IIT Delhi takes up distant learning to help professionals

August 18th, 2008 - 10:19 am ICT by IANS  

By Prashant K. Nanda
New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, known for its excellence in classroom education, is set to adopt the distant learning mode as part of its industry outreach programme in the national capital region. “In addition to our rigorous classroom teaching methods, we are embarking on a major distance learning project,” IIT Delhi director Surendra Prasad told IANS.

“Apart from regular students, we at IIT Delhi want to help as many industry professionals as possible through the distant learning mode,” Prasad added.

For this, industry professionals need not come to IIT Delhi, but classes would reach their offices - in “an effective and time-saving formula for both parties”.

M. Balakrishnan, dean, postgraduate studies of IIT Delhi, said this semester two live classroom courses are being beamed to a Noida-based IT company through two-way video and audio links on an experimental basis.

“This is a pilot project and once it delivers results, it will provide a major boost for industry professionals. We may soon have a full fledged set-up for this distant education mode,” Balakrishnan said.

Prasad said IIT Delhi is looking for an expansion of its campus for the purpose.

“We are trying to boost the infrastructure for this project. We want some land and are in talks with the Delhi government. Though nothing has been finalised as yet, we would prefer to have land near our campus,” the director added.

He said once IIT Delhi has the required infrastructure, “we would make the 450 courses available on the distant mode. Our work scope in this field will be restricted to the national capital region.”

According to Balakrishnan, the distant education would have live classes, two-way interactions and panel discussions, special lectures and other such facilities through video conferencing. Besides there would be special lecture CDs and other study material.

IIT Delhi has already allowed industry professionals to attend regular classes with its students. This distant learning mode is a step forward in improving the IIT-industry interface.

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