To achieve three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality, Ministry of HRD, has embarked on a major and new initiative, called SWAYAM. SWAYAM is providing best teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged. It seeks to bridge, the digital divide, for students, who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy. SWAYAM provide one integrated platform and a portal for online courses, using information and communication technology, covering learners from Schooling, class 9 to 12; Under Graduates & Post Graduates, in all subjects. At present more than 1,500 MOOCs are hosted on SWAYAM, prepared by specially chosen faculty and teachers, across the Country. The courses are interactive and are available free of cost, to the learners.
The courses hosted on SWAYAM follow 4 quadrant methodology – (1) e-Tutorial; containing Video and Audio Content in an organized form; (2) e-Contents; containing, self-instructional material, e-Books, case studies, presentations etc; (3) Discussion forum; for raising doubts and clarifying them on a near real time basis by the Course Coordinator or his team and (4) Assessment; which contains, Problems and Solutions. Steps have been taken to enrich the learning experience by using audio-video and multi-media and state of the art pedagogy / technology.
In order to ensure best quality content are produced and delivered, nine National Coordinators (NCs) have been engaged by the MHRD: They are CEC for under-graduate education, NPTEL for engineering, UGC for non-technical post-graduation education, AICTE for self-paced and international courses, NCERT & NIOS for school education, IGNOU for out of the school students, IIMB for management studies and NITTTR for Teacher Training programme.
Meanwhile, UGC and AICTE have issued ‘Credit Framework for online learning courses through SWAYAM, Regulation 2016’ (http://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/0272836_moocs.pdf); allowing upto 20% Online courses taken through SWAYAM, to be counted for credit. Grades earned by successful students studying in conventional Institutes shall be transferred to the academic record of such Students.
Further, in order to bring transparency and qualitative difference, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt., of India, has set up ‘National Testing Agency’ (NTA), (www.nta.ac.in) a premier testing organization, for conduct of Competitive entrance examinations, for Admissions and Fellowships in higher educational Institutions. Starting from 18 th December 2018, NTA is committed to conduct UGC-NET, JEE (Main), NEET, CMAT, GPAT etc for students numbering more than 40 Lakhs.
During ‘July-November 2018 session’, students wanting certifications, SWAYAM has registered about 3800 students for 90 courses, with a little fee. The examinations on this, is being conducted by NTA, thought the country, using Computer Based Testing (CBT) methodology, on 1 st and 2 nd December 2018, at about 62 cities and 85 Centers. The students shall be offered a certificate on successful completion of the course.