The Ministry of Information and Technology (MeitY) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) have now partnered to launch a UGC e-resources portal, which will provide UG and PG digital course content to millions of students in rural areas.
The portal will provide 25 Postgraduate Non-Engineering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in eight Indian languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bangla, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, under SWAYAM (the Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) programme.
Additionally, it will include 135 PG and 243 UG SWAYAM MOOCs in emerging fields, as well as e-PG Pathshala e-content that is developed in 67 PG subjects.
The initiative’s objective is to reduce language barriers and promote Indian languages while also giving students the flexibility to learn in their mother tongue.
UGC stated, “To mark two years of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and to facilitate last mile accessibility (ensuring that no learner is left behind), the UGC has integrated its ‘UGC e-resources Portal (http://ugceresources.in/)’ with Common Service Centres (CSCs)/Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of MeitY in rural India.”
“Through the 2.5 lakh, CSCs and SPVs of MeitY centres in Gram Panchayats and 5 lakh+ CSCs and SPVs centres across the nation, digital access and e-governance services are made available to the citizens at their doorstep, especially those who are living in rural India” the notice further stated.
“Anyone desirous of learning can access and benefit from these Open Educational Resources (OER). Also, universities may utilise these OER for flipped classroom learning and blended mode of learning,” it further added.
Recently, UGC and the MeitY collaborated to integrate UGC e-resources with their Common Service Centers (CSC) and Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Centers, enabling last-mile connectivity.
Besides, learners can use these resources to augment their studies in regular programmes. Moreover, the resources can be used along with the Academic Bank of Credits, to earn credits online, which UGC has already approved.
While there are more than 5 Lakh CSCs/SPVs centres operating across the country, there are only about 2.5 Lakh CSCs/SPVs centres operating in Gram Panchayats.
Additionally, anyone can access the courses on the UGC platform for free. A user must pay a price of INR 20 per day or INR 500 per month to access the CSC/SVP infrastructure in order to reimburse the virtual learning environment (VLE) for their efforts and the cost of their infrastructure.
Various courses will be available on a single portal and students can immediately access all of these courses through CSC/SVPs run all around the nation or on their own devices with internet connectivity.
In particular for individuals who live in rural India, CSCs work to provide every citizen with access to the internet and make e-government services available at their doorstep.
Ayushman Bharat Yojana, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, e-Shram, Pan Card, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana (PMSYM), and numerous other government initiatives are similar to this and working towards the growth of rural India.