Students who have opted for the Science stream at the high school level, but have no access to physical labs now have the option to perform experiments in a virtual science-lab. Thanks to the educational technology initiative - “Online Labs” - developed by Amrita CREATE (Centre of Research in Advanced Technologies for Education) in association with CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing).

OLabs or Online virtual Science Labs allows students to repeat the experiments as many times as they wish; it includes simulators, videos, animation, theory and quiz. It is based on the premise that lab experiments can be taught over the Net in a cost effective and efficient manner.

According to Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor, Amrita University – the initiative is aimed at helping students understand complex science concepts and build scientific temper.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology launched this elearning programme on Tuesday.

Under this nationwide initiative, Amrita has set a target of preparing around 30,000 science teachers from across the country on how to use OLabs, so they can in turn help students perform experiments in a virtual lab.

OLabs has been officially endorsed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as a teaching aid for all its schools. It is expected to be available in Hindi, Malayalam and Marathi and offered in both urban and rural schools.

Online Labs technology has an offline tablet-based component as well, which ultimately would allow the trained faculty to take the labs to remote pockets, where connectivity is still an issue.

Amrita is hoping that in a span of three years at least 10000 schools across the country would be provided free access to OLabs.

The Online Labs is said to have over 80,000 registered users already.