The government is working on an initiative to establish a state-of-the-art e-learning network linking 150 engineering colleges in the State, under plans to equip students with skills to suit industry requirements.
The project named Skill Delivery Platform for Kerala (SDPK), will rely on a Telepresence videoconferencing network to enhance learning opportunities for students in the 150 colleges under the A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Kerala Technological University.
Secretary, IT, M. Sivasankar said the SDPK was aimed at improving the employability of engineering graduates by providing them skills training in emerging areas like Blockchain and Internet of Things.
“With industry demanding new skills, it has become imperative to bypass the slow process of curriculum change in universities,” he explains.
The proposed network brings students on to a common platform to interact with domain experts or industry leaders.
Telepresence uses high-definition equipment to replicate face-to-face communication virtually. The interactive system uses a video wall incorporating multiple cameras, touch-enabled screen, directional speakers, microphones and monitors to create life- like visual and audio clarity.
“Unlike conventional videoconferencing, Telepresence offers an immersive, interactive virtual classroom experience to engage students,” says M. Muraleedharan, Head, State E-Governance Mission. “Apart from lectures by experts, it could also be used for formal programmes like minor degree and certification programmes in the latest technology domains, as well as training in soft skills,” he says.
The platform would be used to deliver skills training to approximately 50,000 students every year.
The government has approved the detailed project report submitted by the ICT Academy and the Kerala State IT Infrastructure Limited (KSITL) has been designated as the special purpose vehicle. The project, estimated to cost Rs. 92 crore, involves the establishment of hi-tech classrooms in engineering colleges and three state-of-the-art studios at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
The technical evaluation of the bids is in the final stage and the ICT Academy has begun efforts to finalise the content creation plan for the SDPK. As many as 25 high-tech classrooms are to be set up in the first phase of the project, along with the studios.