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November 20, 2017

President launched Ministry of Human Resource Development backed largest MOOC portal “SWAYAM”


‘Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM), an integrated platform and portal for online courses, was launched by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on July 9. It was launched the National Convention on Digital Initiatives organized by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

SWAYAM involves development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) compliant e-content (video and text) and building a robust IT platform; Using information and communication technology (ICT) covering from High School to University, SWAYAM aim to “ensure that every student benefits from learning material through ICT” and impart skill sector courses.

In order to disseminate educational content to masses, the MHRD has launched 32 Direct-To-Home (DTH) educational TV channels called “SWAYAM Prabha” broadcasting education content 24×7 basis, and the content developed under SWAYAM would be used for transmission in SWAYAM Prabha (SP) DTH channels.

Main features of the SWAYAM portal are :

  • One-stop web and mobile based interactive e-content for all courses from High School to University level.
  • High quality learning experience using multimedia on anytime, anywhere basis.
  • State of the art system that allows easy access, monitoring and certification.
  • Peer group interaction and discussion forum to clarify doubts
  • Hybrid model of delivery that adds to the quality of classroom teaching.

According to its website (https://swayam.gov.in/About), 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.

This is done through an indigenous developed IT platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from 9th class till post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. All the courses are interactive, prepared by the best teachers in the country and are available, free of cost to the residents in India.

More than 1,000 specially chosen faculty and teachers from across the Country have participated in preparing these courses, it said.

Courses:

There are 167 Undergraduates; 51 Post graduate; 7 Certificate and Diploma 1 courses hosted on SWAYAM in 4 quadrants – (1) video lecture, (2) specially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed (3) self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and (4) an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts. Steps have been taken to enrich the learning experience by using audio-video and multi-media and state of the art pedagogy / technology.

The courses are indigenously developed by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with the help of Microsoft and would be ultimately capable of hosting 2000 courses and 80000 hours of learning: covering school, under-graduate, post-graduate, engineering, law and other professional courses.

In order to ensure best quality content are produced and delivered, seven National Coordinators have been appointed: They are NPTEL for engineering, UGC for post-graduation education, CEC for under-graduate education, NCERT & NIOS for school education, IGNOU for out of the school students and IIMB for management studies.

While courses delivered through SWAYAM are available free of cost to the learners; however students wanting certifications shall be registered shall be offered a certificate on successful completion of the course, with a little fee.

At the end of each course, there will be an assessment of the student through proctored examination and the marks/grades secured in this exam could be transferred to the academic record of the students. UGC has already issued the UGC (Credit Framework for online learning courses through SWAYAM) Regulation 2016 advising the Universities to identify courses where credits can be transferred on to the academic record of the students for courses done on SWAYAM.

According to an Indian Express report, In the initial phase, courses will be offered by IITs Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Guwahati, Delhi, IGNOU, University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, Indian Institute of Science, NCERT etc. The courses offered are from school to post-graduate level.

The broad categories of courses offered are engineering, management, science, arts and recreation, mathematics, languages, general studies, humanities, library sciences, energy, sustainable development, social science etc. The government expects at least 1 crore students to enroll in the initial 2-3 years.

As of now, the courses listed in various subjects/discipline the According in the SWAYAM website, are Engineering 186; Management 11; Science 11; Arts and Recreation 5; Mathematics 5; Language 4; General 3; Humanities 2; Library 2; and English 226. etc.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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