MHRD’s Swayam seeks to bridge digital divide for students: AICTE Chairman

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on February 19, 2020

Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE at a two-day international conclave on learning ecosystems, held at IFIM Business School, Bengaluru   -  BL

The learning platform offers 2,800 courses accessible in 120 countries, says Anil Sahasrabuddhe

Registrations under Swayam have crossed over 1.3 crore and this education platform is on a par with the best in the world, said Dr Anil Sahasrabuddhe, Chairman, AICTE.

Swayam, a programme initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), is designed to achieve the three cardinal goals of education policy — access, equity and quality. The platform hosts courses on a range of areas, from liberal arts to engineering subjects, and including class material from ninth grade till post-graduation. These can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

“Within two-and-a-half years of launch, about 2,800 courses have been offered and are currently being accessed in 120 countries,” he said Sahasrabuddhe, while interacting with participants at a two-day international conclave on learning ecosystems, held at IFIM Business School, Bengaluru, on Wednesday.

“Swayam seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream knowledge economy,” he explained.

Sahrabuddhe added that the government is seized of the challenges faced by management education in an Industry 4.0 scenario and has, therefore, initiated reforms to bring in effectiveness and efficiency in management education.

Still under AICTE purview

Later, when addressing reporters and asked if he thinks MBA education to continue under the purview of AICTE, the Chairman said “regulations with proper checks and enough autonomy are needed, so as not to choke innovation in the institutions.”

In an interim order, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice SA Bodbe, had issued an interim order on January 31, stating that: AICTE will remain a statutory body designated to regulate technical education till further orders of the apex court. Management education will continue to be a part of technical education and no technical institution will be allowed to operate without the approval of the AICTE, it had said.

Training for industry

Narrating how training and placements have changed over last three decades, Dr Sahasrabuddhe said: “There were no training or placement cells in colleges then. The only way to locate jobs was to scan the newspapers for job news.”

He further said “If one was selected then he had to undergo training for six months to a year and only after that the actual job started.”

After the 1990s, and especially after the advent of information technology, companies began flooding the market with job offers, all wanting to quickly hire competent people. “As companies fought for suitable talent, the task of training and making students industry-ready fell to educational institutions,” he said.

It is to enable this process that industry-academia interaction should be frequent. Collaborations are especially needed on AI, ML and IoT, he added.

Published on February 19, 2020

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