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Princeton may figure in Modi's I- Day speech.

TAKE a highly specialised course on Quantum Mechanics taught at Princeton University or IIT Bombay and bring it online and completely free of cost to a student in India's hinterland in a language he understands -- this is one of the big ideas that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce when he addresses the nation from the Red Fort this Independence Day.

An India specific MOOCs ( Massive Open Online Courses) platform -- likely to be christened ' Swayam', indicating self- learning -- is expected to be launched on September 25, the birth anniversary of Jan Sangh leader Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and one of the guiding lights for BJP. The PM is also likely to announce that all 145 campuses of centrally funded institutes will be made wi- fi ready before or by October this year. A revamped teacher's training programme besides the National E- Library is also likely to move forward, sources said.

The India MOOCs platform will take off with three courses -- two from IIT Bombay and one from Princeton University. The courses from IIT- Bombay will be on ' Introduction to computer programming' by Prof Deepak B Phatak from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and another on ' Thermodynamics' by Prof Uday N. Gaitonde.

Prof Umesh V. Vazirani from Princeton is leant to have agreed to share his course on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation with India's MOOC platform; his course is currently up on TedX, one of the largest global MOOC platform co- founded by MIT and Harvard.

The India MOOC platform will be free of cost and also promises to offer top quality courses in a number of Indian languages. The process has already begun to ensure effective translation of the IIT Bombay and Princeton courses in Hindi and other languages.

Already on the job to get all institutions wi- fi ready, the Smriti Irani- led HRD ministry has written to heads of all 145 institutions to begin site surveys.

They have also been asked to rope in the services of PSUs like Education and Research Network ( ERNET) to help in setting up a wi- fi eco system. Setting up the system is expected to cost approximately ` 40 lakh per institute.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Aug 13, 2014
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