UGC to launch portal for online courses

The University Grants Commission, in collaboration with MeiTY, will launch a portal to offer undergraduate and postgraduate digital courses in eight languages for the benefit of rural students

On Friday, the University Grants Commission will launch a portal to offer undergraduate and postgraduate digital courses. The UGC is collaborating with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for this purpose.

The Commission will integrate its e-resources with the ministry’s common service centres (CSC) and special purpose vehicle (SPV) centres.

UGC chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar said the commission had tied up with MeitY recently not only “to make the last mile connectivity a possibility” but also ensure students could access the content in regional languages besides English.

Over five lakh CSCs and SPVs are functioning across the country. They are run by village-level entrepreneurs to provide e-governance services at people’s doorstep.

The UGC is tapping into this internet connectivity to offer 137 Swayam MOOC courses and 23,000 PG courses in 25 subjects. They include artificial intelligence; academic writing; corporate law, cyber security, and digital library.

The courses will be available in eight languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Bangla, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada besides English.

“The courses will be available on a single portal. It is launched as part of the second anniversary of National Education Policy 2020. Students can access all these courses immediately through CSC/SPVs across the country or on their own devices with internet connectivity,” said Mr. Kumar.

Though the courses are offered for free, students will have to pay service charges amounting to ₹20 a day or ₹500 a month for using the CSC/SVP. The money would be used to reimburse the village-level entrepreneurs who run the centres and the cost of infrastructure, Mr. Kumar said.

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