News
February 2006

News

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What do you look for in these pages? Ripples, trends, exclusives, diversities…? Some of the first classes of journalism school too say-news is change. But for us,  it’s a really big change. We collect the information from all around the world and  re-purpose for presentation as e-Learning. For us, these news pages are       information with a purpose. The purpose is to provide readers a corridor through which they find information they need to understand the world of education. Making this purpose our goal, this month’s news pages offer an outlet and forum for our readers to discuss recent headline e-Learning news.

INDIA
INVITE fuelling grassroot level IT growth in India
IBM India and the Board for IT Education (BITES) have launched ‘Project INVITE’, an initiative aimed at fuelling growth of IT at grassroot level. The project INVITE (Initiative to Nurture a Vibrant IT Ecosystem) aims  at significantly contributing to capacity building efforts in the Indian  state Karnataka by enhancing the local talent pool and leveraging the  ecosystem to fuel the growth of IT at the grassroot level. The  project complements the IBM academic initiative programme to help universities train students  on open source, open standards based technologies and IBM  technologies for a more competitive workforce. The major objectives of  the project are building a repository of e-Governance prototype and make  it freely available to government agencies, solution providers and  academia.

Indian varsity to log into e-Learning
Delhi University in India has embarked on elaborate plans for an e- Learning platform, so that the vast resources may soon be available  online, not just for the purpose of distance education but even for students pursuing regular programmes in its colleges.  The background work has already been completed and if plans are on  course, the university hopes to have it’s first e-Offering uploaded within a  year’s time. Apart from complete lessons being made available on the  internet, the other part of the project would be e-Classrooms with  university faculty taking real-time classes attended by students from farflung  corners of the country.

HCL introduces ‘designed in India’ desktop
HCL has introduced a range of ‘Designed in India’ desktop computers designed by the National Institute of Design (NID),  Ahmedabad. The new range of desktops has been designed keeping in view changing  lifestyles, future trends and specific customer needs and preferences.  Extensive research work has been  undertaken to customise the product to achieve maximum ergonomics, to  create a smart and humanised design for effective usage. NID conducted a comprehensive survey with over 200 enterprises across various industry segments to examine some of the major influences driving changes in  the PC market. Through this survey NID sought direct feedback from  Indian customers on factors such as user environment, buyers psyche, health factors, experience & trends before designing this desktop  computer.

Indian President presents blueprint for virtual university
President of India A P J Abdul  Kalam has proposed an ambitious blueprint for a tele-education revolution in the country with  Rashtrapati Bhavan as the nodal hub  of the project to link all major universities across India.

EDUSAT facilities in all schools in Indian state by July 31
The EDUSAT facilities will be set up in all Government schools in the Indian State Kerala by July 31.  The Government is considering the idea to acquire equipment for  EDUSAT facilities from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The Government is also considering  providing funds for aided and unaided schools. Interactive terminals as part of EDUSAT programme have  been set up at 56 centres. A CD library will have to be set up in all school  libraries. Of these, 100 CDs will be on subjects in the SSLC examinations.  3000 rural kiosks to come up in Indian state

A group of a IITians working with n-
Louge Communications Private
Limited are setting up kiosks offering crucial information and services in rural areas of Gujarat state in India. The company will install around three  thousand kiosks across the state by  next fiscal year. Currently, it has installed 250 kiosks including one in  each village of seven towns – Palanpur, Patan, Viramgam, Prantij,  Mehamdabad, Vyara and Palitana. And by January end another town Dhoraji will have a kiosk providing  various information. These kiosks are known as ‘Mahiti Kendra’ (information centre). http://www.business-standard.com/  bsonline/storypage.php?&autono=211573 Byrraju Foundation introduces tech-based rural support  Byrraju Foundation, a non-profit organization has launched technology and web-based services to facilitate rural transformation in India in the areas of health, education, agriculture, livelihood and knowledge sharing. To this effect, online Patient  information Management System developed by Satyam and supported  by Oracle’s Healthcare Transaction Base platform was launched. The foundation also launched research and training wing and a virtuaLab to support rural students.

Web education for faculty members soon in India
Web based education would be shortly introduced for faculty  members of private engineering colleges in India opting for higher  studies in computer science and  information technology. Chennai Anna University Vice- Chancellor D Viswanathan says, the  course to be started in this University  in the southern Indian state Tamil  Nadu would facilitate faculty members to pursue higher education (ME) in  the forth coming year. The course duration would be three years. Based   n the success of this course more courses would be introduced.

Educational institutes in India need to help in rural devt.
President of India A P J Abdul Kalam has called upon educational institutions in the country, especially  those in rural areas, to participate in rural development by replicating the  Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) model.

ASIA
IDRC announces Open Archive  Canada’s International Development
Research Centre (IDRC) has announced plans to create an Open Archive, the first among Canadian research funding organizations. The  Open Archive will provide full access over the Internet to IDRC’s rich  research archive. In addition to making information more freely available, this initiative  will provide IDRC-funded researchers  with a much-needed outlet to publish and showcase their work. It will raise  the visibility and facilitate the retrieval of the vast array of IDRC materials by consolidating them in a well-managed,  indexed, secure, and permanent location. By creating an Open Archive, IDRC promotes transparency of its results-based research and  participates in the global movement to remove economic, social, and  geographic barriers to the sharing of knowledge.

Philippines education department to conduct online survey on ICT utilisation
The Department of Education (DepEd) in Philippines is set to conduct an online survey on the use of computerbased teaching and learning among  primary and secondary schools  nationwide. The survey’s aim is to track the development and status of computers  and Internet connection among schools that already have such  equipment, as well as identify issues or concerns in the usage. The survey  hopes to find creative solutions to  such issues and also to come up with
plans for further development of computer-based learning among  the schools identified. The activity   lso evaluates the capability of the teacher to use technology for teaching class.

Ireland PM launches GeSCI’s  operations in India
Prime Minister of Ireland Bertie Ahern  has launched the operations in India
of the Global e-School and Communities Initiative (GeSCI), a  multilaterally funded organisation that supports enhancing the reach and  quality of education through  deployment of ICTs. The Dublin-headquartered GeSCI, founded by the UN ICT Task Force,  aims at facilitating attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, and  would work in India at the national  and state levels, assisting the  government and other partners for implementing ICT in education  strategies and programmes. It was an important UN initiative, of which  Ireland was a founding member along with Sweden, Switzerland and Canada, and would add value to the initiatives in India. GeSCI will  partner with Rajasthan government  for implementing Rajasthan Education Initiative and was also in  talks with other states, including Karnataka, for assisting in e-Schools  programmes. Its plans include setting up of a Global Innovation Centre in  India.

Now cheaper MS software for students
Microsoft is now eyeing the Indian student community by making its software more accessible through its initiative called MS  Student Select.

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