National Mission to provide e-knowledge free of cost

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New Delhi, Jan 29 : In view of the tremendous potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning process, the Government is launching a national mission to provide e-knowledge to students free of cost.

The teachers and learners will be provided ultra-low priced computers – costing about Rs 500 – at subsidised rates to enable them to access the e-knowledge.The ‘National Mission on Education through ICT’ will be launched by Minister for Human Resource Development Arjun Singh at Tirupati on February three.

Under the mission about 20,000 institutions of higher learning will be given broadband connectivity, Secretary Higher Education in the Ministry R P Agarwal told a news conference here today. Rs 4612 crore have been earmarked for the Mission during the 11th five-year plan. Broadband connectivity will be given to private state colleges at the rate of about Rs 60,000 a year for 10 MBPS, which is 25 per cent of the cost.

The interventions of the mission will be delivered through the One-Stop Education Portal ‘Sakshat’, launched recently.The mission aims at enhancing the self-learning skills of students and develop their capabilities for on-line problem solving. It will develop knowledge modules having the right content to take care of the aspirations of the academic community and to address personalised needs of learners.

The e-content will be standardised and made world class.Under the mission, the Government will provide support for creation of Virual Technological Universities. It will also ensure certification of competencies of human resource acquired either through formal or non-formal means and evolution of a legal framework for it.

Mr Agarawal also said the Government was also planned to set up 1000 polytechnics out of which 300 will be in those districts which don’t have any till now and 600 will be set up in the private sector.

A total of Rs 6850 crore will be spent on this project. He said there was great shortage of polytechnics in the country.

Replying to a question, Mr Agarwal said there will be no duplication of functions performed by the existing National Knowledge Mission, which will be an addition to the mission.

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