A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed Thursday could come as a boon to students in India enrolled for courses at colleges and universities.
The Department of Higher Education, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Thursday signed with Prasar Bharti the MoU on the launch of 50 Direct-to-Home (DTH) channels, with content that will be provided by institutes of higher education like the Indian Institute of Technology, Consortium for Educational Communication and its media centres, the Indira Gandhi National Open University and state open universities and central universities.
The channels will be launched under the National Mission on Education, through the Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT) scheme.
Ashok Thakur, secretary in the department of higher education, signed the MoU with Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati.
Thanking the Prasar Bharati CEO for all assistance rendered to make possible the joint venture, Thakur said he hoped the relationship between the department of higher education and Prasar Bharti would prove useful to students.
"At present, there are around 2.2 crore students in higher education, and around 25 lakh in distant education," said Praveen Prakash, joint secretary, MHRD. The new venture would be interactive, and easily available to all students, he said.
The channels will beam structured lectures in series, and these will be simultaneously broadcast through DTH, Cable TV and the Internet.
Material generated through interactive sessions will also be available to viewers.
The venture proposes to establish 150 teaching ends (studios) across various universities, from where signals will be sent to a central hub, which will then be reaching students.
"All the 150 centers from where this (the classes) would be recorded and sent out, have been chosen very carefully. Each one of these universities are masters in that particular subject. There is no scope for any unwanted material (entering the classes)," Thakur said.
The 50 channels will be used for courses related to both conventional and open universities. The DTH channels of MHRD shall carry curriculum-based content in almost all subjects taught in universities and colleges.
Proposed to be launched May 1, 2014, the channels can be viewed using the DTH platform of Prasar Bharti at a one-time cost of Rs.2,000.