Updated: June 3, 2016 4:01:28 am
Savitribai Phule Pune University’s (SPPU’s) infrastructure project of digital classroom and E-content learning modules, funded under the Ministry of Human Resource and Development’s Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), will be part of the nationwide digital project launch on Friday. Union HRD minister Smriti Irani will be launching it from Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
The project, which is the only one from Maharashtra, is part of a group of 10 other projects from various parts of the country to be part of the digital launch.
SPPU’s digital classroom and e-content learning modules have been funded at the cost of Rs 4.5 lakh per classroom, Rs 1.45 crore for 29 classrooms, and Rs 75.71 lakh has been granted for development of e-content. The launch event will be attended by the state education minister, besides other state ministers from the city and seven other vice-chancellors, among the dignitaries.
Speaking at a press conference, announcing the launch, Manisha Verma, project director of RUSA Maharashtra, said that she was proud that despite the scheme being initiated much later in Maharashtra, compared to other states, the SPPU authorities had managed to make quick strides under the infrastructure development programme.
“Two more projects of newly-developed computer labs at Solapur and Nanded universities were also reviewed by MHRD but only one project was selected from each state for the launch. We hope that this project inspires other vice-chancellors to take up similar projects in their varsities. I think it is an extremely important project that can address the issue of shortage of good faculty. In the main campus of universities, there is no shortage of good teachers, but in affiliated colleges, which are in hundreds, it could be the case, especially in rural areas. Here the use of E-content learning materials and recorded lectures from digital classrooms can help bridge the gap in learning,” Verma said.
RUSA is a centrally sponsored scheme of the MHRD that aims to provide strategic central funding to state higher education institutions, which can enable the latter to undertake certain governance, academic and administrative reforms.
A total of 271 crore has been approved for nine universities and five government colleges in Maharashtra, of which Rs 51 crore has been released so far.
Meanwhile speaking about the project, Wasudeo Gade, Vice-Chancellor of SPPU, said that digital classrooms would change the teaching and learning experiences at the university. “It has state-of-the-art features, like an interactive white board, a digital podium, Internet-enabled touchscreen Android TV, document cameras to project live experiments and 3D diagrams. Students can learn in real-time from experts across the world, sitting in the classroom, and they can search the library for relevant books. Though the infrastructure is currently on the varsity campus to be used by the university departments, we aim to make it available to the affiliated colleges soon,” said Gade.
The e-content learning modules have been developed at the E-content Learning and Innovation Centre at SPPU using sophisticated equipment to create lecture series, TED-like talks, panel discussions, and so on.
“The content can be accessed through the university’s learning management system or web portal, and will be even available for on YouTube. Over 200 hours of support material has already been created,” added Verma.
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