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North-East Open varsity set to offer courses from 2008 K. K. Handique Open University (KKHOU), the first and only state-run open university of the north-eastern states, will start functioning from January next year. The varsity which was established in September 2005 at Dispur, Assam, received grants worth INR25 lakh and INR1 crore from the Government of Assam and the Distance Education Council (DEC), respectively. The DEC will also grant another INR3 crore to KKHOU over the coming years. Academicians, industrialists and experts on distance education attended a workshop organised in Guwahati earlier this month to develop a roadmap for the institution under the 11th five-year plan and discussed how ICT can be used to make KKHOU more accessible across the region.

Recommendation for Workers Technical University The Committee constituted by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has recommended establishment of a Workers Technical University for inter-alia training of students from workers family and those belonging to economically poor sections of the society particularly form rural areas to make them more relevant to the needs of today’s technology intensive and knowledge driven industrial society. The Committee has recommended the industry to contribute a small percentage of their gross profit (ranging from 0.5% to 2%) as the education cess for the proposed university. The Committee recommended that the jurisdiction of the proposed National Workers Technical University shall be the whole of the country, having the main campus at Hyderabad with regional centres at different major cities in the country.

NTPC, DU to set up IT centre for disabled students The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Delhi University (DU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

(MoU) to set up an Information and Communication Technology Training Centre for physically-challenged students. The centre will be the first of its kind in providing the latest IT skills to economically backward and physically challenged students. As per the agreement, the NTPC foundation will provide equipment and software and DU will provide teaching and support staff for the centre, to take care of the day to day functioning of the centre. Students with visual, hearing, mobility and cognitive impairment will benefit from the newly setup IT centre.

The programme, BiG Tech, is a partnership between NF and TechSoup, a San Francisco-based non-profit technology capacity building organisation. The programme will be run in partnership with IT companies, which will act as donors by providing software and other applications to the civil society organisations. Explaining the basic concept of Big Tech, NF chief executive Rufina Fernandes said: ‘This is basically an online resource service. NGOs can log onto our website and apply for aid. We will do a due diligence of the applicant and then help them. The whole process will take around two weeks.’ In 2006, TechSoup distributed 799,000 technology products worth $207 million. Its donor partners include IT majors like Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Symentec, Adobe and Intuit.

INR60 bn for primary education in Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu will spend INR60 billion for the development of primary and basic education in 2008-09, the state’s Minister for School Education Thangam Thennarasu said. Fifty percent of the amount will come from the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme, a central scheme aimed to provide education to all. The infrastructure and facilities of all primary and middle schools of the state will also be upgraded.

New Nasscom programme to aid NGOs Taking corporate social responsibility forward, Nasscom Foundation (NF), the social development arm of India’s premier software industry body Nasscom, launched a technology assistance programme for non-profit and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Edusat Network in Bangalore Karnataka Chief Minister inaugurated the Edusat Network in Bangalore, aimed at imarting higher education and training programme in the state. The network, which has been set up with the assistance of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), marking the first such venture, would help in conducting classes at first grade government colleges, using trained lectures. Receiving centres would be installed in 102 first grade government colleges by ISRO, out of which 72 had already been installed. The network in a phased manner would cover 349 colleges in all. 37

Consolidating ICT and Education : September 2007 Issue  

[] With the aim of promoting and aiding the use of ICT in education, Digital Learning education magazine focuses on th...

Consolidating ICT and Education : September 2007 Issue  

[] With the aim of promoting and aiding the use of ICT in education, Digital Learning education magazine focuses on th...