ugc: UGC portal to offer free e-content of 23,000+ post graduate courses


NEW DELHI: In a bid to bridge the digital divide and enhance the accessibility of higher education in remote parts of the country, over 23,000 higher education courses will now be made available free of cost.

It includes 25 programmes such as artificial intelligence, biomolecules: structure function in health and disease, cyber security, early childhood care and education and animation in eight Indian languages.

The portal for the courses would be launched on Friday as part of the second anniversary of the National Education Policy 2020.

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has tied up with the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) to integrate the e-resources with their over 7.5 lakh Common Service Centres (CSC) and Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Centres to offer these courses from the forthcoming academic session of 2022-23.

The courses include 23,000 postgraduate courses, 137 SWAYAM MOOC courses in emerging areas and 25 non-engineering SWAYAM courses. Like all other SWAYAM courses candidates can register for their semester exams which will be conducted offline.

At present students can use these e-resources to strengthen their understanding of their subjects they are learning in their colleges or take upto 40% credit of their courses and store them in the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC). These PG courses are in either text or video format like offered by National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

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“Degrees will be offered only when the Digital University will be in place. Right now students can earn 40% of their course credits from these courses,” said M Jagadesh Kumar, chairperson, UGC.

By offering these programmes through the CSCs and SPVs, 2.5 lakh of which are operating in gram panchayats, UGC is expecting to fulfil the NEP’s mandate for last mile accessibility, the growing number of CSCs and SPVs is also expected to boost the local community and village level entrepreneurs.

“For last mile accessibility and to ensure that no learner is left behind, UGC is integrating its e-content comprising 23000 PG courses, 137 SWAYAM MOOC courses in emerging areas and 25 non-engineering SWAYAM Courses in eight Indian languages. All the above courses will be available on a single portal to be launched by UGC on July 29, 2022 as part of the second anniversary of NEP 2020 and students can access all these courses immediately through CSC/ SVPs operated across the country or their own devices with internet connectivity,” said Kumar.

“The CSCs/ SPVs are being managed and operated by local entrepreneurs who belong to the local community and are referred to as village level entrepreneurs (VLEs). VLEs operate the centres to earn their living by delivering online services. These centres have computers and internet connectivity,” added Kumar.

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There are no charges for accessing the courses on the UGC portal. “All courses are free. However, for availing the services and infrastructure of CSC/ SVP, a user has to pay a fee of Rs 20 per day or Rs 500 per month to use the CSC/ SP infrastructure to reimburse the VLEs efforts and cost of their infrastructure. This is similar to other government projects like Ayushman Bharat Yojana, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, e-Shram, Pan Card, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana (PMSYM) and many others,” said Kumar.





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