As reported by Indian Express, Pune University (UoP) is going digital very soon and the work has already been started about a month ago through a panel of experts appointed by the university. According to the newspaper, all the 408 colleges scattered across Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik cities will be connected digitally through existing satellite, broadband and other terrestrial network (now what does that include).
The project has been named as Triple Connectivity Project (TCP) and will be headed by former director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Mr. Pramod Kale.
According to Vice-Chancellor of university, Narendra Jadhav,
This project will achieve the goals of quality education, improved research abilities, and better governance.
Apart from the live component, there will also be a provision for the colleges to record the lectures, and access them at a later date, to avoid the inconvenience of coordinating schedules and for this purpose, the optic-fibre enabled local area network (LAN) installed on the UoP campus will be linked to the LAN of other colleges to yield a wide area network (WAN), which will then be used for all kinds of communication.
Here is the excerpt –
The 411-acre University of Pune’s (UoP) campus will soon get bigger — virtually. By the end of 2007, the UoP will bring onto one single digital platform all its 408 affiliated colleges scattered across three districts — Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik — using existing satellite, broadband and other terrestrial network. This will pave the way for greater academic exchange and smoother governance within the university.
Over the past month, a panel of experts appointed by the university has been formulating a plan to connect all colleges in terms of three components — video, voice and data. The Triple Connectivity Project (TCP), as it is called, will include various features like virtual classrooms for students and faculty training, speedier administrative exchange between colleges and the university, and student-friendly measures like online application and admission procedures.
The project will be headed by Pramod Kale, former director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It will also have Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL) Managing Director Vivek Sawant, Educational Multimedia Research Centre (EMRC) Director Sameeran Walvekar, and the university authorities. Broadband companies would also be roped in for the project, said Vice-Chancellor Narendra Jadhav.
The first aspect of the TCP will be virtual classrooms, wherein lectures conducted at the Pune campus by expert faculty employed or invited by the university can be broadcast live to any college in the three districts. The electronic content for this purpose will be prepared at the EMRC’s fully equipped studio at the campus. “We are also working out a way in which colleges themselves can prepare the electronic content,” said Kale.
Apart from the live component, there will also be a provision for the colleges to record the lectures, and access them at a later date, to avoid the inconvenience of coordinating schedules. “This can be done when there is a computer at the receiving end, and hence broadband technology will be used in some cases. As required we will also use the Edusat network,” said Kale.
Moreover, the infrastructure created as part of the digital universities initiative of the MKCL will also be used. This technology enables a wide range of administrative procedures to be digitised, including course enquiry, applications, admissions, and so on.
“While most of the needed infrastructure is already in place and being used to a smaller extent, there will now be a large scale convergence of all these existing technologies, which will be applied to the 408 colleges,” explained Kale.
Stresses Jadhav, “As a result of this, greater synchronisation and standardisation can be achieved in administrative procedures across colleges, and governance will improve tremendously.”
Apart from administrative efficiency, benefits are aplenty even for the students, said Rajneesh Barnabas, Principal of the Nagar College, Ahmednagar. “Students who do not normally get sufficient exposure will be vastly benefited by the virtual lectures. This will also serve as motivation for them, as it will open up newer avenues,” he said.