PRESIDENT PRANAB Mukherjee on Sunday launched four key initiatives of the HRD Ministry marking a shift from brick-and-mortar learning to online learning.
Speaking at the launch of SWAYAM, SWAYAM Prabha, National Academic Depository (NAD) and National Digital LIbrary (NDL), Mukherjee said the spread of technology, Internet and telecom penetration present a unique opportunity to bridge the divide between access and quality education.
“Digital technology enables good teachers to directly teach large number of students who are not physically present in classes…. The digital modes are cheaper, more easily accessible, interactive, and offer flexibility for people to learn at their own pace,” he said at the event that was also attended by Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian and Ajay Sawhney, secretary at the Department of Electronic Information and Technology.
SWAYAM is an online MOOCS-like platform developed by the HRD Ministry to deliver educational content — from senior secondary school to post-graduate level — digitally to students across the country. SWAYAM Prabha airs lectures of (undergraduate and postgraduate level) delivered by experienced and sought-after teachers from reputed educational institutions on 32 DTH channels.
NAD, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech earlier this year, is an online bank of all educational degrees, certificates and diplomas awarded by institutions of higher education.
NAD is meant to simplify the certificate verification process by prospective employers and educational institutions. NDL is an online library that provides free access to over 70 lakh books to students.
At the event, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that his ministry would compile and publish all convocation addresses delivered by Muhkerjee at different education institutions during his term as the President. Sunday was ‘Guru Purnima’ and this gesture, Javadekar said, was his ‘guru dakshina’ to Mukherjee, who was a teacher before plunging into politics.