The Union Government of India is mulling heavy deployment of ICT in delivering the higher education in the country. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has mooted an ambitious project, National Mission in Education through ICT.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has also given a green signal to overtail its infrastructure and provide the technological backbone to the programme. Responding to an MHRD circular seeking comments of concerned ministries, Department of Telecom (DOT) stated that there is an immediate requirement of connectivity in educational institutions. BSNL can do so by leveraging its countrywide Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) infrastructure and broadband access network. According to officials, more than 1100 towns and cities are covered under this and the network is further expanding. BSNL will also provide virtual private network over broadband to almost all the institutions identified by HRD ministry barring a few exceptions at the block and below block level. Under this project, all institutions of higher learning would networked through broadband connectivity. It will cover 18,000 colleges and has proposed to keep e-Books and e-Journals in digital libraries which could be delivered to learners electronically. DIT has expressed the need for integration of heterogeneous technologies like EDUSAT, IPTV and IP Star technologies to build a seamless cyber space for education system.