Secy. of Higher Education, MHRD – Meeting with VCs 08 May, 2013
Shri Ashok Thakur, Secretary of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education interacted with around 60 VCs all over the country through A-VIEW on 8th May 2013.
Shri Thakur said the intention behind holding such an online meeting was to encourage the VCs to have such meetings with their affiliated colleges and to know the status of NKN connectivity and LAN infrastructure at their universities. He said that ICT is a very important component in higher education.
Shri Kamal Bijlani, Director, Amrita E-Learning Research Lab talked about the Mission 20K programme – the idea of connecting 20,000 colleges across the country through A-VIEW. This would enable communication within the universities and across colleges within the country. He also mentioned about launching NODE (National Online Directory of Education). This is a national online directory of teachers in the higher education sector. This would help bring about better collaboration among member universities in the country.
Madurai Kamaraj University
They feel the scheme of ICT in education is very good for all student communities. They also commented that their NKN connectivity from BSNL at their university is good. The campus network is being completed. They also said that their LAN connectivity is good.
They are under the NKN. They have been conducting workshops within Coimbatore and on A-VIEW. Quite a lot of video conferencing programs have been conducted and there is a lot of focus on e-content development. They also expressed interest in getting associated with more colleges in Coimbatore district and strengthening their research activities.
Avinashilingam University is also very active in Aakash tablet application development. About 60 teachers are trained in Aakash Tablets and about 25 students are doing app development in Android Platform. They feel that the students are not very comfortable with the touch sensitivity of the tablet and the battery power can be made better. Shri Thakur encouraged them to buy other tablets whose costs are comparable with Aakash and compare these tablets’ performance with Aakash.
They commented about the non availability of bandwidth and LAN infrastructure.
North Maharashtra University
They talked about the geographical location and unique behaviour of the university and the affiliated colleges as related to their location. The university is connected to NKN and LAN infrastructure is good.
JNTU is using A-VIEW pretty extensively at their university and affiliated colleges. They have conducted 10 classes on C programming for the first year engineering students, where about 30 colleges participated. They are also conducted placement and training sessions to make students industry ready and train them with necessary marketing skills. BSNL has provided them with 10MB bundled connection to all their colleges and they are also part of the NKN network.
They are using A-VIEW for providing teacher training. 5 courses have been launched and almost 800 people have participated in these programmes. The greatest problem with ICT adoption in the country, they feel, is unawareness and disconnectivity. They said that the polytechnics are not connected via LAN.
They have purchases bandwidth from BSNL. Currently they are not in NKN network. They have conducted classes via A-VIEW and have noticed audio video problems cropping up at times.
They commented that NKN connectivity is in place and LAN infrastructure at their university is also good. They have conducted 10 programs where 564 teachers have been trained. They said all the polytechnics were having 10Mbps connectivity.
IASE University, Rajasthan
NKN connectivity is good. However, LAN is not connected.
They said that the NKN bandwidth is good. But, they are not able to get that level of connectivity at their affiliated colleges. Shri Thakur said that colleges have to apply separately for the NKN connection. They have requested for their own servers to conduct classes. Prof. Bijlani said Amrita University would guide them in setting up the server hardware and software once it is procured by Goa University.
They are associated with NKN since 2011. 860 nodes have been connected already. They are looking to connect another 460 nodes in the near future.
University of Pune
They are using an indigenously built software in place of A-VIEW. They have NKN connectivity of 1Gbps.
They are pretty excited about NODE. They conduct orientation programmes through A-VIEW for about 20 colleges where 300 students interact. Their NKN connectivity and LAN infrastructure are good. They are planning to launch new pedagogy projects through A-VIEW.
Dibrugarh University, Assam
They believe awareness is the major constraint for ICT enabled education in the North East. They conduct workshops and orientation programmes through A-VIEW. They said the infrastructure for NKN and LAN needs to be improved at their end.
Their entire campus is networked. NKN connectivity is good and they are new to A-VIEW.
They have 145 Mbps connectivity at colleges and 1Gbps connectivity at their university.
University of Mumbai
They feel they need more support from BSNL for their infrastructure. They are the largest user of A-VIEW in the country and have started a programme called EYES (Enlighten Yourself Every Saturday).
They have received only 10Mbps connectivity instead of 1Gbps connectivity. They feel they need more connectivity and support from MHRD. They commented that the Government of Bihar was not very supportive of laying LAN infrastructure. They were also interested in Aakash Tablet projects.
The connectivity at their university premises is good. However, they were bothered about the infrastructure at Port Blair and Karaikkal campuses of the university.
University of Bikaner
They feel that BSNL is not very supportive. Optic Fibre has been laid at their university, however hardware required is not yet deployed.
They complained of poor connectivity at their university.
They commented that NKN connectivity is of only 100Mbps. LAN and Wi-fi connections are present; however bandwidth is still a problem.
H.N.B. Garhwal University
The NKN infrastructure is ready at the university. However, Campus LAN is not yet started.
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar University
They have good bandwidth at the university of about 1Gbps. LAN connectivity within the campus is also good.
Maharashtra University of Health
They commented about poor connectivity from BSNL and hence the affiliated colleges are not much inclined to use ICT for teaching and learning.