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President opens Edusat conference in Bangalore

Our Bureau

Bangalore , July 23

THE President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on Friday opened a high-level conference of 250 vice-chancellors that will discuss the usage and management of EDUSAT.

The upcoming communications satellite to be flown in September is expected to usher in tele-education or interactive distance learning in the country.

The conference will appraise educationists on the capabilities of the first dedicated educational satellite and draw a roadmap on how institutions can use it.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to build on the model of the SITE experiment of mid-1970s and the Jhabua developmental project to revolutionise Indian education by making it two-way and nationwide with DTH quality broadcasting.

The conference will cover distance, medical, technical, agricultural education, teachers training and industry-academia interaction and the management of EDUSAT. The meet has been jointly organised by ISRO and the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

With five beams for five regions of the country, EDUSAT will connect in three phases — school, college and higher levels of formal education and also support non-formal education and developmental communication. Karnataka's engineering colleges under the Visveraraya Technological University will be the first to get into the loop. ISRO said it has already organised five regional and a national conferences on the satellite.

During the event, the President interacted via satellite with students at Nashik, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Belgaum and Mangalore.

He also released a compendium called `EDUSAT- Indian satellite in education'.

The UGC Chairman, Education Secretary, Directors of IITs, agricultural and medical universities are among the participants.

Dr Kalam later inaugurated a portal for ISRO's National Natural Resources Management System or NNRMS and gave away the Astronautical Society of India awards to scientists.

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