The one-stop education portal
A new educational portal, launched by the Human Resource Development Ministry, promises to offer a comprehensive range of resources and services to teachers and students.
The other URLs of the site are: www.sakshat.ac.in, www.sakshat.ernet.in and sakshat.gov.in
A new one-stop education portal - www.sakshat.edu.in - launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development ambitiously promises students and teachers in the country access to a comprehensive range of educational resources and services.
Officials claimed that the portal, launched recently by President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, would address key education and learning-related needs of students, scholars, teachers and lifelong learners.
It has been termed `one-stop' because it promises a solution to learners of all ages - from the kindergarten to the Ph.D. level - including those seeking vocational education and `learning for life skills.' Access to the portal, which has now been launched as a pilot project, is free.
The portal's objectives are to provide barrier-free web-based learning resources uniformly across the country, develop a repository of world-class interactive multimedia learning content, provide web-based guidance to learners, offer online mentoring and testing services and a platform to teachers and learners to share knowledge and experience, monitor the progress of scholars and other learners based on their performance in customised online tests, help students make informed career decisions through an online career counselling facility and promote educational excellence in general.
Several institutions are involved in developing the portal and promoting the Mission. While IISc, Bangalore and IIT, Chennai are trying to develop "very low-cost and low-power-consuming access devices" and meet the challenge of providing broadband connectivity to "every Indian, preferably free of cost for educational purposes," IIT, Kharagpur is working on pedagogical issues, multi-lingual content, and "content based on other cognitive faculties."
Jadavpur University is focusing on standardisation and quality assurance of the content and IIT Delhi on virtual laboratories. IT-BHU, Varanasi is on the mission of achieving "digital Literacy to empower even illiterates to derive benefits of ICT in their day to day life." And IGNOU has been enstrusted with co-ordination and facilitation of the project.
The portal offers access to its content and services through five sections or modules. They are titled educational resources, scholarship, testing, super-achiever and interact. It is still a web project in the making and some entry-level pages were under construction when it was launched.
The education section of the website offers entry to a vast knowledge base available on the net in the form of e-books, e-journals digital repositories, digital libraries and so on. Most of the sources listed are open source.
Among other things, it provides links to NCERT's downloadable textbook collection, online learning resources like open courseware repositories, open access repositories across the world and India, like the Indira Gandhi National Open University's national digial repository and the National Science Digital Library, e-journal collections and databases and links to study and reference material available on the net.
The scholarship section offers information about scholarship opportunities, but the section was yet to be fully developed. The testing section contains pages with links to several kinds of online and offline testing resources, a skill upgradation module, which was yet to be developed and a facility for online testing and a `guided learning environment.' The interact section contains features, when developed, will promote interaction between students and teachers.
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