To bridge the gap between academicians and industry requirements, the state Education Department is creating a common portal that will contain database of over 5,000 higher education and technical teachers from government, grant-in-aid and self-financed institutes across the state.
The multi-layered online portal is being developed under the Unlimited Digital Advanced Yearlong Academic Method (UDAYAM) project as a Common Gateway of Education and Technology (COGENT), and is akin to Linkedin — an employment-oriented professional networking site.
COGENT is a platform for data management and exchange of information between administrative offices and organisations, functioning under the education department.
“The subject-wise multi-level classification of teachers under each topic will enable to map the knowledge ecosystem of Gujarat. The knowledge management will further enable better synergies for research. Currently, there is no such eco-system or directory in the state. With this kind of common platform, finding collaborators across institutions, branches or subjects will be effective and (in turn it will) help promote an interdisciplinary approach and solve problems which will enable innovation and startups,” Principal Secretary (Education) Anju Sharma said.
A need to create such a database of faculty members, which will also cover researchers in a later stage by linking it with Scheme of Developing High-Quality (SHODH) research, was especially felt during the Covid-19 lockdown, officials said. Currently, the data collection process from faculty members for creating individual profiles is underway. Initially, to be made available within the system, the individual profiles will gradually also be available to the public. The system, officials added, is expected to be ready within two months.
This Linkedin-like platform, Director of state Higher Education M Nagarajan said, will take some time to get started as a “strong verification process is required”.
“Personal achievements or data, like research papers, awards, specialisation and others, have to be verified by respective college principals. While at the back-end, we will have information on who is working in which area, there would also be links to teachers’ research papers and biodata, besides the option for endorsing their expertise by others, among other facilities,” Nagarajan said.
Each faculty member, he added, can choose his/her focus area under the database that will enable discovery of knowledgeable faculty members for collaboration and research across the state.
Officials associated with developing the database shared the portal will have a minimum of four layers, and can even go up to seven layers. “For instance, under Ayurved, there was a requirement from the industry to develop an immunity booster that can have a better shelf life and results. Thus, mapping faculty members or researchers, who are either working or have worked in these specific areas, would help to create an immediate interface. Similar mapping would be required for technical subjects, like engineering,” an official from the education department said.
The initial database is being created on the basis of user identities provided to faculty members under COGENT, officials said.
“Under this project, we are roping in self-financed institutes, including Gram Vidhyapeeths, and providing them user identities so that they can also be covered under this knowledge platform and for effective implementation of the state and central governments schemes, education for students and professors, assessment and allocation of resources and avoid repetition for smooth administrative functioning,” Nagarajan added.
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