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Enabling Education through E-learning

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August 2006
Enabling Education through E-learning

Enabling Education through E-learning

Speaking of a possible talent shortage, one scheme that could be reassuring is the recently launched Indo-U.S. Universities Network, which seeks to make higher education more accessible in India. With its focus on science and technology, the goal is also to increase the number of skilled workers for both nations. Fifty-eight universities (37 in India and 21 in the U.S.) have been included so far, ranging from Ivy League schools and state universities in the U.S. to IITs and government colleges in India. "Better engineering education at second – and third – tier Indian universities would create a more tech-savvy workforce for research and development operations in both countries," according to a U.S. Embassy publication. "Microsoft is helping Amrita University establish an international e-learning center." Qualcomm and Cadence Design Systems also have an interest. Interestingly, it's little-known Amrita University in Coimbatore that plays the key role as a coordinator in the sprawling network. Indians are already the beneficiaries of American education in a big way. There are currently over 80,000 students from India on American campuses, and for four consecutive years, no other country has sent more students to the U.S. Though professors from here do visit certain universities in India, lectures that are broadcast via satellite actually reach many more students. Outside academia, too, this democratization of e-learning has made modest gains. In Kerala, for instance, over 600 computer centers in Malappuram are involved in a project to make half a million residents computer literate. It may be too early to gauge the progress of this e-literacy campaign, but it's safe to say that Kerala, more than any other state in India, has the best chance of success.


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