SWAYAM: Indian Government’s Initiative For Free Open Online Education

India’s tryst with the world of online education kick-starts with the launch of ‘Study webs of active-learning for young aspiring minds – (SWAYAM)’, an online program for learning.

This initiative seeks to provide cost-effective and quality education to the citizens. The online program shall offer courses, free of cost, to anyone with any background. There would be a nominal fee for those who require a course completion certificate or recognition.

At first, seven institutes of higher learning – three IITs and four central universities – shall offer online courses in the fields such as engineering, social sciences, agriculture, energy, management, and basic sciences.

MOOC Platform ‘Swayam'

Once the program picks momentum, it will achieve a full-fledged massive online program status. More institutes and courses shall be added to the existing framework.

This initiative was rolled out by the new government, within the first 100 days of assuming the office. The agenda is to reach out to 10 million students who still need quality and affordable education.

IITs and IISc have already started their own ‘Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs)’. The project titled ‘National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning’ (NPTEL), is funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. This project aims to deliver quality engineering education in India.

As India is on the verge of delivering skilled workers on a global scale, it is paramount that online education improves the status quo. When India remains the second largest market for Coursera, an online education platform, after the US, there will be a demand for a made-in-India platform.

Though there is a lack of IT infrastructure and qualified teachers in India, the scope of this online project remains prime. The true purpose of education should be enabling. And, there are speculations that the new found educational reform might put an end to the so called ‘digital divide’.

Smriti Irani, HRD minister, said that MOOCs are essential in providing quality and affordable open education for the common man and the government is sincerely putting all its effort on this ‘SWAYAM’ project.

For detailed information visit Official MOOC Platform ‘Swayam’.

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