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IT in Education | E is the Key

One of the key indicators for NAAC assessment and accreditation of higher educational institutions is the use of Information and communication technology ICT methods.
12:00 AM May 06, 2024 IST | DR. QUDSIA GANI
it in education   e is the key
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Quite some decades back the government of India realized the importance of up-to-date and accurate information in nation building. As a consequence, National Informatics Centre Network (NICNET) was established to steer e-Governance applications across all Government Ministries and Departments at all levels from Centre and States down to districts and blocks.

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The sector of education has been one of the major beneficiaries of this transition especially in our part of the world, though we still need to restructure and reformulate at all levels of imparting education.

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In J&K, we were as elsewhere, following the traditional procedures in information retrieval system until quite recently. However, a good beginning in this direction was made by some premier institutions like National Institute of Technology Srinagar and SKUAST. The setting up of IT labs, Smart Class Rooms and Video Conferencing Centers in the J&K colleges has been done on a good scale though it further needs to be improved in tune with the ongoing advancements.

Space technology has also helped a great deal in this regard. As for instance, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) as a part of its space programs launched "EDUSAT" or Educational Satellite in the year 2004. This provides an efficient platform for a sustainable distance education service in India, using advanced space technology and ground technology convergence.

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This system was primarily meant for schools and colleges to support non-formal education. In J&K, there are two hubs and 100 satellite interactive terminals (50 in Jammu region and 50 in Kashmir region) in the layout of EDUSAT network.

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Scientists and academicians can now take up experiments through center of the Development of Advanced Computing (CAD). These centers can make it possible to carry out two way video conferencing.

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Through such conferences, the learned scholars and teachers are not just addressing the limited audience sitting in front of them but are being watched over from any corner of the world. Virtual classrooms and use of modern teaching aids, have especially served us best during the covid pandemic crisis.

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Similarly, Libraries in the higher educational institutions of J&K were brought under the umbrella of UGC sponsored project entitled “INFLIBNET” (Information Library Network). This program in 1991 was initiated with its headquarters at Ahmedabad, with an aim to establish a national network of libraries and information centers in universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning in India.

The libraries connected through INFLIBNET are digitalized and fully automated.  To improve multiple aspects of education by the use and integration of technology at national level, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) has been constituted as an autonomous body with the mandate to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, and administration of whole education system.

One of the key indicators for NAAC assessment and accreditation of higher educational institutions is the use of Information and communication technology ICT methods. As for instance, one of the main aims of NEP-2020 is to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio GER at higher Education level from 26.3% (in 2018) to the set target of 50% by 2035 by using alternate channels of quality education through open and online modes. In this age of Information, a learner and an instructor have a desperate dependence on e-resource material be it e-books, e-journals or e-papers.  All of it is e-content. E is the key.

Nowadays there is an online management system for everything from Admissions in colleges to conducting of examinations.  Every other related information is made available on college websites.

The inter-institutional link with the appropriate agencies such as NETF, NSQF, NHEQF, IGNOU, IIT’s, NIT’s, has been in vogue for quite some time now.  The use of e-learning platforms such as SWAYAM, MOOCs, GIYAAN DARSHAN, DIKSHA, PARAKH and so on, is being practiced on a huge scale.

The need of bringing in industry education and skill courses has also been greatly realised and hence duly incorporated in the curriculum. To conclude, we cannot choose to be complacent with present technological advancements and its integration in our educational institutions, but we should rather prepare ourselves for the forthcoming changes and challenges that are there at global level.

Adaptation to new technologies such as artificial intelligence, chatGPT, machine learning, block chains, and quantum computing devices, is the greatest call of the hour. We are transforming into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Soon we may go paperless and cashless in a wholesome way. Things are on way online and any way. Moreover, the changes around are swift and speedy and if we don’t keep updating ourselves, we will turn obsolete and be written off. Better to be real and to be relevant in order to have a meaningful existence.

Prof. (Dr.) Mohammad Aslam is Former Dean Engineering and Technology Cluster University Srinagar and

Dr. Qudsia Gani is Head Department of Physics at GDC Pattan, Baramulla.

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