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Vice Chancellors' from various universities across the country attended


Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the leading telecom service provider in the country, organised zonal meetings and gathered status report on 1 Gbps and 10 Mbps connectivity, a tailor-made scheme for universities and colleges respectively. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) under the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT) programme.

Besides Vice-Chancellors from various universities in the respective regions, top brass of BSNL and NME-ICT of MHRD attended the meeting. According to the BSNL officials, 70 Vice-Chancellors participated in Bangalore (South Zone); 94 in New Delhi (North Zone), 55 in Kolkata (East Zone) and 47 in Goa (West Zone).

The BSNL reported they have completed the connectivity - 80% of the universities and 50% of colleges.

As part of the MHRD's NME-ICT programme, a university will receive 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second), while a college will receive 10Mbps (Megabits per second) connectivity from BSNL/MTNL for 10 years respectively.

At present, E-Learning tools such as Amrita Virtual Interactive E-Learning World (A-VIEW) and National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) are transmitted through BSNL's special connectivity scheme. MHRD's Additional Secretary Mr. N K Sinha delivered the keynote address in the zonal meetings and urged all the universities to join NME-ICT bandwagon and utilize it.

He added that the MHRD may request UGC (University Grants Commission) to include one subject via E-Learning as a mandatory in the curriculum for all universities, as early as possible.

Mr. Sinha also outlined an approach to create content for the program similar to Wikipedia and elaborated on how the Government will foot the bill for setting up 100 data centers and honorarium for content creation.

"Any university or college will be able to contribute and modify the content. The UGC will monitor the usage to ensure the infrastructure provided is being utilized consistently," he said.

Mr. Anil Jain, Senior General Manager and Mr. Sajikumar, DGM, Broadband Planning, BSNL spearheaded the conferences. Dr. Mangal Sundar of IIT-Chennai briefed the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) program and said "40,000 hours worth of Engineering, Technology and Science contents are available in the NPTEL repository".

In addition to this, the audiences were thrilled to have a firsthand view of $35 laptop which the IIT-Jodhpur has ingeniously produced at a low cost and soon to be made available for large scale deployment among the academic community in India.

On the occasion, Mr. Pradeep Varma, Advisor of IIT-Jodhpur demonstrated $35 laptop's features.

Prof. Kamal Bijlani, Director, Amrita E-Learning Research Lab and his team demonstrated Amrita Virtual Interactive E-Learning World's (A-VIEW) features and how it functions in Windows, Mac and Android. A-VIEW soon can be accessed through $35 laptop also.

There were also other prominent participants such as IGNOU and IIT-Kharagpur.

BSNL North Zone Meeting

BSNL East Zone Meeting

BSNL West Zone Meeting

BSNL South Zone Meeting