ensure smooth functionality. The Swayam platform proposes to host over 2,000 courses for approximately 3 crore students across the country. It is understood that the latest launch date of August 15 was postponed because preparations were ongoing to get the entire system ready for the ambitious project. Sources said that once the platform was made operational at the optimum level, the launch will likely be made by the Prime Minister.
“The preparations for the project are on in full swing. The project has the capacity to revolutionise the education system by providing easy access to educational information,” sources stated. Swayam is a platform which will host MOOCs and provide high-quality education on various subjects, covering all disciplines, to students at levels ranging from school-level to under-graduate and post-graduate. Through this scheme, the HRD ministry has proposed that it could provide high-quality e-content to colleges and universities free of cost. The government hopes to support 10 lakh concurrent users anytime, anywhere, through this network, and Microsoft has been roped in as the technology partner for the venture. Swayam seeks to provide over 2.5 lakh hours of interactive e-content in MOOC format, which would make it the world’s biggest repository of interactive electronic learning resources under a single window. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has already notified the UGC (credit framework for online learning courses through SWAYAM) Regulation 2016, which allows for the transfer of credits earned through these courses into the academic record of the student in the parent institution. – Courtesy