IIT Kharagpur has decided to approach institutes of higher education in Eastern India to make students and teachers aware of free online courses offered by National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL). NPTEL, a joint initiative of the IITs and IISc, offers 160 courses in various categories like agriculture, computer science, management studies, mathematics and basic science, engineering and humanities.
While over 5 lakh students had enrolled for NPTEL courses this year, only about 7 per cent of them were from Eastern India. "The biggest problem for NPTEL courses is that not only the students from Eastern India but also the colleges and universities in the region are not aware of it," Anupam Basu, coordinator of NPTEL at IIT-KGP, said. "We are sure if people get to know about the facility and that it is encouraged by AICTE and UGC, there will be many takers," said Basu, who is also a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.
To boost enrolments from the region, IIT-KGP is talking to various institutes of West Bengal, Odisha and North Eastern states to offer credit transfers to the students, an IIT-KGP spokesperson said. For West Bengal, IIG-KGP would approach the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (formerly West Bengal University of Technology), while talks are on with general degree colleges like Vidyasagar College and Gokhale Memorial Girls' College of Kolkata.
Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Jadavpur University and Presidency University would also be approached, the spokesperson said. IIT-KGP has also approached most of the private engineering colleges in Bengal. A workshop with over 100 teachers from various private engineering colleges was held at IIT-KGP recently