India plans internet kiosks for education

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The government in India may initiate a cyber revolution in the education field by introducing a high level of electronic content and testing mechanism. Recognising constraints of limited number of faculty and physical infrastructure, the Planning Commission has suggested the government to set up internet kiosks, imparting higher education.

The model is suggested for subjects that do not require laboratory works. According to the draft approach paper to the Eleventh Plan “Pre-recorded selection of lectures, tutorials and standardised tests available at internet kiosks, which students can access at will, can be helpful”. The Planning Commission has submitted the draft to the Prime Minister for his approval, before a policy in this regard is framed for the next five-years. The paper suggested the government to develop “autonomous institutions” with the responsibility of testing and examination. Higher education in India is still to evolve. Only 8% of the relevant age group go to university level, whereas this figure goes up to 20-25% in many developing countries. It suggested to set up new colleges and universities and to strengthen the existing institutions to bridge the gap. At least 20 universities, with the potential for excellence, may be upgraded in the Eleventh Plan (2007-12).

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