Distance Learning in India

Reading The Hindu today, we see Edusat making major progress:

A major initiative towards providing satellite-based tele-education facilities to engineering colleges in the country was launched on Tuesday by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in association with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay.

This EDUSAT network would provide satellite-based tele-education facilities to students and teachers of the engineering colleges across the country, an ISRO release said.

The teaching end had been set up at IIT, Bombay by ISRO which will provide satellite bandwidth and install ground equipment at various recipient institutes across the country, while the IIT would arrange for delivering full-fledged courses on various engineering topics through its faculty on this network, it said.

A Memorandum of Understanding in this regard was signed between ISRO and IIT, Bombay in November 2007. To begin with, 13 full-fledged courses had been scheduled on this channel. About 50 colleges including IITs, several National Institutes of Technology (NITs), VJTI Mumbai, Samrat Ashok Technology, Salem, and Delhi College of Engineering, which already have the compatible ground terminal equipment, will start receiving these programmes from tomorrow.

New institutes who wish to join this programme would be provided ground equipment soon.

In the EDUSAT Network, ISRO has set up more than 45 broadcast and interactive networks covering 20 states, including North-Eastern ones and islands of the country.

More than 30,000 classrooms had been provided connectivity through the EDUSAT and the number was still growing steadily, ISRO said. EDUSAT spacecraft was launched on September 20, 2004.

Visvesvaraya Technological University is another one where distance learning via satellite is an important part of the educational mix. 

We’ve seen instances of outages in certain conditions with Edusat, so let’s hope it’s minimized now. Here’s the launch video from 2004: