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 Table of Contents  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-4

Revisiting E-education platforms for nontechnical courses to aid online teaching during pandemic times in India: A review


Division of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission04-May-2020
Date of Decision05-May-2020
Date of Acceptance07-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication2-Feb-2021

Correspondence Address:
Raghu Nataraj
Division of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore - 570 015, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_88_20

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  Abstract 


The education system worldwide has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic 2019–2020, which has led to the temporary closure of both primary and higher education sectors, posing an uncertainty among the system and other concerned fraternities. Citing the potential disruption of learning activities, the UNESCO recommended the use of distance learning programs and open educational platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education. With the challenge of fighting the pandemic in one hand and preventing the hampering of education on the other hand, India has called to continue the educational process making an effective use of technology and other available options. The paper is aimed to review such e-platform and initiatives set up in the government portals itself long before any idea of the dawn of current pandemic which can offer a great bundle of resourcefulness for the faculties to monitor continuous learning experience in this pandemic time.

Keywords: COVID-19, e-platforms, government initiatives, learning, pandemic


How to cite this article:
Nataraj R. Revisiting E-education platforms for nontechnical courses to aid online teaching during pandemic times in India: A review. Int J Health Allied Sci 2021;10:1-4

How to cite this URL:
Nataraj R. Revisiting E-education platforms for nontechnical courses to aid online teaching during pandemic times in India: A review. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 May 9];10:1-4. Available from: https://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2021/10/1/1/308592




  Introduction Top


The education system worldwide has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic 2019–2020, which has led to the temporary closure of both primary and higher education sectors, posing an uncertainty among the system and other concerned fraternities. As of April 18, 2020, approximately 1.725 billion learners have been affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic, and 192 countries have implemented nationwide closures and have implemented local closures, impacting about 99.9%of the world's student population.[1] India has 285 million young learners;[2] this temporary shutdown of schools/college/institutions across the country will be posing a far greater burden over the foreseen remote areas and social backdrops where the impact of education reaching to their home amidst the pandemic remains to be of utmost challenge with an uncertainty of educative disengagement for a long term to come by. The UNESCO has recommended the use of distance learning programs and open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education.[1] With a rapid increase of mobile internet users in India, which is expected to reach 85% households by 2024, technology is enabling ubiquitous access and personalization of education even in the remotest parts of the country.[2] Posed by the challenge of fighting the pandemic in one hand and preventing the hampering of education on the other hand, India has called to continue the educational process making effective use of technology and other available options.[3]


  E-initiatives Top


India harbors 935 universities[4] spread across the country in terms of higher education sector under the umbrella of its apex organization University Grants Commission (UGC), established under an act of Parliament on December 28, 1953. With the establishment of the National Task Force Information Technologies (1998),[5] the country announced education being one of the critical national needs[6] encouraging very small aperture terminals to create closed user groups[7] in offering best of online classes with an emphasis of reaching remote sectors and sections of the society. The major challenge in EDTech reforms at the national level is the seamless integration of technology in the present Indian education system, which is the most diverse and largest in the world with more than 15 lakh schools and 50,000 higher education institutions.[2]

The Government of India in joint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD), UGC, and its Inter-University Centers has come up with several information communication technology (ICT) initiatives under the platform of online learning. The following are the ICT initiatives which were initiated long back than most of the education fraternities and their students were aware of all of them until the current pandemic.


  E-platforms Top


Study webs of active-learning for young aspiring minds https//swayam.gov.in/about

Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) is an interactive platform accessible from students from IX grade to postgraduation. The courses hosted on SWAYAM are spread in four quadrants of video lecture, downloadable reading materials, self-assessment tests, and an online discussion forum. The site is paced with a state of art and technology developed under the supervision of nine identified national coordinators as shown in [Table 1].[8]
Table 1: Nine identified coordinates of Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds[8]

Click here to view


E-PG pathshala (https//epgp.inflibnet.ac.in/)

E-PG pathshala is an initiative of the MHRD under its the National Mission on Education through ICT being executed by the UGC. E-PG Pathshala provides free access to 700 + e-books through e-ADYAYAN platform and offers various postgraduation and software content package courses on different subjects through its verticals UGC MOOCs and e-PATHYA. The site also spans free access to interactive e-contents in seventy subjects across all disciplines of social sciences, arts, fine arts and humanities, natural and mathematical sciences, linguistics, and languages.[9]

Study webs of active learning for young aspiring minds PRABHA (https//www.swayamprabha.gov.in)

The SWAYAM PRABHA is a group of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programs on 24 × 7. The programs are channelized under four broader streams of higher education, school education, curriculum-based courses, and student's assistance for competitive exams.[10]

University Grants Commission MOOC (http//ugcmoocs.inflibnet.ac.in/ugcmoocs/moocs_courses.php)

UGC MOOC is a site hosting all the educative materials for the archived courses on the site with an emphasis on the availability of ready-study materials free of access to the students.[11]

E-content courseware (http//cec.nic.in/cec/)

The site is a conglomeration of curriculum-based, course content developments, DTH modes, edutainment, and customized flipped classroom sources under one umbrella with secondary links leading to already mentioned sites SWAYAM PRABHA DTH and consortium for educational communication (CEC) [Table 2].[12]
Table 2: Channelized e-content courseware[12]

Click here to view


Consortium for educational communication (https//www.youtube.com/user/cecedusat)

Popularly known as CEC is one the Inter-University Center by the UGC with an emphasis on imparting education through the medium of television with an appropriate assist of ICT. The site displays seven playlists, of which except music, Hindi and English rest of the subjects have been imparted through bands: Band I – Art/Culture/Literature/Language; Band II – Social Science; Band III –Management and other Professional Courses; and Band IV –Natural and Applied Sciences/Engineering/Medical Sciences.[13]

National digital library (https//ndl.iitkgp.ac.in/)

The National Digital Library is a digital repository containing textbooks, literature, art e-digital contents, and medial spread across ten different languages. The Library was dedicated to the nation from June 19, 2018. As of May 3, 2020, the site currently holds 48,092,167 items of digital repository to access from.[14]

Shodhganga (https//shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/)

Shodhganga is a platform for research students where the entire scholarly community in open access along with shared thesis across all the disciplines. The repository has the ability to capture, index, store, disseminate, and preserve ETDs submitted by the researchers.[15]

E-SHODHSINDHU (https//ess.inflibnet.ac.in/)

e-SHODHSINDHU is a formidable collection of e-journals, e-journal archives, and e-books on perpetual access basis. The archives had access to more than 15,000 core and peer-reviewed journals and a number of bibliographic, citation, and factual databases in different disciplines from a large number of publishers.[16]

VIDWAN (https//vidwan.inflibnet.ac.in/)

VIDWAN is the premier database of profiles of scientists/researchers and other faculty members working at leading academic institutions and other R & D Organizations involved in teaching and research in India. It provides important information about expert's background, contact address, experience, scholarly publications, skills and accomplishments, researcher identity, etc.[17]


  Discussion Top


The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the country education system at a phantom phase with an overnight shift from chalkboard and classroom teaching to technology-driven e-platforms. With COVID-19 outbreak egging on educators and learners at all levels to adopt e-learning techniques, the figure is bound to rise dramatically.[18] Statista had predicted that the Indian online education market will be around 2 billion US dollars in 2021, with a growth rate of 52%. Citing aside the pitfalls in the system itself which have already been reviewed elsewhere, its good we discuss the possibly potential silver linings within. The government's role on online education in keeping the students up to the pace is itself unparalleled. It has gracefully put up the IT taskforce to ensure and assure online education deliverables are met to the students through its portals. All the initiatives and platforms presented from the government by considering all the sectors of the education community – pre-university schools, undergraduates, postgraduates, research fraternities, faculties, and administrations – are highly appreciated. The premier databases Vidwan and e-Shodhsindhu can add to the scholars/faculty/scientists research productivity and ensuring quality access among learning pupils. With a more than ever, the structured presentation of e-platforms has raised the expectations of expanding the horizon of learning, teaching, knowledge sharing, and the fruit of being informed with round-the-clock accessibility.


  Conclusive Remarks Top


One has to accept that the COVID-19 pandemic has dared to raise the core questions of how far the higher education system has been capable of reaching the student's pools cross the far-distant sectors and societal hierarchies in the country where only privilege in many students' home is still a mobile accessory with no access to standard ICT facilities, for which most of the ICT platforms are designed. Nevertheless, as always, with a sense of preparedness right from the word go since the inception of pandemic, the country has not shied away in powering the education with technology, self-backing itself to handle this learning crisis in a gracious way more than ever. As we faculties, it is our conscious duty to behold the pride and respect our students always keep on us that we are on par with the rest of the global education standards even at this period where we all witnessing an unprecedented time of the history itself in our lives.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
UNESCO.290 Million Students out of School Due to COVID-19: UNESCO Releases First Global Numbers and Mobilizes Response Education Response, Covid-19. Educational Disruption and Response ed. Paris, France: UNESCO Press Release; 04 April, 2020. Available from: https://en.unesco.org/covid19/.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Richa Choudhary, Niti Aayog. Covid-19 Pandemic: Impact and Strategies for Education Sector in India. India: Economic Times; 16 April, 2020. Available from: https://government.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/education/covid-19-pandemic-impact- and-strategies-for-education-sector-in-india/75173099.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
4.
5.
Dr Ram Takwale. Challenges and Opportunities of Globalization for Higher Education in India – Alternatives through e-Education, UGC Golden Jubilee Lecture Series ed. New Delhi, India: Union Grant Commission; 2002. Available from: https://www.ugc.ac.in/oldpdf/pub/lectures/ugc_pro2.pdf.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development. Information Technology Action Plan. India: 1998. Available from: http://indiancabletv.net/itplan.htm.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Rajendran M. With No End to Covid-19 Lockdown in Sight, Education Reboots To 4.0 with E-learning. India: Outlook India; 22 April 2020. Available from: https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/ india-news-with-no-end-to-coronavirus-lockdown-in-sight-education-reboots-to-40-with-e-learning/351260.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Available from: https://swayam.gov.in/about.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Available from: https://epgp.inflibnet.ac.in/.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
11.
12.
Available from: http://cec.nic.in/cec/.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Available from: https://www.youtube.com/user/cecedusat.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Available from: https://ndl.iitkgp.ac.in/.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Available from: https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Available from: https://ess.inflibnet.ac.in/.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Available from: https://vidwan.inflibnet.ac.in/.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Abhishek Patil. Covid-19 Pandemic: E-Learning Trends you Need to Watch for. New Delhi: India Today; 10 April, 2020. Available from: https://www.indiatoday.in/educationtoday/featurephilia/story/covid-19-pandemic-e-learning-trends-you-need-to- watch-for-1665292-2020-04-10.  Back to cited text no. 18
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
E-initiatives
E-platforms
Discussion
Conclusive Remarks
References
Article Tables

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