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Indian Govt looking to setup virtual classrooms & online courses – Budget 2014

Indian Government is planning to set up virtual classrooms and online courses for school education, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told during his budget speech for the year 2014-15.

Jaitley has proposed an allocation of Rs 100 crore for this initiative. From his budget speech:

“To take advantage of the reach of the IT, I propose to allocate a sum of 100 crore for setting up virtual classrooms as Communication Linked Interface for Cultivating Knowledge (CLICK) and online courses.”

The specific details of this initiative are yet to be disclosed but it’s worth noting that setting up Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and virtual classrooms was one of the objectives of BJP’s 2014 election manifesto. The party had then said that this initiative will make it convenient for working class people and housewives to improve their knowledge and qualifications.

Besides this, it had also stated plans of making all institutions and schools e-enabled in a phased manner and making technology enabled products affordable for students. Digital learning & training were also expected to be used extensively in these schools and institutions.

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Earlier this week, the railway ministry had also proposed an initiative to provide education to the children of Railway staff at remote locations through Railtel’s optical fibre cable network.

NROER project: The previous government had also launched an open repository for school education called National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER) in August last year.

This repository included concept maps, videos, audio clips, talking books, multimedia, learning objects, photographs, diagrams, charts, articles, wikipages and textbooks for all grades in multiple languages. Students could search or browse through concepts from various subjects from elementary and secondary level education. They could also comment on them and contribute to the repository.

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