udacity

With a view to develop India’s IT potential, Google has announced IT degrees called Android Nanodegrees and scholarships in partnership with online education platform Udacity and Tata Trusts.  The duration of these degrees would be between 6 to 9 months and it will cost $148 per month. However, the company claims to return 50% of the tuition fee on successful completion of the degree by a student. The course will be entirely online.

The software training shall be focused on app and mobile operating system development and will be conducted by US based Google instructors. Google, Udacity and Tata Trust have teamed up for offering 1,000 scholarships for the course. The companies also claim that upon completion of the course, all students will be invited for a job fair conducted by Google in India.

Google says that at present, India has world’s second largest number of software developers accounting to almost 3.6 million but only a very small amount of successful apps developed by Indians. With this move, Google aims to bridge this gap and enhance skills of this population so as to cash in on those later.

Udacity’s expansion in India

As part of the move, Udacity plans to open new offices across India, expand its team and increase partnerships with Indian companies. So far, its seven nanondegrees for front-end Web developer, Android developer, data analyst, iOS developer, intro to programming, full stack developer and tech entrepreneur were free of cost, available worldwide and accepted by IT companies such as Google and Salesforce. The students for Udacity’s programs are mostly technology graduates with relevant work experience.

Other developments in online education and MOOCs

– In June, IIM Bangalore (IIM-B) launched a series of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in partnership with EdX.

– In May, the British Council launched a series of free MOOCs on IELTS and English for teachers and students on the FutureLearn platform. The courses included: Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests and Exploring English: Language and Culture. The British Council claimed to have over 400,000 registered users for its MOOCs previously.

– The Delhi University launched a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) in January this year. The courses would be free, open and accessible worldwide. The University was also planning to provide offline interactive facilities at four colleges, including Aryabhatta College, Maharaja Agrasen College, IP College for Women and Keshav Mahavidyalaya.

– In December last year, IIT Kanpur was developing its own platform for MOOCs called MOOKIT. Under MOOKIT, the institution will develop MOOCs around verticals like agriculture and computer science among others. Then, the institution tied up with IIT Ropar to jointly give students who successfully complete the Arch4Cloud course certificates of accomplishment, while providing learners completing its MOOC on MOOC course with certificates of participation.

– In November last year, the Union Cabinet 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) which was expected to launch by the end of last year.