Virtual varsity to be 'one-stop knowledge shop'

Advisory panel to meet next week to work out modalities

The State’s first ‘Virtual University,’ to be set up soon, promises to be a ‘one-stop knowledge shop’ going beyond just offering online distance education courses.

The higher education department recently constituted an advisory committee headed by International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B) Director to work out the modalities of the university.

The panel, comprising vice-chancellors of Bangalore University and University of Mysore and former vice-chancellor of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) Sudha Rao among others, will hold its first meeting on November 12.

The Commissioner for Collegiate Education has been appointed the nodal officer for the proposed university.

According to officials in the higher education department, the objective of the virtual university is to provide top class quality courses (both formal and informal) via various multi-media platforms including satellite television, internet and mobile technologies.

The officials told Deccan Herald that the university will aim to provide access to higher education to not just students but also for mid-career professionals, teachers or for that matter any body interested in studying a subject of their interest.

There will be provision for even students of “brick and mortar” universities to enrol themselves with the virtual university.

For instance, if a student pursuing engineering is interested in literature, she or he can enrol for the literature course with the virtual university.

Or, if a BSc student is interested in software development, the virtual university will provide a platform for taking up the course.

The varsity also proposes to offer non-formal courses including skill development and competence development programmes.

Bridge courses, programmes for helping students prepare for civil service examinations and even courses like “traditional Indian cooking” are being proposed. 

The course material will be prepared by experts in their respective field and will be industry-driven.

The course material will include web-enabled content, television programmes and online interaction, the officials said. Students will also access to lectures by top professors via DVDs, streaming media and other multi-media platforms.

The university, likely to be christened “Karnataka Virtual University,” will need an enactment to be passed by the State legislature to get statutory status.

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