Javadekar asks varsity heads to speed up digital adoption

Javadekar asks varsity heads to speed up digital adoption

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has asked varsity heads to adopt swayam and other digital initiatives by this year end and 'transform' their institutions into 'smart campuses'.

Writing to Vice Chancellors, Javadekar said Indian institutions must keep pace with campuses across the world who have made great strides in adopting educational technology to improve their academic and administrative standards. "We must keep up with this global trend without any loss of time," he said.

Just a few months ago, a national convention of institutional heads had finalized a 17-point action plan to implement the digital initiatives introduced by the HRD Ministry including adopting "flipped class room model" of teaching using Swayam and Swayam Prabha channels.

Started earlier this year, Swayam is a platform that offers massive and open online courses (Moocs) in 29 secondary and senior secondary school level subjects.

The platform also contains 210 undergraduate and 192 post-graduate courses at various streams, including engineering and management. Swayam Prabha offers a basket of 32 DTH educational channels.

Though the "pathbreaking" initiatives offer huge opportunities to improve educational standards, Javadekar said their potential is yet to be fully tapped.

Despite constant prodding by the minister, a mere 850 institutions have adopted swayam so far.

The platform makes it convenient for varsity students to complete their degree programmes through swayam, but this could only be possible if the university they enroll has adopted the platform and approve the courses it offers.

"I would request you to convene meetings of the affiliated colleges at your level to review the progress in implementation of this digital action plan, especially in the context of adopting Swayam and Swayam Prabha on a blended mode," Javadekar said in the letter.

He also asked the UGC to create a website to monitor the progress of varsities in implementing the 17-point action plan. "This will help identify good performers for felicitation and those institutions requiring help," he said.

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