Published: 28th July 2022
UGC collaborates with MeitY to take digital educational content to students in rural and remote areas
All the courses will be available on a single portal which is to be launched by the UGC on July 29, as part of the second anniversary of NEP 2020
Students in rural and remote areas often lack proper facilities when it comes to education. And with the COVID pandemic, education, as a whole, shifted to the online mode, leaving a large section behind. Rural students faced many difficulties. Now, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has collaborated with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to take digital educational content to students in rural and remote areas.
In a press note released by the UGC on July 28, the Chairman of the UGC, Prof M Jagadesh Kumar, said, "As part of its efforts to make higher education accessible to all, the UGC has been constantly working to make digital resources available to students in English as well as regional languages. To make last mile connectivity a possibility, the UGC has recently tied up with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to integrate the UGC e-resources with their Common Service Centres (CSC) and Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Centres.”
Managed and operated by the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs), who deliver online services, CSCs focus on providing digital access and making e-governance services available to citizens at their doorsteps, especially those living in rural areas. How many CSCs/SPVs are operating? "Nearly 2.5 lakh CSCs/SPVs centres are operating in Gram Panchayats and 5 lakh plus CSCs/SPVs centres are functional across the nook and corner of our country," the press note read.
Talking more about the courses and how students can access the content, the note stated that to ensure no learner is left behind, the UGC is integrating its e-content comprising ~23000 postgraduate (PG) courses, 137 SWAYAM MOOC (online portal with several courses) courses in emerging areas and 25 Non-Engineering SWAYAM Courses in eight Indian languages.
Wondering which courses are available in Indian languages? Academic Writing, Artificial Intelligence, Biomolecules: Structure Function in Health and Disease, Biostatistics and Mathematical Biology, City and Metropolitan Planning, Communication Technologies in Education, Corporate Law, Corporate Tax Planning, Cyber Security, Digital Library, Direct Tax-Laws and Practice, Early Childhood Care and Education, Food Microbiology and Food Safety, Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Human Rights In India, Intellectual Property Law, Organic Chemistry I, Partial Differential Equations, Research Methodology, Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, Supply Chain Management, Numerical Analysis, Analytical Techniques, Animation, Organisational Behaviour. All these 25 courses are available in eight Indian languages (Hindi, Marathi, Bangla, Gujarati, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada) and in English too.
The UGC Chairman stated, “All the above courses will be available on a single portal which is to be launched by the UGC on July 29 as part of the second anniversary of NEP 2020 and students can access all these courses immediately through CSC/SVPs operated across the country or their own devices with internet connectivity.”
The note also stated that the courses are free of cost. But "for availing the services and infrastructure of CSC/SVP, a user has to pay a fee of Rs 20 per day or Rs 500 per month to use the CSC/SP infrastructure to reimburse the VLEs efforts and cost of their infrastructure," it read. This fee structure is similar to that of other government projects like Ayushman Bharat Yojana, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, e-Shram, Pan Card, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana (PMSYM) and many others, it added.