STATING that Any Time Learning (ATL) is the new mantra adopted by the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said a new era was being ushered in higher education sector where learning would be enabled for all.
Speaking to students of Symbiosis International University (SIU) during the 13th convocation ceremony held on Saturday at the Lavale campus, Javadekar, who is in Israel, was speaking via a recorded message giving details of the new plans of the HRD ministry to mobilise education for all. “Under the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), at least 2,000 new courses would be opened up. Experts will be brought in to give lectures, materials will be accessible, exams conducted and certifications handed out. It will be beneficial to all those who are out of school and seek skills and certification,” he said.
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Noting that in some areas Internet is not accessible, Javadekar said the ministry had a meeting with dish and cable operators who have agreed to transmit the content for students through TV. Speaking about recent initiatives to make Indian universities and research world class, he spoke about the introduction of choice-based credit systems, bringing foreign faculty to India through Global Initiative For Academic Network (GIAN) initiative, besides the recent decision to set up the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to provide funds to boost research-oriented infrastructure for premier institutions like IITs, NITs and IIMs.
Meanwhile, S B Mujumdar, Chancellor of SIU, spoke about the role of universities in the development of society. Announcing that SIU has adopted two neighbouring villages of Lavale and Nande, Mujumdar said the university will dedicate Rs 30 crore and Rs 20 crore respectively for the development of these villages. “We believe that we are the first Indian university to take such a step and hope others will follow too,” he said.