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Asia’s First Monthly Magazine on ICT in Education

volume 7

I issue 12 I december 2011 I ISSN 0973-4139 I ` 75 www.digitalLearning.in

gujarat bringing education through innovation

Gunotsav | scope | gks | chalo college e-abhiyan | RTE


SSN 0973-4139

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contents Project SHOWCASE

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COVER STORY Gain at Grassroots By Dhirendra Pratap Singh

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CASE STUDY Transforming Education

leader speak Educating Gujarat R P Gupta, Secretary (Primary Education), Gujarat

Providing Expansion, Inclusion and Excellence Jayanti Ravi - Commissioner of Higher Education, Government of Gujarat

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It is Important to Ensure that 100 Out of 100 Students Should Achieve a Minimum Basic Education till class 8th

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Educating Gujarat

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Gujarat has immense potential to become India’s major IT hub

Rohit Pande, CEO, Classteacher Learning Systems

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Shodhganga: A National Repository of ETD

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Implementation of IT at Gujarat Technological University

State will Need Millions of Skilled Workforce

ICT can be used for Achieving a Coscholastic Outcome

ICT Enabled Education-Makes Education Valuable in Gujarat

Rupesh Kumar Shah, CEO and Co-Founder, InOpen Technologies

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Schools on Wheel’ will go a Long Way in Addressing the Digital Divide Anil Goyal, Director, Mexus Education

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Out-of-class Activities should be Conducted Regularly

Saurabh Sethi, Vice President, Mosaic Network (India) Pvt. Ltd

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Gujarat Leads in Adopting IT in Education

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Method of Delivery needs to be Structured and Consistent

Gunotsav

industry speak

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Sudarshan Borker, Business Head, IE Education Private Limited

Dr. Akshai Aggarwal, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Technological University

PHOTO FEATURE

Eureka.in: Visual Aid for Understanding Science and Maths

Sajeev Karuthody, Director- Special Projects, Edutech

Manoj Aggarwal - a Gujarat cadre IAS officer

academia speak

Shiksha

Veena Raizada, Director (Academics), Next Education

Meena Ganesh, CEO and MD, Pearson Education Services


MESSAGE “Gujarat, with its all inclusive, sustainable and rapid growth, is emerging as a globally preferred place to live in and to do business.” Over the years, the Gujarat has emerged as one of the most dynamic, prosperous, investor friendly and fastest growing states of India. The importance of well thought governance initiatives with significant use of technology in this success cannot be overemphasized. Good Governance is the key to sustainable development. The state has been constantly innovating, aiming at excellence in governance. The opportune understanding of the importance of technology in effective and efficient delivery of services has enabled the state to take up many innovative steps for empowering people. While the State’s emphasis has been on building educational infrastructure, training of teachers and computerization of schools, we have successfully been able to come up with 11 new universities, 400 colleges, 1.25lakh new teachers, 38000 new schoolrooms and to double the seats for technical courses. The State has witnessed a massive reduction in the dropout rate at all primary levels. Improvement in the health and nutritional status of the population has been one of the major thrust areas of the social development programmes in the state. Over the years, Gujarat has developed good health infrastructure and human resources. The state has initiated a wide variety of Public – Private collaborations, involving NGOs/Private Sector practitioners. Gujarat is now emerging as a global medical tourism destination. It gives us immense pleasure to share with you that Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat and Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd are jointly organizing eINDIA 2011, an annual ICT conference and exhibition at Mahatma Mandir International Convention Centre, Gujarat from December 15 – 17, 2011 as one of the prelude/precursors and warm up exercises to Vibrant Gujarat 2013. The vision roadmap that we have carved for the state will certainly get reflected in various thematic conferences under the umbrella of eINDIA 2011. We warmly welcome all delegates and look forward to participating in what promises to be an immensely enriching event. (Narendra Modi)


inbox Advisory Board Prof. Asha Kanwar, Vice President, Commonwealth of Learning Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen, CEO, Global eSchools & Communities Initiative (GeSCI)

Asia’s first Monthly Magazine on e-Government (www.egovonline.net)

Subhash Chandra Khuntia, Principal Secretary to Government, Public Works Department, Government of Karnataka

Key Highlights

Prof. V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, Indira GandhiI National Open University (IGNOU)

Cover Story Why Gujarat Leads India?

Prof S S Mantha, Chairman (Acting), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) President: Dr. M P Narayanan Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Ravi Gupta gm Finance: Ajit Kumar dgm strategy: Raghav Mittal programme specialist: Dr. Rajeshree Dutta Kumar product manager: Divya Chawla Partnerships & Alliances: Sheena Joseph, Shuchi Smita, Ankita Verma Editorial: Rachita Jha, Dhirendra Pratap Singh, Pragya Gupta, Anand Agarwal, Sonam Gulati, Shally Makin (editorial@elets.in)

With a host of new ICT initiatives Gujarat will soon be India’s new ICT hub. The story explores the various reasons why Gujarat is fast becoming the most favoured IT destination and the most e-Ready state of India. Project Showcase: The section highlights the key initiatives of the Gujarat Government Interviews: RM Patel, Addl Chief Secretary, Panchayats, Govt of Gujarat; KR Gururaja Rao, Chairman & MD, GIL Guest Articles by: Neeta Shah, Director (e-Governance), GIL; Manoj Aggarwal, IGP, Gujarat; Guruprasad Mohapatra, Municipal Commissioner, AMC

Sales & Marketing: Fahimul Haque, Mob: +91-8860651632, Jyoti Lekhi, Rakesh Ranjan, Ragini Shrivastav, Amit Kumar Pundhir, Neha Mishra, Garima Singh (sales@elets.in) Subscription & Circulation: Jagwant Kumar, Mobile: +91-8130296484; Gunjan Singh, Mobile: +91-8860635832 subscription@elets.in Design & Creatives: Bishwajeet Kumar Singh, Om Prakash Thakur, Shyam Kishore Web Development: Zia Salahuddin, Anil Kumar IT infrastructure: Mukesh Sharma, Zuber Ahmed Events: Vicky Kalra Human resource: Sushma Juyal Legal: R P Verma Accounts: Anubhav Rana, Subhash Chandra Dimri All India Distribution by: Ibh Books & Magazines Distributors Pvt. Ltd Editorial & Marketing Correspondence digitalLearning - G-4 Sector 39, NOIDA 201301, India, Phone: +91 120 2502181-85, Fax: +91 120 2500060 Email: info@digitalLearning.in digitalLEARNING is published by Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. in technical collaboration with Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS). Owner, Publisher, Printer - Ravi Gupta, Printed at Vinayak Print Media D-320, Sector 10, Noida, U.P. and published from 710, Vasto Mahagun Manor, F-30, Sector - 50, Noida, UP Editor: Ravi Gupta

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The Enterprise of Healthcare (www.ehealthonline.org)

Key Highlights Cover Story Setting the Stage for Health Renaissance - With the surge of new ideas, approaches and institutions in Gujarat, the state has become one of the most favoured medical destinations in the recent times. eHealth analyses on public health services in Gujarat. Tech Trends in Gujarat Hospitals: The polarizing image of Gujarat has another chance to glimmer with its grandiose plans to integrate and redefine the ICT architecture of hospitals Interviews: Anju Sharma, Mission Director, NRHM, Gujarat P. K. Taneja Commissioner of Health, Gujarat Dr Rajiv Sharma, CEO, Sterling Hospitals, Ahmedabad Dr Vikram Shah, Chaiman, Shalby Hospitals Dr Kirti m Patel, Dean, Gujarat Cancer Society and Medical College


editorial

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Flourishing Education in Gujarat Gujarat is at the forefront of India’s economic boom. Some of the largest industrial groups in the country are based in the state. The business friendly attitude of the people has turned the state into a favoured investment destination. The role played by Chief Minister Narendra Modi in taking Gujarat’s economy to dazzling heights is most laudable. Modi is mindful of the fact that the state can retain its pace of growth only if it is home to a citizenry whose knowledge and training are of global standard. Education is the key to the state’s success. Gujarat is on the verge of becoming India’s IT and manufacturing hub; now many IT related tools are being used to take education to grassroots levels. Quality education that not only offers knowledge, but also improves the employability of the scholars, is being made available to every cross-section of society. State has taken various initiatives like Gunotsav, SCOPE, GKS and much else to incorporate the ideals of access, equity and excellence in education. In order to highlight the fantastic reforms and growth in the state’s education sector, we have decided to bring together a platform that connects all the stake holders. Hence, this year we are organizing 7th eINDIA , India’s Largest event on Information and Communication Technologies, in Gujarat. This is our attempt to create a platform for enlightening discussions on the best ways of developing education in the country. Among other things, the current issue of digitalLEARNING, ‘Gujarat Education Edition,’ focuses on the eINDIA 2011. We do our best to shed light on the educational initiatives being undertaken in Gujarat. Starting with the vision of Narendra Modi, the ICT related views of Sri Ravi Saxena, and also the views of the myriad stake holders from industry and academia, we have stitched together a spectrum of opinions for generating this collector’s issue. We look forward to your participation in the issue. See you at

Dr. Ravi Gupta Editor-in-Chief Ravi.Gupta@elets.in

December / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

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For Editorial Enquiries: Pragya Gupta, E: pragya@elets.in, M: +91 8860651648 For Advertisement Enquiries: Fahimul Haque, E: fahim@elets.in, M: +91 8860651632

www.digitallearning.in


Guest Editorial

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The Technological Zeitgeist of Education The entire concept of education is now changing. With explosion of digital content, what is the future of books? As the online space makes it possible for students and teachers to interact in a virtual medium, what is the future of classrooms? How much impact will Internet have on schools, students and literacy rates in, say, ten years of time? These are all very pertinent questions, and there are no clear answers. The future is changing at such a rapid pace that the concept of education is expected to be constantly buffeted by winds of new technology. It is possible for today’s students to go online for hearing a lecture on physics, mathematics or any other subject. Even the post lecture discussion can be held online. Students in different parts of the country and even the world can get involved in a discussion. There is enough scope for teachers to add value to the discussion that is going on. The online space tends to be a great equaliser. The rich and the poor can participate in the same forum and develop new knowledge and perspectives. Under the stewardship of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat is making rapid strides in education and a lot of technological systems for education are evolving. These systems enhance the quality of education, and also make it possible for a larger number of students to become enrolled. For instance, there are tools being used that make it possible for taking the educational infrastructure to the student’s doorstep. These kinds of systems can be especially useful for students living in remote villages. The manufacturing industries and the IT sector in Gujarat are booming. Students from lower sections of society are particularly impassioned about learning to use computers, for they see such training as a way of rising in life. As more and more people embrace a new technology, it leads to further innovation and the creation of a new round of advanced services and products. On its part, new innovations always lead to more people joining the technology bandwagon. Hence the process is, in many ways, capable of growing from strength to strength. The bottom line is that as far as education is concerned, it is certainly true that we are living in most exciting times. Prof. Sudhir K Jain Director IIT Gandhinagar

/ 2011 10 digitalLEARNING December www.digitallearning.in


cover story

Gain at

Grassroots An invigorating breeze of education is sweeping across Gujarat. Ordinary people have started enjoying easier access to latest ideas, which act like a catalyst for resolution of socio-economic issues and creation of a more cohesive society By Dhirendra Pratap Singh

According to the census, the literacy rate in Gujarat for the year 2011 is 79.31 percent. This is an improvement in comparison to the year 2001, when the rate was 69.14 percent. This 10.17 percent rise signifies the amount of work that has been put in for making education available to every inhabitant of Gujarat. The state ranks 9th on the Education Development Index (EDI). EDI is prepared after taking into account four components — access, infrastructure, teachers and outcomes. In case of access, two important factors were looked into — availability of schools per 1,000 child population and ratio of primary to upper primary schools. ‘Smart Goals,’ which envisage ‘Education for All’ is a major project of the Gujarat education department. The education policies are geared to promote literacy and reduce dropout rates. The focus is on girl education and training of teachers. The Government is focussing on primary education, secondary education, higher education, continuous education, literacy education, technical education and pharmacy education. As per Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB), Gujarat had an estimated 8.2 million children enrolled in the primary classes, with the Gross Enrolment Ration (GER) touching almost 100 percent. There were about 2.77 million children enrolled in institutions imparting secondary and higher secondary education. The schools that have been established by the Government of Gujarat are administered by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education board, which is also known as GSHSEB. Every year the state government evaluates its primary schools, and council of ministers; top bureaucrats and eminent persons visit schools across the state for three days for the purpose of ranking them. The state government has launched the ‘Gunotsav’ programme to raise the quality of education in government

run primary schools. In evaluating the effectiveness of the programme, the NGO Pratham will evaluate the students. Massive Movement As per Planning Commission of India, women’s education in Gujarat in 2001 stood at 20th position, with literacy rate among females at 48.1 percent. In 2009, the state adopted “Kelavani Rath,” which has now turned into a massive movement. Government charts out plans to enroll 525,000 girls in the state in Kanya Kelavani drive. It covers 1,865 routes and as a result, there is 100 percent enrollment and reduction in the dropout rate from 40 percent to 2.29 percent. Similarly, Girl Child Education program covers almost 18,000 villages, where the literacy rate is below 20 percent. The focus is on identified suburbs of the urban areas to spread the message of education.

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cover story

The Government has plans to make Jyoti-Gram and broadband connectivity available in all villages. Also, education would be one of the major sectors in the Gram Mitra Yojna comprising of five Gram Mitra departments: agriculture, health, education, and human development. Government schemes like Bal Pravesh and Nirogi Bal are also a part of the Kanya Kelavani campaign. Under the Nirogi Bal and Bal Pravesh schemes, the government ensures that the child is healthy while attending schools. Insurance and Health Financial aid schemes like Vidhyalaxmi Bond Yojna and insurance schemes like Vidhyadeep Yojna are implemented by the government with the objective of providing education related aid to families. Health of school children is also a focus. With cooperation of WHO and World Bank “Health Developing SchoolProgramme” is being implemented in Gujarat. The Government adopts technology by promoting computer aided learning, which is expected to benefit around 8,50,000 students of government run schools in Gujarat. It also aims to foster education in rural places and set path of development with continuous power supply and broadband connectivity. In this way, computer training is being enhanced for primary level education in Gujarat. Gujarat is focussed on ensuring maximum enrollment of boys and girls in primary schools. To encourage girl child education, Vidhyalaxmi Bonds are operational in all areas low literacy rates. This serves as an incentive to poor parents to send their daughters to schools. Under Vidhya Deep Yojna, the insurance premium is paid by the government to ensure financial assistance to parents in case of untoward incident. Higher Education Gujarat houses some of the best higher educational institutions in the country, namely the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, Nirma Institute of Technology and Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information & Communication Technology, which are

Gujarat has recently passed the Private Universities Bill, which allow formation of private universities without having to pass legislation through the Assembly also known worldwide for their quality education and research. Gujarat is now planning to add another 500 seats in medical education next year. It recently received approval for around 500 medical seats from the Medical Council of India, MCI. MCI has approved 150 seats each at medical colleges in Sola and Bhuj as well as at the Gujarat Cancer Research Society run medical college in Ahmadabad. In addition, 50 seats have been increased at the Bhavnagar Medical College. The state is expecting approval for the new medical college at Gotri in Vadodara and at Valsad. The government is working on creating a state-level body on the lines of the MCI that will be empowered to approve post graduate medical courses. Gujarat has recently passed the Private Universities Bill, which allow formation of private universities without having to pass legislation through the Assembly for the same. An institution wanting to acquire the university status can apply to the department of education for the same. However, there are some challenges in higher education. Gujarat has 20 districts where enrollment is 12.7 percent, which is below the national average. Besides this, there is an acute shortage of teaching staff in the higher education institutions of Gujarat, according to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The report also says that 60 percent institutions have not obtained NAAC/NBA accreditation. These issues should be addressed as quickly as possible.

Schemes Adopted to Enhance Education Primary Education • • • • •

Vidhyalaxmi Bond Yojna Vidhyadeep Yojna The Girl Child Development Program School-Health Check-up Program Computer Training at the Primary Educational level

Secondary and Higher Secondary Department • • •

Diploma for the teachers to improve their teaching skills (Teacher’s Training Program) Common Entrance Test for admission Teleconference for the students of Std. 10th and 12th.

Technical Education •

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Self employment programs for the women

digitalLEARNING

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Case Study

Transforming

Education From systemic professional development practices in context of a teacher, to learner centered educational approaches, Intel’s Education Transformation model is helping prepare India’s next generation for success

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Case Study

Sixty kilometers from Ahmedabad, in Mehsana district, there is the village called Gozaria. A large grouping of village inhabitants has gathered at Smt MK Patel High School to listen to a speech on heart disease. Health officers of the area are also present. But it’s not a cardiologist who is the speaker. It is students of class 9 and 10. They do a multimedia presentation on heart disease, highlighting how our lifestyle can lead to clogged arteries and heart attacks. There are animated videos on various types of heart surgeries, as well as interviews with heart patients and doctors, that drive home the fact that by changing our diet we have a good chance of countering heart related diseases. The audience leaves the school with an increased awareness about the heart.

How did this happen? How have students from a village become capable of making such an impact in their community? How did their teacher impart such knowledge to them? “Digital learning and technology create miracles, not just in the classroom, but outside as well,” says Jitendra Kumar Patel, a science teacher, who is credited with enabling his students to speak convincingly on the abstruse subject of heart diseases. Patel started his career in the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ methodology. He had a transformational experience when he attended the Intel Teach program, back in 2001. “This training changed my outlook towards education and showed

me a new way in which technology and digital learning could transform traditional classrooms into 21st century classrooms, and foster higher order thinking, technological skills and various other skills in students,” Patel says. That’s exactly what Intel set out to achieve when it started the Intel Teach program in Gujarat. The program has covered 26 districts so far. Over 110,000 teachers from government and private schools, and 112,874 Teacher Educators and Student Teachers from 280 colleges have been trained. To reach out to various schools in these districts, Intel works with various state-level organizations, such as Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB), Sarva Shkisha Abhiyan (SSA), Gujarat Council of Education Research and Training (GCERT) and Commissioner of Schools. Intel is col-

Intel’s Model for Education Transformation (ICT): ICT is an es• Policy: Policies—designed to ensure that all students obtain the skills necessary to succeed in a knowledgesential foundation for based economy and society—are of key importance for a transformed learning environment. governments to remain globally competitive. • Curriculum Standards and Assessment: Curriculum Broadband Internet connectivity, an instandards must be adapted to ensure students learn the critical skills and knowledge to succeed in the global frastructure for maneconomy. So we need to have in place the system that aging student information and content can conduct robust assessment of a student’s knowledge and skills. resources, appropriate software applications, and oper• Professional Development: Teacher’s need to change ating environments, are some of the basic factors that their method of teaching for creating a student-centered need to be in place. learning environment. New teaching methods, such as • Research and Evaluation: Research can provide iminquiry- and project-based approaches, should be used. portant guidance to governments and other stakeholders Teachers need tools and training to adjust their pedaas they define their education reform programs. Educagogic approaches to take advantage of a transformed tion transformation plans should include well defined learning environment and available technology tools. metrics of success and program evaluation from the very start to measure impact. • Information and Communications Technologies

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Case Study

Transformation Possible Under the guidance of their science teacher, Jitendra Kumar Patel, students of class 9 and 10 went about doing a project on heart disease with an aim to educate their community on the topic. They conducted interviews of doctors and patients. They did Internet research, collected animated videos and pictures. They worked together as a cohesive team to complete the project. The project went on to win Intel – Gujarat Government Technology in Education Award 2010.

years now. Here’s how Intel’s training has enabled him: • Prepares presentations, digital lessons and multimedia projects and helps other teachers to do the same • Runs an education blog • Is invited as a resource person to deliver sessions on science topics by BISAG

And it’s not just Patel, other teachers from across the state have similar stories to tell. Patel found a huge change in students as they worked on “Technology integration has helped me in my relationship this project. with students. While implementing project based learning in my classroom I have been able to provide world• Access to the Internet and interactive technological resources evoked interest and participation from students class training to my students,” Tejas Thakkar, Teacher, Doon International School, Ahmedabad. • Self learning demonstrated by students • Students who usually need more support in class participated in the project enthusiastically A teacher at Jainachary Anandghansuri Vidhyalay, Himmat• Provided the opportunity to be creative, ask questions nagar, Sabarkantha, Mitesh Bhatt, says, “By using tech• Enabled peer learning, self assessment, peer assessnology, we have improved the art of teaching. We have ment, etc. observed students showing positive results as part of the collaborative learning and interaction that happens Patel has been using technology in classrooms for many in class now.”

laborating with the Commissioner of Schools to train teachers from over 3,600 schools in the state. Intel also signed the World Ahead State MoU with the Education and Tribal Department to support the state Chief Minister’s 10-point program, as part of Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2009. Intel works with NGOs, and local companies to enable the implementation of its initiatives. The Gujarat government is serious about enabling education in the state. At a recent Intel Teach training event held at Gandhinagar, CV Som, Commissioner, Schools, urged teachers to make use of the facilities being made available. He said, “All Grant in Aid secondary schools in the state have been given 11 desktop computers, one LCD TV, a scanner and printer under the ICT @ School scheme. Schools need to make most use of it. Intel is providing free training and every teacher should make the best use of this opportunity.”

Ushering in Change Intel has been committed to education transformation for more than a decade now. The company believes that improvements in education can only happen through a holistic and systemic approach, which takes into account the critical and interrelated components of education transformation. The model for successful education transformation leveraged by Intel includes policy, curriculum standards and assessment, professional development, information and communications technology (ICT), and research and evaluation. When all of these components are successfully integrated and implemented, real education transformation can take place.

Benefits from Education Transformation Effective education transformation brings a number of benefits. Research has shown that quality education has a direct impact on economic growth.

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“Secondary schools in the state have been given 11 desktop computers, one LCD TV, a scanner and printer under the ICT @ School scheme. Schools need to make most use of it”-C V Som, Commissioner, Schools, Government of Gujarat

• Increasing student competitiveness by developing skills such as digital literacy, problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration. • Helping citizens develop lifelong learning skills, and better preparing them for current and future employment. • Creating economic development as local businesses benefit from a better-educated citizenry and workforce. • Creating more social cohesion and a better social climate as access to technology, the Internet, and digital content narrows the digital divide and creates opportunities. • Immediate economic benefits to local businesses that help develop and deliver education solutions. There’s no doubt that education transformation has a huge impact on the society. Intel believes in creating economic and social opportunities for all. And that’s why Intel works with governments to improve the quality of their education system using a holistic model. Replicating this model all over India is Intel’s mission so that the objectives of the country become inclusive and the goal of universal education is reached.


leader speak

Educating Gujarat R P Gupta, Secretary (Primary Education), Gujarat, talks to Anand Agarwal on educational initiatives being undertaken in Gujarat.

Kindly apprise us about the implementation status of Sarva Sikhsa Abhiyaan (SSA) in Gujarat? We are one of the leading states as far as the implementation of SSA is concerned, even though we are having access to far less funds than many other states. Making it possible for all the children to have primary education is our main responsibility. Currently we have a success level of about 98.8 percent. We are also trying to ensure that children should be enrolled in school. At times, socioeconomic factors like religious belief, family requirement and migration come in the way of students getting

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education. But under SSA we are trying to ensure that we do not miss a single child.

Recently, we have enacted the Right to Education. Kindly brief us about what are the obligations of the state under this act. How far has Gujarat been able to meet these obligations? Under Right to Education the state is obliged to provide education to all. We must understand that this act has been enacted keeping entire country in mind, it has not been enacted for the


leader speak

states that are already doing well in primary education sector. Gujarat is one of the states where we have achieved the goals of Right to Education (RTE) even before the enactment of the act. We already have adequate number of primary schools. The act also mandates that all the schools should have sufficient number of teachers and other staff. That has also been achieved. Infrastructure facilities like separate toilet for boys and girls, and other infrastructure in all the schools is in place. All schools have drinking water facility, and are electrified. Perhaps we are short of classrooms and separate sanitation blocks for boys and girls. This issue will be attended to within one or two years.

State has not been lagging in providing mid-day meals to children. We provide mid-day meals to about 41 lakh children per day across all our schools, and also in many learning centres

We have been hearing about the GUNOTSAV scheme quite a lot. Could you please give us some idea about how this scheme works? What are its main objectives? This scheme is mainly designed to improve the quality of primary education. Till 2009, we were mainly focussed on bringing all the children to the school. We have almost achieved that objective. Only some marginal groups are left. GUNOTSAV focuses primarily on improving the quality of education. The quality of education can be improved only if we can provide all the inputs like classrooms, teachers, infrastructure facilities, and all kind of teaching and learning aids. There must also be timely reviews of the training that the teachers are offering. Under GUNOTSAV the government tests all the children and on basis of the results, we provide grades to each teacher and school. Based on that grade, the teacher knows where he/she stands and what the outcome of his /her efforts is. This is how we address the aspect of quality. Measuring the performance of about 70 lakh children studying in 34 thousand schools is a mammoth task.

Has this resulted in some demonstrable improvement in quality of education? So far no study has been carried out because we started this scheme only in 2009 -2010 and this will only be the third year. As far as the improvement in the education is concerned we first carried out this program in November 2009, after that there were only 4 to 5 months available to the teachers for improving their performance for the next academic year. However, the results that we got during the last year’s Gunotsav were very encouraging. There was about 15 percent improvement as far as the performance of Gunotsav’10 to Gunotsav’09 was concerned. More than anything else, the scheme has led to greater awareness on the issue of quality of education.

There have been some reports from planning commission that state has been lagging in providing mid-day meals to the students. What steps have been taken to address these issues? State has not been lagging in providing the mid-day meals

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to the children. We provide mid-day meals to about 41 lakh children per day in all our schools and out of schools learning centres. Roughly 60 percent of the total children are taking advantage of mid-day meal scheme. There are issues concerning the quality of food, but we have taken steps for training our cooks for preparing quality and tasty food. As far as the nutritional part is concerned, we have taken steps like fortification of flour; we are adding soybeans to improve nutritional value of the food. Gujarat unfortunately has been lagging due to its dietary habits. Many people in the state do not take green vegetables in their food. This aspect is worrying for us and we are trying to devise ways and means for addressing this deficiency which arises due to lack of vegetables in diet. It is possible that the kitchen gardens in each school can be used as a resource for mid-day meals. We are also engaging voluntary agencies or non-governmental agencies for providing mid day meal to the children. For example, Akshaypatra is covering quite a few Talukas. They prepare the food centrally and add adequate quantity of vegetables to it.

What has been a better model- doing it yourself or engaging NGOs like Akshaypatra? We carried out a study by engaging an agency that was tasked to compare the two models. Definitely the NGO model of centralised kitchen and food being sent to the different schools everyday has drawn lot of positive feedback from schools, parents and the students. Quality wise and taste wise food prepared by NGOs is more nutritious and tasty.

Will this model be replicated across the state? Getting food from NGOs has its own limitations. We don’t have adequate number of NGOs with adequate capabilities. So procuring mid-day meals from NGOs is much better for urban areas. NGOs might not be able to deliver in inaccessible areas. We are trying to engage NGOs to the extent possible.


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leader speak

Providing Expansion, Inclusion and Excellence

Jayanti Ravi, Commissioner of Higher Education, Government of Gujarat, talks to Anand Agarwal about issues related to higher education in Gujarat. She expresses her views on how access, excellence and equity can be ushered into the State’s educational ecosystem Gujarat has committed itself to transforming the quality of life of its citizens through various new initiatives. Many of these initiatives pertain to education, particularly tertiary education. To make all this possible, we have established the Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat (KCG), which along with the Office of the Commissioner, strives to facilitate these initiatives that involve all stakeholders in education. Education and Extension Changes in the basic curriculum and academic system have been ongoing through a shift from the conventional system to the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). This offers immense flexibility in choice of courses, choice in the teaching-learning methodologies, choice in evaluation and even transfer of credit for students who drop out. The on demand, online examination option is being rolled out.

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In addition, we have distance education through universities such as the Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Open University for further enhancing the Gross Enrolment Ratio. To enhance access, we have Sandhan, an integrated all Gujarat classroom providing a platform for communication across colleges through audio-video tools telecast through the V-SAT. Every college has a room dedicated for receiving lectures by eminent speakers not just from the State but also those with National and International repute. More than 1000 hours of programme have been telecast every year since 2009 covering Science, Arts, Commerce, Employability and all higher education initiatives. Saptadhara is a unique initiative for students to unleash their creativity under seven bands – knowledge band, creative expression band, fine arts band, theatre band, music and dance, yoga and sports, community/social service band.


leader speak

KMP helps enhance ICT and Communication skills of teachers and students to promote basic research skills Saptadhara provides a platform to hone the multiple intelligence of students. This also develops the physical, ethical, mental, aesthetic, reflective and spiritual dimensions of students’ personality. Students participate in large numbers at college level, district level, zonal level eventually culminating into a competition at State level. In all, 2350 students have participated at the State level in the competition during 2009-2011. We also have a placement initiative called Udisha that helps students become more confident and empowered in making career choices. 436 colleges have been given basic financial support to set up Udisha Clubs through which student registration, pre-placement training, job fairs and counselling are offered. To strengthen the entire system, a recruitment drive is on in the Office of Commissioner, through an Online Job Application System. Likewise, Office automation is in progress and all these efforts address access of stake holders to service delivery substantially. Capability Building Karmayogi Talim, a three day Programme for principals, initiated in 2008, has conducted ongoing and approximately 12,500 mandays of training in various competencies. The objective of these programmes is to ensure capability building of teachers, administrators and librarians, empowering them to be facilitators and motivators for students in a learner centric education system. Training is also being imparted in ICT so that teachers and students are equipped to use the emerging technologies of the 21st century. Yet another programme called KMP-Knowledge Management Programme, focusing on training for faculties in language skills, ICT skills, and professional development through more research. Launched in 2008, KMP helps enhance ICT and Communication skills of teachers and students to promote basic research skills. Research Further, a drive to strengthen research, through workshops and training specially to give impetus to research projects and doctoral research in various subjects with support from nationally acclaimed academicians. The University Text Book Board has published research journals and more than 120 text books with community involvement. A Compendium of Doctoral Dissertations and Patents in Universities of Gujarat has been compiled and published for reference to enable further research. Other Initiatives – SCOPE, GEIC, IITE, Children University One of our important initiatives, the Society for Creation of Opportunity through Proficiency in English (SCOPE), has been set up by the Government of Gujarat in public-private partnership

mode, along with University of Cambridge. SCOPE is committed to empowering and fortifying the youth of Gujarat with proficiency in English. Over 2 lakh youth have already been certified through SCOPE so far through more than 400 Training Centres from across the State. We have set up the Gujarat Education Innovation Commission (GEIC), which identifies several innovations in schools and colleges under various heads. So as to recognize and felicitate excellence, these innovations are identified, documented and disseminated. There is the Indian Institute of Teacher Education (IITE), which aims at integrated development of students into excellent teachers through its unique curriculum and androgogical and pedagogical methods. Children University, focuses on education, extension, research and teaching on all aspects of Children ranging from nutrition to health, toys, games and education with the motto ‘every child matters’ in a ‘life cycle’ approach. MMI – A powerful mechanism Access, excellence and equity are ensured through the Mission Mode Implementation (MMI) mechanism in Education. We have approximately 927 colleges in 33 Higher Education District as against the 26 Administrative Districts. 5 Clusters of 5 colleges each, form one Higher Education District (HED) i.e., 25 colleges form every district. Every HED has two District Coordinators and every Cluster has one Cluster-Coordinator. The district also has one Prabhari Professor from the University, to which it is affiliated and additionally, six student ambassadors per District. MMI has now become an active network through which we disseminate and collect information or implement initiatives effectively. Academic and Administrative Audit (AAA) of all Institutions of Higher Education has also been implemented in order to mentor Institutions and provide support wherever necessary. We have recently begun an awareness campaign called ‘Chalo College E Abhiyaan’ during which members from TEAM Higher Education, fanned out into various Higher Education Institutions. The aim is to mentor students, faculty members and principals in the ongoing Initiatives of the State Government and to simultaneously take stock of their progress being made across the State. Various new Institutions like Central University, IIT Gandhinagar as well as the large number of private universities, are also, contributing significantly to ensure that the educational ecosystem in Gujarat is functioning well. All these reforms have been possible with the high level of political commitment of the State leadership. The partnership of all the Vice- Chancellors and the entire higher education team has also played a keyrole. The basic philosophy behind all these efforts in the Education space is to mobilise community involvement in a sustainable manner. Gujarat is working towards quality enhancement by providing equity, access and excellence in Education thus preparing to face a progressive global and challenging scenario with bold and confident strides.

december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

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feature

Celebrating

Quality The Gunotsav Initiative

In 2009, Government of Gujarat began a novel initiative called Gunotsav, which aims at bringing quality to primary education. Led by CM himself, ministers and officials visit primary schools for three days every year Gunotsav, a three-day annual programme aimed at improving quality of primary education in Government of Gujarat-run schools, is now in its third year. Senior functionaries, including the Chief Minister and other ministers, and approximately 3000 government officials, including senior IAS, IFS and IPS officers, personally visit over 30,000 primary schools. Students are assessed on basis of their reading, writing and math skills. Students till the fifth standard are tested in Hindi, Gujarati and Math. Students of 6-8 standards are also tested in English. The identity of the school, which has to be visited, remains a secret till the day of inspection. The schools are graded from A-C depending on the performance of students. At Gunotsav 2011, CM Narendra Modi visited primary schools Banaskantha district’s Danta taluka, in north Gujarat. Modi spent time with teachers, and students in Jashwant Gadh and Bhemal villages. This year, around 8,000 primary schools – one-fourth of all primary schools in the state – will be inspected as part of Gunotsav. Besides education, schools will be rated on parameters such as cleanliness, water, power, greenery and quality of mid-day meal. The NGO Pratham has been roped in to conduct a third party audit of the entire Gunotsav 2011.

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feature

A photo feature on Narendra Modi’s first day in Gunotsav 2011 december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

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leader Speak

“It is Important to Ensure that 100 Out of 100

Students Should a

Achieve

Minimum Basic Education till class 8th� Everybody wants good schooling, but some are forced by circumstances to give education a miss. Our focus is to enable everyone to become educated irrespective of their circumstances, says Manoj Aggarwal - a Gujarat cadre IAS officer, serving as a State Project Director, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan - in an interview with Anand Agarwal of digitalLEARNING.

What are the measures undertaken by the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan to improve education in Gujarat? Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) is a flagship programme of the Government of India in partnership with Government of Gujarat. Its mandate is to universalise elementary education. SSA aims to improve the quality of education and place a tab on dropout rates. To fulfil these goals, the SSA has taken steps, such as budget allocation, which is approved by project approval board in the Government of India. The budget provides for things like: teachers salary, teachers grant, civil work, alternate schooling, schooling for out of school children to bring

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them into educational mainstream, keeping a tab on students, child mapping, school maintenance grant, providing books, uniform and development grant, etc. The project is fully geared to do everything possible for improving the educational and literacy level in the state.

The 8th standard has not been completely included in primary education, what is the target date by which it will be covered in the state? Already 10,000 schools were started last year and it will be completed by next year.


leader Speak

Tell us about the major projects under SSA that are having a big impact? SSA seeks to universalise elementary education and to provide educational opportunities to all sections of society, including the socially and economically backward classes and girls falling in the latter sub-section. SSA is taking various steps to mainstream all the children, we have already started Shala Praveshotsav campaign, aiming at 100 percent enrolment for all villages and urban areas, in which the Honourable Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi is also taking very keen interest. Every year more than 3000 officers, ministers and Chairmen of boards and corporations go to villages and participate in this universal enrolment scheme. They ensure that every girl child is enrolled under the Gujarat Kanya Kelavani karyakaram. This is going on for last eight years and because of that we have achieved enrolment rate of almost 100 percent.

Many critics allege that schemes like SSA are only focussed on quantity; they don’t improve quality. There is a programme called Gunotsav, which aims to improve the quality of education in the state. How the SSA is integrated with the Gunotsav? The Honourable Chief Minister started Gunotsav in 2009. It has two parts. Part one is self-assessment by schools, which has been done in October this year. In the second part, almost 3000 members, including the Chief Minister, all ministers, Chairmen of corporations, all IAS, IFS, IPS and other senior officers, participate in assessing almost 900 schools. The assessment will be made through focus on aspects of teachers’ work, civil work, involvement of village education committees, environment of schools, computer education, daily attendance, educational tools, their interaction with other schools, status of child as far as studiers are concerned. Even, this year we are going to do a third-party survey to measure the impact Gunotsav has made. So it is holistic in nature and in the long run, it would really help improve the quality.

What are the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools that you are adopting to improve the quality of education? Modern ICT methods are used as much as possible. We have Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG) to provide training to teachers. In the schools, we are providing computer-based programmes for computer-aided learning. Already we have 5000 thousand schools where computers have been installed. Another 15000 schools will get the computers this year. We also have sufficient staff to take care of hardware, software and training.

What are your views on PPP in the education sector? We are using NGOs in many ways; NGOs are involved in the training the school management committees. This is under the

ee helpfr ll to a d e c odu We have intr s across the rk o w t a th th n line last mo hild who is c a s d n fi e eon state. If som hool, they can call this g sc not attendin number

provisions of Right to Education. They are helping us improve the quality of the education in a big way.

What are the major challenges that you face and what steps are you adopting to tackle these? In our large country, there is multiplicity of everything and this leads to problems. Everybody wants good schooling, but some are forced by circumstances to give education a miss. Our focus is to enable everyone to become educated irrespective of circumstances. Moving from one place to another and having socio-eco disparities affect education. It is important to ensure that 100 percent of the students should achieve a minimum basic education till class 8th. We try to tackle the dropouts from every angle. For instance, to tackle the problem seasonal migration, or migration due for employment purposes, we urge parents to leave their children behind with a caretaker. We provide the basic help through inputs like meals, etc. We have introduced a toll-free help-line last month that works across the state. If someone finds a child who is not attending school, they can call this number. We try to cover everything, including textbooks and uniforms. We are also thinking of providing transportation facility to those students who stay far away. Besides putting all efforts to retain students, we are also training teachers, updating the curriculum on the lines of national curriculum and NCERT. So, a holistic approach is being adopted to tackle all the challenges.

As you are talking about encouraging results, so what next have you planned for next 2-3 years? Our task is to make quality education free. We want to create an infrastructure that is so efficient that parents will think ten times before sending their child to private school. According to the Right to Education Act, by 2013 a number of digital facilities will have to be provided. We are moving in that direction to provide the entire physical infrastructure including number of schools, computers, playgrounds and whatever is required for good quality education that would be achievable by 2013. Once the infrastructure is completed to a high degree, our focus will shift towards providing the quality, which will be leveraged through teacher training. december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

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academia speak

Educating  

Gujarat Dr. Akshai Aggarwal, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Technological University, in conversation with Anand Agarwal shares his vision for making transformations in Gujarat’s educational space

What steps are you taking for realizing this vision of becoming a leader in education?

Are you also trying to develop new technology products through these student level projects?

We are making the teaching of technology practice oriented. For example, in engineering we have a final year project, which will be based on things being used in industry. During the summer of this year, after the students have appeared in the 3rd year’s exam, they will have to go to the industry and find a way of doing something in a better way. We are teaching our students to be anchored to the needs of the industry; their training must be relevant to the skills and the knowledge that are in demand today.

No, developing new products is not our intention. Our sole focus is helping our students gain practical experience in using technology. At first it seemed like a big problem to send 50000 students to industry. All over the world students go out in summer. How come we are not able to do it? Then I looked up the data, in Gujarat and discovered the fact that there are 2.5 lacs registered SMEs and there are many large industries in the state.

How wide is the focus of the projects?

Do students handle the projects in groups? How many students are there?

The focus of the projects is quite wide. For instance, we have a polytechnic in Awa, which is a tribal area. As there are no industries in the area, the students go around in villages and find ways of using technology to bring about an improvement in the quality of life.

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This year I only have 50,000 students in the final year; the number will increase to 100 thousand in two years. Normally engineering projects are taken up by a group of 2 or 3 students. We have organized the whole state into 25 sankuls, or com-


academia speak

problems, in the courses and in the lack of involvement of the industry. So I began by getting the industry associations involved. Last year we started an exercise for developing a global MBA programme. After considerable amount of work in June 2011, we were able to finalize the new global MBA programme. Many of our professors feel that probably this is the one of the best MBA programmes in the country.

GTU can easily develop into a fountainhead of research, technology and entrepreneurship. Gujarat is number one in industrial development; we want the state to achieve similar success in the field What action are you taking to tackle of education. Our ambition is to the problem of capitation fee that some colleges charge? make GTU the best university for The highest court in the land has declared capitation fee studying technology. to be illegal. But capitation fee is being charged for every

munities,. In each community we create, what we call Innovation Sankul committee. GTU Innovation Sankul consists of 15-20 industry leaders, 15-20 directors or principal of the colleges. So we have about 500 industry leaders now in every area. We concentrated on SMEs, as they usually do not have any special development and research cell. And we thought that will be more amenable to our young students trying to develop the new products. There are some 72 GIDC associations, and we have tried to involve each one of them. In fact, a majority of the 25 Sankuls are chaired by GIDC associations.

What role has industry played in shaping the overall curriculum of the courses? When the university was established, for two years there was no VC, it was the government officers who handled the administration. These officers brought in professors from IITs who created the syllabus for every semester. When I came in I detected a few

course. In most cases, the seats under management quota are filled through the capitation fee route. Of course it is not being done openly, and its not being reported to income tax authority or any other account. . The idea that higher education can be delivered solely through the funds of the of beneficiary is a totally wrong.

Please share your plans to grow bigger? We are trying our level best to work here. For example, we are sure that we are going to have many more students this year as compared to the previous years. In fact, our review of masters programme has already led to a rather happy situation, where as many as 20 new patents have been filed on basis of work done by by various groups of students. We have already organised 2 workshops to make our teachers aware of the new system of education. Each workshop was attended by about 150 teachers. So we are preparing the ground for many more patents to be filed, and many new products to be developed. But we are expecting that out of 16,000 projects, which have been undertaken in conjunction with the industry, at least some will lead to the filing of new patents and creation of new products.

We have Got it All Click on www.digitalLEARNING.in for • Lot of useful resources • • • •

Articles that are searchable by month and year and by the author Daily news updates with option to syndicate through RSS Upcoming events and important announcements And to get your copy of Digital Learning magazine

december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

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Industry Speak

“Gujarat has immense potential to become India’s major IT hub” Classteacher Learning Systems provides digital solutions to over 700 schools, 1 million students and 25,000 educators across India. Rohit Pande, CEO, Classteacher Learning Systems, shares his insights Advent of IT is having a seminal impact on Gujarat’s education segment. The state’s literacy rate has increased by more than 10 percent in the last decade. The census data of 2011 released on March 31 shows that Gujarat’s literacy rate has clearly increased from 69.1 percent (according to 2001 census) to 79.31 percent (according to 2011 census). While the state is providing the much needed impetus to the K-12 segment, there exists considerable scope for improvement. According to NASSCOM, with an improved infrastructure and education, Gujarat will be in a position to drive IT growth in the next decade. Som Mittal, president of the IT industry body, says that while currently only six cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune, form 90 per cent of total IT industry, newer cities like Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mysore and Chandigarh will drive growth in the next decade. Gujarat has immense potential to become the next IT hub. With information technology it is easier to achieve the goal of building a society that is rich, aware and discerning. IT is an enabler of social inclusivity; it can bring information to the masses, edu-

cate them and enable them to enjoy a better quality of life. Gujarat to leapfrog ICT can enable data assessment, data analytics in schools, and this is something that will go a long way in creating the minds that will lead India into the future. • Digital interactive education has seen tremendous growth in the last two years in the market across both large and small towns. • We see greater than 100 percent growth in market for assessments, as well as web based learning. • E-learning is growing both as a support tool for existing educational institutions as well as for delivery of high quality solutions for the end user. • Digital education has crept into our classrooms and has become mainstream in big and small towns. • It helps in engaging students as students see and interact with the subject they are studying. Gujarat is blessed with a dynamic economy. The state government is very serious about improving the education level and has started several programs to achieve full literacy, such as universali-

sation of elementary education, District Primary Education Program and compulsory primary education. As per the figures of 2011 census, the female literacy rate in the last decade has increased by 12.93 percent in Gujarat. Moreover, the male literacy rate was 79.7 percent in 2001 census, this has increased to 87.23 percent in 2011 census. The male literacy rate shows a rise of 7.53 percent in the last decade. This is a notable milestone of progress. Reaching the Last Mile Of the nearly one million public schools in India less than 0.2 percent have access to IT infrastructure or computerbased education. Setting up a school is a cumbersome process. The costs for building materials, municipality permits, electricity, remuneration for teachers and maintenance is quite high. Out of approximately 200 million children in the age group of 6-14 years, only 120 million ever go to school, hence it is important to use IT technology to take education to everyone’s doorstep. As a part of its Vision 2020 plan, the government is looking to increase the number of school going children by 30 percent.

On eINDIA 2011 eIndia 2011 Conference will be a unique platform for the various stakeholders who are driving ICT initiatives in the domain of Governance, Healthcare and Education. 32

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Industry Speak

“State will Need Millions of Skilled Workforce” Edutech offer solutions for skill development centres, libraries, corporate training centres and vocational laboratories. Sajeev Karuthody, Director- Special Projects, Edutech, gives his insight on the transformations in Gujarat’s educational space By virtue of being the state with highest growth rate in the country, Gujarat is on the cusp of an employment revolution. The state will need millions of skilled work force to take care of its manufacturing, IT and services sectors, which are growing at a rapid pace. A value based education system is the need of the hour, if the state government’s target for SEE (Socio-EconomicEducation) is to be met. The current education system will need to be improved with design and delivery support mechanisms for achieving this objective. ICT (Information and Communication Technology) acts as a multiplier for capacity building efforts of educational institutions without compromising the quality. The state government has identified that technology is a key enabler for bringing about improvements in education. Hence through various initiatives like ICT @ project- Gujarat is to provide Computer Literacy & Computer Aided Education in Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools. Collaborative participation of industry and the academic community can play a role. More than anything research needs to be done to discover the best ways of implementing ICT.

Gujarat to Leapfrog Educational institutions are facing significant challenges in taking account of the needs and aspirations of all the stakeholders: between students, teachers, faculty, researchers, workers and funding agencies. The educational environment is evolving rapidly, with shifts in demographics, commerce, technology and politics. ICT is a momentous opportunity for all the teachers and experts in the country to pool their collective wisdom for the benefit of every learner. This is the best way of reducing the digital divide. The policy objective of ICT @ Schools projects of Gujarat aims at universal, equitable, open and free access to state of the art ICT and ICT enabled tools and resources. Identification and procurement of ICT platform and tools is relatively easier. Following are three areas that will play a key role in the success of any future ICT related initiatives in Gujarat: Plan, People, and Product. • Plan - the ICT adoption needs to be developed after taking into consideration the realities at institutional and user levels.

• People - Identify right stakeholders to own, adopt and integrate ICT at an institution level • Product- Use the right products that have already been tested. The focus should be on having easy to use and effective systems ICT strategy should have the bandwidth to reach out to different strata of the society through channels like - multimedia, television, mobile, and even Facebook or other social networks. Reaching the Last Mile Education on Wheels is a unique programme where the ICT based schools arrive at the student’s doorstep. The innovative program is successful in providing multi-grade teaching to children of different ages and levels. The usage of special methods and techniques makes the learning enjoyable. For instance, such educational systems use games, storytelling methods, role-plays, flash cards, art and craft activity, educational CD’s and other joyful ways of delivering education. Use of tools like student response pads, content formats like simulated games and educational movies are also effective.

On eINDIA 2011 One of India’s most developed states, Gujarat, is making many new efforts for taking its educational infrastructure to the next level of advancement. The eIndia 2011 will put the spotlight on Gujarat’s innovative strategy for education. 34

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Industry Speak

“ICT can be used for Achieving a Co-scholastic Outcome”

IE Education provides low cost IT solutions for setting up Interactive learning centres - Language Labs, Math Lab, other applications and Multimedia Class solutions. Sudarshan Borker, Business Head, IE Education Private Limited shares his insights on school education in Gujarat

The ICT@School Project that Gujarat has implemented, in partnership with NIIT and Educomp Solutions, reaches out to 3600 schools in the state. Similar programs can be extended to other schools. The effectiveness of such partnerships will solely depend on teacher training and their assessment. The success of the program will depend on how the teachers make use of the ICT enabled tools. One has to ensure that teachers do not view this aid as an additional burden. A simple, easy-to-understand and easy-to-maintain solution has to be provided. Apart from the fact that the hardware must be easy to use, the maintenance issues have to be taken care of promptly. There must be regular updates and improvements of the software should also be encouraged. This can be achieved if teachers are asked to involve themselves in understanding and creating ICT enabled content and making use of the free and huge database of content already available on the web. Children must also be encouraged to contribute. ‘A whole in the wall’ project is a proof of the fact that children in rural areas will be as quick in understanding technology and exploring knowledge database if they are provided with the right tools and guidance.

Gujarat to Leapfrog With CCE implementation, it has become a must for most schools to encourage scholastic, as well as co-scholastic teaching and learning in classrooms. ICT tools can be used extensively in Gujarat schools to achieve the co-scholastic outcome by ensuring effective implementation of English Language Lab, Math and Science Labs, and Multimedia Classrooms. The biggest challenge private schools and Government aided schools face in implementing the above solutions is teacher training and costs related to installation and maintenance. The challenge here is to find a cost effective and long-term solution. Reaching the Last Mile Projects like the ‘Hole in the wall’ were very successful in the rural areas because they provided children the learning edge. A concept like ‘Schools on Wheel’ is a great tool not only for reaching out to the needy, but also to keep them interested in learning and completing their modules. The training of the educators is important. The volunteers/teachers will have to be flexible in their approach and they should be trained with the aim of widening the scope of their teaching.

On eINDIA 2011 Events like the eINDIA are a boost to any state where it has been held, it is a platform for school, administrators and service providers to interact and also educated school about new available technologies and improvements happening in this field. 36

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Industry Speak

“ICT Enabled Education-Makes Education Valuable in Gujarat” InOpen Technologies offers products and services to private schools, municipal schools and the state board and government schools. Rupesh Kumar Shah, CEO and Co-Founder, InOpen Technologies, SINE, IIT Bombay sheds light on the Gujarat experience… Astute governmental policies and the efficient mapping of resources have helped in bringing out phenomenal transformations. The policies support the endeavour for rapid expansion and growth of knowledge based economy. Gujarat has successfully attracted investors due to its uninterrupted power supply, low cost of real estate and investor friendly policies, which has also created a plethora of direct and indirect jobs. With GIL and GESIA backing the IT infrastructure, the goal of effective delivery of ICTs comes into play. Some of the enabling policies are Promoting KPO based industries, enhancing supply of skilled workforce, simplification of labour Laws and investor facilitation. This is so unlike the complex procedures that one faces in other states to set up a company. The digital content for education, ICT literacy and competency enhancement, and the ICT based teaching methods that are running across the state are enhancing

the scope of education. Gujarat is the emerging educational destination. Gujarat to Leapfrog The focus of the government of Gujarat has now turned towards investing in quality education. The state can do the following to leapfrog and lead adoption of ICT in education: • Optimise the investment by using the same infrastructure for multiple purposes. For example, the computer lab of school can be used as training centre for parents so that education continues beyond school. • Use FOSS applications. Even if it may be a bigger challenge to alter the operating system, we can focus on using free applications. This includes educational games such as GComrpis, Tux Maths, productivity tools such as office tools, and programming language like Scratch. • Provide content for school and higher education in local language.

Reaching the Last Mile To reach out to all students and minimise dropouts three factors have to be taken into account: Keep the cost of sustained access low - Software licenses have to be renewed and there has to be adequate hardware support. By using free and open source applications actively the total cost of implementation can be lowered. Do not reinvent the wheel-We need to focus on sustaining the initiatives already in place. Understand the user needs- Educational needs of society have to be studied so that the technology useful for everyone can be developed. Value added services provided along with regular education will ensure sustained interest. Make positive use of the social pressure- It is important to create a positive social awareness to maximise the reach of such initiatives. Local role models can be roped in. They can be used to take care of the kiosks/mobile labs as well.

On eINDIA 2011 An event like eINDIA2011 will showcase the cutting-edge developments in ICT, and emphasise upon the benefits of such technologies for school and higher education. This event will help researchers, educators, policy makers and teachers across India by providing them with an update on the latest initiatives from the leading ICT infrastructure providers. eINDIA2011 will be a golden opportunity for witnessing latest innovative solutions from within the Indian ICT industry and beyond. 38

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Industry Speak

‘Schools on Wheel’ will go a Long Way in Addressing the Digital Divide Mexus Education, a Bilakhia Group enterprise, has been promoting learning through technology based platforms like multimedia DVDs, motion films and interactive online tools. Anil Goyal, Director, Mexus Education, shares his views on education in Gujarat

The academic foundations of the state can only be strengthened by an all-round development in education. The development has to be right from the primary stage to the higher stages of education. The attempt to branch-out from conventional mainstream areas by setting up nationally recognized Business School, Fashion Technology Institute, Entrepreneurship Development Institute has actually made education more relevant to the citizens. Initiatives have also been taken at school-level education, to ensure that students step into these academic pursuits with right orientation and mindsets. Efforts like School on Wheels, Kanya Kelavani, and the partnering with NGOs, are designed to make children better skilled, so that they may fit into the changing economy and tap emerging opportunities in the state.

Gujarat to Leapfrog The opportunities in Educational ICT abounds. These shortcomings are increasingly acknowledged and accepted by the policy makers, as well as school administrators. In this decade, there is a strong need to use technology. Only technology can make education more relevant to current dynamics of economy. This easiest and most convenient way of addressing this pulsating need is by furthering a teaching-learning process through fusion with ICT. Indian Education is poised to incorporate audiovisual learning, collaborative learning and knowledge sharing elements. ICT is imperative to set a framework for these initiatives. Reaching the Last Mile For bringing education to the rural masses, we need to develop a model of edu-

cation that is relevant to them. This will engage rural masses and ensure that they stay with the system, and thereby dropouts will be minimized. • Application-orientation specific to their skill sets that can improve the chances of getting proper employment will generate interest. • Setting up a robust technology support which is not only easy to use, but also inexpensive and less dependent on existing infrastructure and facilities. • Ensuring that the system attracts a large number of students so that the economic viability of the model is maintained. Initiatives like ‘Schools on Wheel’ would go a long way in addressing the digital divide, as it reaches out to students regardless of infrastructure, as well as the basic facilities.

On eINDIA 2011 eINDIA 2011 is designed to highlight the myriad initiatives that the government has undertaken for improving literacy levels in Gujarat. This event will prove that when it comes to education, Gujarat is far ahead of other states in the country. The coming together of academicians, educators, government officials and the corporate on a single platform will definitely lead to solutions that foster an inclusive growth in education sector. 40

digitalLEARNING

december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in


Industry Speak

“Out-of-class Activities should be Conducted Regularly” Mosaic Network develops innovative tools that are used in educational institutions, government organizations and social agencies. Saurabh Sethi, Vice President, Mosaic Network (India) Pvt. Ltd. shares his views on transforming education… IT has made it possible for us to bring quality education to India’s remote areas. The rural areas and the smaller towns can enjoy the same quality of education as the developed cities. Last two decades have seen major turnaround in the way technology is used in education – we have systems like digital boards, eLearning, and mobile learning. IT is helping educational bodies by enabling micro management, any time access to information, quick and proper assessments and evaluation of education. IT has transformed education into a process that is learner-centric, engaging, attention grabbing, cost effective and reachable. The guru is now the IT empowered guide. Having said all that, it must also be accepted that IT has its limitations, which the innovators must address. Gujarat to Leapfrog Digital education has seen tremendous growth in the past 4-5 years. I strongly feel that this will continue to grow at higher rates in coming years. Only 10 percent of over 100,000 educational institutions are technology enabled and out of these only 12-15 percent have technological penetration in their classrooms. A market

this big cannot be affected by competition and I can’t see any factor that might slow the growth. Right now, I am not even considering the government sector, which has the potential of making the opportunity even bigger. Valuable lessons can be learned from the best practices being implemented around the world, but there is no formula for determining the optimal level of ICT integration in the educational system. Significant challenges that policymakers and planners, educators, education administrators, and other stakeholders need to consider include educational policy and planning, infrastructure, language and content, capacity building, employment and financing. Reaching the Last Mile We must accept the fact that technology alone cannot help us bridge the knowledge and opportunity divide. There are issues related to limited infrastructure, and it is also a fact that many teachers are hesitant when it comes to adopting new technologies. A comprehensive approach to tackle multi-level challenges in implementation as well as delivery has to be followed.

• The digital content access shall be made available through a very easy to use tool, with minimal features. • Teaching processes must be standardized to take into account the low skilled teacher/trainer, who needs to follow simple instructions. They must be provided incentives for taking this additional burden. • Periodic inputs should be provided for improving the system if the learning level drops. • Authorities and teachers should have timely access to reports and all kinds of feedback, so that the overall progress being made can be monitored. “Drop-outs” are one of the biggest challenges for any education system. We should keep in mind while developing the learning content that the idea is to supplement the learning. The digital content should not become an additional burden on the students. The delivery must be engaging and the content should be contextual and theme based. It should adapt to the learners requirements. Motivational exercises and outof-class activities should be conducted periodically to break the monotony.

On eINDIA 2011 We have been actively participating in your eINDIA events since 2009. We feel that eINDIA is a wonderful platform for enhancing knowledge, networking with companies, and gaining insights into the challenges faced by organizations in the field of education december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

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Industry Speak

“Gujarat Leads in Adopting IT in Education” Next Education, a technology-driven education enterprise, provides ICT-based products in the K-12 segment. Veena Raizada, Director (Academics), Next Education, speaks about infusing IT into education in today’s world...

The educational space is being revolutionised with new technologies, and Gujarat is at the forefront of this revolution. The traditional chalk and blackboard model is no longer in vogue; we are gravitating towards interactive white boards and digital content for imparting education. According to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan policy of the Union Government, schools are adopting technology in a big way. Next Education wholeheartedly supports this initiative. The strong IT infrastructure in the state will go a long way in making quality education available to every student. Gujarat to Leapfrog The policy initiatives on IT taken by the Government of Gujarat are quite encouraging. The telecom and the IT sectors in the state are well developed, and the state’s literacy rate is almost 70 percent. The Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG) has satellite communication facilities with a dedicated bandwidth. These are good signs. Gujarat can be a leader in adopting IT in education. The IT

network in the state is strong. The transport network is good. Investment in the IT sector is very high. The state is ripe for having a much deeper tryst with digital education. There are several challenges in the adoption of ICT in the education sector. Among them are low literacy levels, unwillingness to adopt technology, monitoring and evaluation, lack of guidelines, and institutional fragmentation. Even those deemed literate may not be competent enough to receive IT education. Educational standards would need to be raised before citizens can become digitally literate. Steps need to be taken to overcome the unwillingness for adopting new technology, so that the digital literacy levels among students and teachers can be increased. Teachers are wary of technology. They need to be made aware that IT training will help them rather than pose as a threat to their jobs. Hardware penetration in schools in quite high, but with no auditing or monitoring system in place, there is no way for us to evaluate the effectiveness of this hard-

ware. The most common issue faced by schools is related to identification of quality content, but this issue can be resolved by providing clear guidelines. There is a need to bring about some harmonisation and co-ordination in the aspects of curriculum, infrastructure, content, policy and implementation. The framework for these things is developed by several bodies at several levels. India also has linguistic diversity and income disparity. The digital divide in the country is so acute that it becomes difficult for policy-makers to frame universal policies to be implemented. Reaching the Last Mile Digital solutions on any media that can be operated through the simplest of technological applications will make the mission possible. The myriad challenges in the path of digital learning can definitely be overcome through dedicated approach. The concept of “School on Wheels” can succeed with all coming together for running it successfully.

On eINDIA 2011 Gujarat is poised for a big leap into the world of digital learning. An event like eINDIA 2011 becomes very relevant in this context, as it is a platform for discussions on the best ways of infusing IT into the educational curriculum. 42

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december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in


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Industry Speak

Gujarat is home to five top postgraduate institutes. Usage of IT in education helps further improve the education scene. It will change the face of teaching in terms of how teachers interact with students as well as the quality of content used. Technology will help add a whole new set of learning strategies that were never available before. The proactive nature of the government has contributed largely to the overall growth and development of Gujarat and the state is now poised for taking development in education to the next level. The state government plays a pivotal role is making education available and accessible to all and it has come up with a range of to meet this goal. The Education policy needs to eliminate financial, legal and administrative barriers. It is most important to remove all obstacles to compulsory schooling. It should also ensure proper fiscal allocations through training of teachers and elimination of myriad social discriminations.

“Method of Delivery needs to be Structured and Consistent” Pearson Education Services (PES) provides end-to-end customised education solutions in the K-12 segment, with a focus on technological innovations. Meena Ganesh, CEO and MD, Pearson Education Services, sheds light on the subject of transformations in education space in Gujarat

On eINDIA 2011

Gujarat to Leapfrog Gujarat has always been known for its entrepreneurial ways. A similar attitude towards ICT in education would help in taking it a long way forward. Being home to India’s top educational institutions, Gujarat is always been an inspiration to all the other states and any step that this state takes tends to get followed by all the other states. Introduction of ICT in education will go a long way in making students in India competent enough to compete with their counterparts across the world. The biggest challenge is acceptance of usage technology in education and overcoming the apprehension that comes with something new and unfamiliar. Most educators are uncertain of using technology and fail to see its benefits. But such issues can be resolved by training teachers and making them understand how to effectively use ICT. Reaching the Last Mile Reaching out to students from every cross-section of society is a major challenge. The VSAT technology platform seems to be an ideal model for making education available to all. This platform facilitates live classrooms by enabling two-way audio/ video interactions, thus giving students access to the best faculty, irrespective of their location. While Schools on Wheels is an excellent concept, for education to be effective, the method of delivery needs to be structured and consistent, and that is one area in which the scheme lags. Only when the instruction is structured, children will be able to grasp what they are being taught and there can be proper monitoring of progress.

eINDIA 2011 will bring together government, civil society, academia, and private sector enterprises across the world. This event will bestow international attention to the successes that Gujarat has achieved in the education space. It will also provide immense exposure to the stalwarts’ active in the education scene. They will be able to gather relevant experience for taking education in Gujarat to a new high. 44

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december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in


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project showcase

Shiksha Implementing Agency: Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd

nominations

Website: www.microsoft.com/india/msindia To address the priorities in national educational through focus on three core areas: Innovative Teachers, Innovative Students and Innovative Schools. The first phase of Partners in Learning entailed the launch of Project Shiksha, which is targeted towards teachers in government schools. Launched in December 2003 by Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation, this scheme is designed to deliver affordable software solutions, comprehensive training and curriculum leadership for students and teachers in government schools. The lofty aim of the exercise is to ‘Empower the future’. The curriculum seeks to make it easy for teachers to understand how to integrate IT tools in classrooms. Currently, this curriculum is available in six regional languages and includes a lot of selfpractice exercises. Entire training is delivered over 8-12 full day sessions.. At the onset, the project had a target of reaching out to 80,000 teachers by December 2008, a period of five years. The second phase of Partners in Learning, Shiksha Pragati, was launched in April 2011 in India. Shiksha Pragati is a

logical progression of Microsoft’s Project Shiksha and is designed to equip schools with a capacity building mechanism in order to reduce their dependence on external agencies for ICT and 21st century teaching-learning skills. Need for the Project Project Shiksha will bring relevant technology to the education sector and help address the problem of huge gap be-

tween the citizen’s expectations and the services that are being provided. We are committed to digitize the classroom environment and thereby contribute towards economic growth of the country.

Innovation Factor •

Achievements • • • •

46

Microsoft has trained over 6,77,000 government school teachers across 12 states. Over 50,000 teachers have integrated technology in their teaching methodology These teachers have imparted their IT knowledge to over 32 million students. Tie-ups with educational institutions and other government schools have increased the reach of the scheme. Microsoft has also tied up with various state-run District Institutes for Education and Training (DIETs) Several teachers have created their own websites post ‘Shiksha’ training and are regularly participating in e-communities, ICT contests with the help of various relevant websites. For instance, there are websites like www.partnersinlearningnetwork.com and www.learninghub.com.

digitalLEARNING

december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

• •

Public private partnership works directly with Educators, Institutions and Governments for furtherance of education Computer based learning (ICT) is promoted across government schools with emphasis on providing software solutions and scholarships to teachers and students Each teacher designs a digital lesson around their respective subject, which is a direct takeaway to be used in the classroom post training. Monitoring the teachers to ensure use of IT post training. Follows a 360 degree approach, which allows the teachers to be in touch with trainers.


project showcase

Eureka.in: Visual Aid for Understanding Science and Maths

nominations

Implementing Agency: Designmate Website: www.designmate.com

A digital library of Learning Objects for Science and Mathematics, Eureka.in contains learning resources like text, video, simulation, quiz and web-link. The animation in the videos and simulations are done in 3D, which is conducive for providing viewers with an enriching, fulfilling and engaging experience. The digital content comes in two formats Mono (without glasses) and Stereo (with glasses) and caters to students from 6th to 12th grades. The product is already operational in 5000 schools around the world. Need for the Project It is a well known fact that teachers often find it difficult to explain many crucial concepts in science and mathematics to their young students. Hence Design-mate decided to come up with teaching material in visual format so that the students can actually make visual contact with the scientific and mathematical ideas and thereby achieve better understanding. One thing is for sure – the time when a teacher did all the talking and the students sat as passive listeners is passé. Today teachers and students can developer better bonding through digital teaching materials. Localisation Translating the entire content into regional languages around the world and then mapping the same according to the respective curriculums. To overcome the same Designmate started entering different countries by partnering with big local companies in different countries operating in the field of education and started translating and mapping the content with partner companies help, assistance and guidance. Piracy The content can be safeguarded from get-

ting pirated, by building a robust encryption after years of research. Global reach To treat this issue Design-mate has been attending educational exhibitions across the Globe and have partnered with big players in the field of education.

Compatibility The content is made compatible with various devices across the world. To cater to this issue Design-mate started procuring various SDKs of devices and today after years of research and development over it the content is compatible with most of the contemporary devices.

Innovative Factor • • • • • • • •

Immersive 3D experience Virtual Labs Learning resources Device compatibility Localized content Comprehensive K12 library Extensive visualization and detailing Ability to render into HD stereo vision

Achievements First 3D stereoscopic educational software in the world Manthan Award for e-education 2006 World Summit Award 2007 World Didac Award 2008 december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

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project showcase

Shodhganga : A National Repository of ETD

nominations

Implementing Agency: INFLIBNET Centre Website: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in All universities in India are expected to join the National Repository of Electronic Theses Dissertations (ETD) after UGC issues a gazette notification in this regard. Universities are signing MoU with the INFLIBNET Centre to join Shodhganga project. “Shodhganga” is the name of the national digital repository of Indian Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Basically the universities are giving a commitment for allowing digitisation of their old and new theses in the repository. The universities that sign MoU with the INFLIBNET Centre are given incentives in terms of funds for digitisation of old theses as well as for setting up of ETD Labs. Besides, universities also get access to an anti-plagiarism software tool that detects plagiarism and thereby helps in improving quality of the theses. The project is so useful that it will undoubtedly motivate universities to support the digitisation of theses. The project will grow as more and more theses get submitted and the platform is enhanced to provide better search and discovery experience. Need for the Project As long as theses and dissertations are not digitized, there is bound to be issues like duplication or even plagiarism. This is wastage of real talent and resources. The UGC Notification (Minimum Standards & Procedure for Award of M.Phil. / Ph.D Degree, Regulation, 2009) dated

1st June 2009 mandates submission of electronic version of theses and dissertations by the researchers in universities with the aim of facilitating open access to Indian theses and dissertation to the academic community world-wide.

Online availability of electronic theses through centrally-maintained digital repositories will not only ensure easy access and archiving of Indian doctoral theses, it will also help in raising the standard and quality of the research.

Innovation Factors • •

• •

Shodhganga@INFLIBNET aims to encourage and support open access to publically-funded research. It is a national project, which makes the research result available online for public access, by publishing theses in open access format, based on UGC mandate via gazette notification First National Repository of Theses and Dissertation for all Indian Universities (About 525 universities). UGCs National Scheme for digitisation of back volumes of theses for all universities.

Achievements •

48

Well received by academic community and in a year, • 43 universities have come forward in a year to sign the • MoU and join the project. Universities started signing MoU with INFLIBNET for joining the project; voluntary contributed soft copies of theses have crossed 2400 as on date and it is growing.

digitalLEARNING

december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

Short-listed for Manthan Digital Inclusion Award and the final process is going on. Though there is no mandate for private universities to join the project, such universities came forward to sign the MoU and join Shodhganga voluntarily.


14-16 December, 2011

Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat www.eINDIA.net.in

STEERING

e-INCLUSIVE ECONOMY

organisers

Chief Guest Narendra Modi Hon’ble Chief Minister Government of Gujarat

Co-organisers


project showcase

Implementation of IT at Gujarat Technological University

nominations

Implementing Agency: Gujarat Technological University Website: www.www.gtu.ac.in The Gujarat Technological University (GTU) was setup by the state in 2007 to regulate the affiliation, examination and curriculum development in diverse areas of professional education. To achieve the goal of bringing new digital technology to education, GTU is working on the lines of Industry Define Project (IDP), Faculty Development Project (FDP) and User Define Project (UDP). Exam paper delivery system at GTU is now paperless. Security is through encryption /decryption technique having three layer password protections, out of which one password is delivered before half an hour of the examination through dedicated mobile SMS service.

Need for the Project • To help students develop the knowledge of subjects like science, engineering, technology, management, environment, etc. • To create institutes and centers of excellence for imparting state-of-the-art

education, training and research. • To create capabilities for development of knowledge, skill and competency at various levels. • To establish close linkage with industry for making teaching, training and research relevant to the needs of the industry at various levels.

Innovation Factor •

• • •

50

GTU has initiated encrypted examination papers on compact disk first time in the state and used mobile SMS technique to decrypt examination papers. Automation of pre-exam activities like exam form generation and receipt, hall ticket generation and student exam barcode is initiated. This has been achieved with proper implementation of Information Technology. GTU has developed its own IT based bar-coded automated system for all kinds of tasks related to the conduction of examinations. GTU’s examination results are declared on its web-site only. To improve the teaching learning processes, GTU has taken several ICT Initiatives: there is use of WebEx for remote teaching of VLSI Design and Embedded Computing courses through experts from all over the world. GTU Wikis (“using collective intelligence for improving Learning Outcomes”) are intended to serve teachers of GTU consortium colleges (PPP colleges) At a few colleges GTU has provided rooms with 12-15 computers connected to a central server, on which the entire video course-set of IIT Mumbai is mounted.

digitalLEARNING

december / 2011 www.digitallearning.in

Achievements •

ICT Enabled University Award for e-learning and Manthan Award South Asia for conducting Online Entrance test for first time in any state in the year-2009. GTU is honoured with GESIA Award for best IT practicing university in 2011. On April 14, 2011, GTU won the best jury Award under in category of Best Interface between Academia – Industry at the World Education Summit 2011, New Delhi for its GTU Innovation Council project. GTU bags the award for ICT enabled University of the Year in E India 2009. University has started functioning in the year 2008 with engineering and pharmacy institutions (219 approx.) and grown up to 500 plus institutions imparting education in the field of engineering, pharmacy, management, computer science and Hotel Management.


digitalLEARNING-Dec-2011-[46]-Gujarat Bringing Education through Innovation  

bringing education Gunotsav | scope | Gks | chalo colleGe e-abhiyan | Rte AsiA’s First Monthly MAgAzine on iCt in eduCAtion voluMe 7 i issue...

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