Higher education courses to be made available for free on new portal: UGC

PTI | | Updated on: Jul 29, 2022
UGC Logo

UGC Logo

Portal aims at bridging digital divide, enhancing accessibility of higher education in remotes areas

Over 23,000 higher education courses, including programmes on artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security, and early childhood care, will now be available free of cost on a new web portal from Friday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said.

The portal is aimed at bridging the digital divide and enhancing the accessibility of higher education in remote parts of the country.

It will be launched on Friday as part of the second anniversary of the National Education Policy-2020.

CSCs and SPVs

The UGC has tied up with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to integrate the e-resources with their over 7.5 lakh Common Service Centres (CSC) and Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Centres to offer these courses from the forthcoming academic session of 2022-23.

"As part of its efforts in making higher education accessible to all, the UGC has been constantly working in making digital resources available to students in English and regional languages," UGC Chairman, M Jagadesh Kumar said on Thursday.

The CSCs aim is to provide digital access and make e-governance services available to the citizens especially those who are living in rural India at their doorstep.

Nearly 2.5 lakh CSCs and SPVs are operating in gram panchayats and more than 5 lakh CSCs/SPVs centres are functional across the country.

"The CSCs and SPVs are being managed and operated by entrepreneurs who belong to the local community and referred to as village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs). VLEs operate the centres to earn their living by delivering online services. These centres have computers and internet connectivity," Kumar said.

Free courses

The free courses include 23,000 postgraduate courses, 137 SWAYAM MOOC courses in emerging areas, and 25 non-engineering SWAYAM courses, which can be accessed on the UGC portal.

"All courses are free. However, for availing the services and infrastructure of CSC/ SVP, a user has to pay a fee of ₹20 per day or ₹500 per month to reimburse the VLEs efforts and cost of their infrastructure," said Kumar.

"This is similar to other government projects like Ayushman Bharat Yojana, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, e-Shram, Pan Card, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana (PMSYM) and many others,” he added.

Published on July 29, 2022
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