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YCM Open University to offer around 350 textbooks online

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Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) is digitizing its curriculum books and making it available online to students, reports The Times of India. YCMOU vice chancellor Manikrao Salunkhe told the publication that they initially plan to offer around 350 books online.

The report also notes that the Nashik-headquartered university is planning to release a mobile app that would provide counselling, syllabus details and exam schedules to students. Important alerts will be sent to students through SMS as well.

This is a potentially good move as YCMOU is an open university and the students are spread across the state. An online repository of study materials is also an inexpensive option for students and enables colleges to reduce printing cost due to less printing. The university mentions that this move will also address the issues of hard copy shortages.

Similar initiatives

– Earlier in September this year, the Union HRD Ministry had initiated its Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform called SWAYAM that is expected to go live within this year. It had mentioned that professors of centrally funded institutions like IITs, IIMs and Central Universities will offer online courses that will be accessible by all Indians free of cost.

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Later in the month, Union Cabinet had also approved the signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent between the HRD Ministry and the U.S. Department of State, following which US universities were expected to offer post-graduate academic programs with certification on the SWAYAM platform.

– Last year, the HRD Ministry and NCERT had launched an initiative called National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER) in a bid to provide free educational resources to school students under the Creative Common license. This online repository includes concept maps, videos, audio clips, talking books, multimedia, learning objects, photographs, diagrams, charts, articles, wikipages and textbooks for all grades in multiple languages.

– The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had partnered with five international and national publishers to provide students with online resources for English, science, social sciences and mathematics, in August 2013.

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