Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the University Grant Commission (UGC) said students and teachers in its address to take preventive measures, maintain social distancing and encouraged to utilise this time productively by engaging in online learning. Many online Free Educational Resources are offering their content. Students who are sitting at home can make full use of this learning material
There are many ICT initiatives of the MHRD, UGC and its Inter-University Centres (ICUs) – Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) and Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC), in the form of digital platforms.
These online Free Educational Resources can be acquired by the teachers, students, and researchers in Universities and Colleges for learning. These ICT initiatives, which cover a wide range of subjects and courses.
10 Free Educational Resources provided by the HRD Ministry to study during the Coronavirus lockdown:
SWAYAM Online Courses:
SWAYAM Online Courses provides access to teaching-learning resources. Students or learners who have already registered on SWAYAM (swayam.gov.in) in the January 2020 semester can carry on their learning as usual.
UG/PG MOOCs sponsor learning material of the SWAYAM UG and PG ( Non-Technology ) archived courses.
e-PG Pathshala provides high quality, curriculum-based, interactive e-content. It contains 23,000 modules (e-text and video) in 70 Post Graduate disciplines. Such as social sciences, arts, fine arts and humanities, natural & mathematical sciences.
- e-Content courseware in UG subjects:
e-Content courseware in 87 Undergraduate courses with about 24,110 e-content modules is present on the CEC website at http://cec.nic.in/.
Swayamprabha is a group of 32 DTH channels. It provides high-quality educational curriculum-based course contents. They cover diverse disciplines such as arts, science, commerce, performing arts, social science, etc to all teachers, students. Citizens across the country who have an interest in lifelong learning can access this.
These channels are free to air. They can also be accessed through your cable operator. The telecasted videos/lectures can be archive on the Swayamprabha portal.
- CEC-UGC YouTube channel:
CEC-UGC YouTube channel provides access to unlimited educational curriculum based lectures free of cost.
- National Digital Library
National Digital Library is a digital repository of a large amount of academic content in different formats. It provides interface support for leading Indian languages for all academic levels. Including researchers and learners, all disciplines, all popular forms of access devices and differently-abled learners.
Shodhganga is a digital repository platform of 2, 60,000 Indian Electronic Theses. Dissertations for research students to deposit their PhD theses. They make it available to the whole scholarly community in open access.
- e-Shodh Sindhu:
e-Shodh Sindhu gives current as well as archival access to more than 15,000 core. Peer-reviewed journals and some bibliographic, citation and factual databases in different disciplines from a large number of publishers and aggregators for member institutions.
Vidwan is a database of experts which provides information about experts to peers, prospective collaborators, funding agencies, policymakers and research scholars in the country.
To encourage digital education in the country and make e-learning easy for students and teachers. The Union finance minister launched the PM eVidya programme. With this scheme, students and teachers get multimode access to digital education.
PM eVidya Programme:
A programme for multimode access to digital/ online educational resources that will consist of:
- Top 100 universities are allowed to automatically start online courses by May 30.
- DIKSHA that will give ‘one nation, one digital platform’ for school education in states and union territories: It will give e-content and QR coded energised textbooks for all grades. This will profit nearly 25 crores, school-going children, across the country.
- DIKSHA has content in 14 languages – Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Chhattisgarhi.
- Over the next three month, a huge number of high-quality e-resources for learning and teaching will be made available on DIKSHA. Through the recently launched VidyaDaan Program.
- VidyaDaan is conceptualised as a common national program for individuals & organizations across the country. To donate e-learning resources for school education to ensure continuity of quality learning.
- Special e-content will be given for visually and hearing-impaired children. It is developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube, the HRD minister informed in a tweet.
Some Websites Provide Free Educational Resources.
- EdX: edx.org
- Academic Earth: academicearth.org
- Internet Archive: archive.org
- Big Think: bigthink.com
- Coursera: coursera.org
- Brightstorm: brightstorm.com
- CosmoLearning: cosmolearning.com
- Futures Channel: thefutureschannel.com
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