March 2007

News India

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Govt. works with B-schools for e-Governanace projects

The Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India, will receive consultancy services from premier management schools like the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon for accessing its e-Governance projects.

The DIT has identified 200 to 300 e-Governance projects for external evaluation, which will include computerisation of land records, registration, income tax, commercial taxes among others. Institutes like IIM-A and MDI, Gurgaon, will be associated in a knowledge partnership and will take up roles of project leaders and validate the DIT's e-Governance projects.

Haryana State Govt. promotes soft skills in schools

Haryana State Government has launched an ambitious programme named, “Development of Soft Skills” for its schools and college students.

This programme is based on EDUSAT platform to provide information about IT and BPO sectors. The government has already invested INR 4.7 million at the school level, while INR 1.5 million is provided for college level students. Initially the scheme has covered 10 schools in each of the eight districts namely Gurgaon, Faridabad, Rewari, Rohtak, Sonipat, Panipat, Panchkula and Ambala.

Chennai engineering college to get digital library

Chennai based Salem Government College of Engineering, will soon get a digital library to access vast collection of e-resources on various subjects. The library would be subscribed to the Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Sciences and Technology (INDEST), All India Council for Technical Education consortium to get access to the e-resources.

The total investment on the project is around INR 2 million. Students would be able to access about 170 online journals through the consortium. The college has already networked the departments functioning in various blocks. The server at the digital library will also be brought into the network, enabling the students to access the resources through computers in their respective departments. A few computers will be installed in the library building also. 

Indian students use Internet radio to stay connected

Students at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad have found a new way to be connected with their faculty and teachers through Internet Radio on the campus.

The institute is using the local area network (LAN), which has the band-width of 100Mbps in the campus. The total investment to set up a radio station is around INR 55,000 with a personal computer, a headphone and speaker set. Currently, there are more than 50K Radio Stations, which are broadcasting over the Internet. Accor-ding to Bhuvana Ramalingam, Director communication, ISB, e-radio encoura-ges students to exchange information on varied areas, discuss issues and keep everyone informed on the comp-anies, which come to the campus. 

IISc, Bangalore offers US$100 laptop for Sakshat portal

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, India has designed a prototype laptop for US$100 for recently launched Sakshat, the one stop portal on education.

IISc Bangalore has come with a prototype design for the laptop that all have in mind that currently costs US$100. Massachusetts Institute of Technology has offered a laptop for US$150 for the Sakshat programme.

Meanwhile, the ministry is planning to create virtual laboratories and a virtual technical university to combat and mainstream the battle to bridge the digital literacy gap. Major institutions, including IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, and IIT Bombay are involved in the project.

IIT Delhi will anchor virtual labs, while IIT Kharagpur will anchor cognitive learning and the virtual technical university and IIT Bombay will provide robotics for this project. IGNOU will provide online courses, while NIOS will offer online-testing on demand. 

Read newspaper on mobile phone

Pressmart, a subsidiary of Bodhtree Consulting Limited, and IMImobile, has announced the availability of mPaper, making newspapers available for Indians to read on mobile phones.

The mPaper technology will enable newsreaders to read and access their favourite newspaper content, while they are traveling also. The mPaper technology also allows user to use features like archives and options to search and save news reports and it would be available on monthly subscription. Pressmart is a new media delivery partner of leading newspapers and magazines published in over 15 languages across 21 countries. IMImobile is a next-generation end-to-end enabler of Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) for mobile operators, media companies and enterprises.

Pressmart will provide mPaper facility in 9 major newspapers of India, including, Hindustan Times (Mumbai and Delhi editions), Deccan Chronicle (Hyderabad and Chennai Editions), DNA, Indian Express, The Asian Age, The Financial Express, The New Indian Express, The Telegraph and Pioneer.

Sarva Shiksha spending on right track!

Spending on the government's flagship elementary education programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at the end of December 2006 accounted for 70% of its annual allocation.

In the first nine months of the current fiscal, nearly INR 10,000 crore of the budgeted INR 13,750 crore has been spent. The Human Resources Development ministry hopes that the good show will result in increased allocation for the forthcoming fiscal. This fiscal, the programme has already utilised 75% of funds available, which is a little over INR 13,000 crore. For the first nine months (April to December) of the last fiscal, the all India spend was 54.2%.

Assam and Orissa, which continue to be areas of concern, have shown an increased utilisation of funds. Tamil Nadu, which had performed poorly in the quarter ending September 30, has improved on its expenditure. It may be recalled that Tamil Nadu, which has traditionally been one of the better performing states, had slowed down due to management problems and local body elections, which meant that funds couldn't be disbursed. From the current year, the Punjab government has taken over the responsibility of paying salaries to teachers. This would mean that a portion of the SSA funds earmarked as teacher salaries would remain unutilised.

The SSA has earmarked the percentage of funds that can be spent on each component-salaries, civil works, etc. For the forthcoming fiscal, the programme will be given INR 8,000 crore, which with a 50:50 ratio would mean that the annual budget for the programme – Centre and state share put together – will be INR 16,000 crore.


IGNOU launches smart card system for Indian students

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is planning to launch a smart card system for Indian students.  

IGNOU will give the smart card system to each student, which will carry information on admission, projects, assignments, attendance, practicals and semester results.The card will help students to keep record on their study activities.Each student would be issued a smart card with a unique password, which can be used by specified computers having the software to read the data. IGNOU has already issued 100 cards on trial basis. 

Cambridge College plans to launch e-learning centre in Mumbai

Cambridge College is planning to launch e-learning centre in Mumbai. The college will establish the centre with the association of Indian Universities.

The idea is to provide the opportunity for higher education to the workforce there, plying them with the skills needed to join the ever-growing international business world. The centre will provide education and training in leadership, entrepreneurship,and international trade and practices.

 

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