Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has awarded 34 Ph.D fellowships and six young faculty fellowships to National Institute of Technology - Tiruchi, under its new Visvesvaraya PhD Scheme.
Under the scheme introduced to enhance the number of Ph.Ds in the Electronic Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) and IT/IT enabled Services (ITES) sector and to attract and retain the faculty in these areas, the Ministry has awarded young faculty fellowships to MP Selvan, N Sivakumaran, G. Saravana Ilango, S. Moorthi, Sishaj P Simon and K. Srinivasan.
The project Ashwini, which is a joint initiative of Media Lab Asia, UNDP, NISG and Byrajju Foundation got the award for the the best NGO initiative of the year. It has established a broadband wireless network based on 802.11 b/g technology, connecting about 32 village centres and three towns in Krishna, East and west Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. This facilitates access to broadband connectivity in more than 115 villages benefitting a population of more thyan 0.5 million. The project is envisioned to offer rural friendly, urban quality services in rural areas by creating and using broadband wireless network. The project delivers high quality services like e-learning, e-banking, e-governance, e-medicine and e-health besides virtual agricultural advisory services to rural areas.
If you find classroom teaching boring or computer sessions a little too tiring then it’s time to break the mould and switch over to learning on the go! Now, you can take lessons in maths, English and science and also do your training on your mobile and PDAs. And what more, you can also take your preparatory tests, such as CAT and IIT-JEE, on your handset. Some firms, such as EnableM, Tata Interactive, 24X7 Learning, Airtel, IMS and NIIT, are working overtime to make this possible.
While companies are offering small training modules for employees, coaching and content development institutes in the education space are tying up with mobile operators to offer such services. EnableM, a mobile content distribution firm, for one, has tied up with Harper Collins, Britannica for content aggregation and dissemination. It also has institutional tie-ups with University of Florida, Haifa University, Israel, CDAC, Media Lab Asia to deliver content and basic course modules on maths, English, science. A new entrant in the mobile learning space, it launched a module — maths for mobile — four months back. The company is now planning to launch My Sports Pal in India. The programme aims at making maths interesting using sports. “Mlearning, though in a nascent stage in India, has huge potential,” says EnableM CEO Amit Zaveri. “Going forward, you will see more action happening in the space.”
India is witnessing rapid growth in mobile and internet penetration. With 250 million mobile subscribers and about 42 million internet connections, the market is huge and growing. Analysts believe convergence of mobile, internet, and TV services on a single gadget will lead to increased awareness and popularity of this form of education in the next few years.
Airtel on the other hand, has plans to launch a small reference module on mobile for employees in the next two months. Employees can access information on leave, company policy et al from a central server by sending an SMS. Second step would be to launch customer service information on the handsets. If things work fine, the company may go ahead with it’s plans of introducing it’s course on mobile in the future. “We are exploring this medium as it looks like an exciting platform. To start with, we will look at delivering content for frontline employees in sales and customer service,” says Krishnamurthy Shankar, director-HR, Airtel.
Such a medium has multiple benefits. One, it offers an interactive learning experience; two, accessibility of mobile devices in remote areas. The platform can be used anywhere, anytime, including schools, home or when in transit. It engages learners and is far cheaper than computers. Applect Learning Systems director Ritesh Hemrajani says, it will also help us to reach the bottom end of the pyramid with some learning solution as these are the people who are still some time away from computers and the internet. He believes, it will serve as an effective education platform even in basic formats of entry level products. This has led Applect to prepare solutions on the same.