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US universities to offer online courses through HRD Ministry’s MOOC platform

Ahead of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States, the Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent between the HRD Ministry and the U.S. Department of State for co-operation on the former's upcoming Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) that is expected to launch by the end of this year. As part of this initiative, US universities will be invited to offer post-graduate academic programs with certification on the SWAYAM platform that will be based in India. Dubbed as Indo-US Partnership for Online Education (IUPOE) programme, this will apparently enable top universities in the United States (top 100 in global ranking) to create and share post graduate online courses on SWAYAM platform. However, the government hasn't disclosed any specific information on which American universities will be participating in this programme. Aakash Integration? What's interesting here is that this program will apparently be integrated to HRD Ministry’s National Mission on Education through Information & Communication Technology (NME-ICT) programme. Hence, its possible that these courses will be preloaded on the next version of the Aakash tablet which also comes under the same programme. However, Aakash tablet's future itself is uncertain at the moment. The fourth generation of Aakash tablet, which was considered as the baby project of the former telecom minister Kapil Sibal, was expected to be out in April this year. A PTI report from July had also suggested that recently IPO'd Datawind had been selected for supplying Aakash 4, however there hasn't been any further updates on this. That…

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