New Delhi: The government will soon launch a programme under which professors of centrally funded institutions and universities will offer free online courses to the citizens, it was announced on Thursday.
Under the SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-learning for Young Aspiring Minds) Programme, professors of centrally funded universities like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and central universities will offer online courses.
While all courses will be made available free of cost for learning, a small fee will be applicable in case the learner requires a verified certificate.
The programme is part of the initiatives undertaken by the ministry of human resource development in the first 100 days of the Narendra Modi government.
"SWAYAM is the Indian version of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and will be available shortly to Indian students and citizens...For this purpose, our institutions will be taking up more disciplines and also create content which will be available online," R.P. Sisodia, joint secretary, higher education said at a press conference to highlight the ministry's initiatives.
In the first phase, IIT Bombay, IIT Chennai, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati, University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and IIM Bangalore among others, alone as well as with the help of faculty from foreign universities, will be offering courses in areas of management, social science, basic sciences, engineering education and energy.
At least one crore students are expected to benefit in two to three years.
SWAYAM will be launched this year.
Under another initiative, GIAN (Global Initiative for Academic Network), eminent scholars and scientists from India and abroad would come and teach and guide students in Indian institutions.
A database is being created so as to initiate activities from the academic year 2015.