More than 23,000 higher education courses will be available for free on the new portal: UGC

More than 23,000 higher education courses, including programs on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and early childhood care, will now be available for free on a new web portal, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced Thursday. ).

The portal, which aims to bridge the digital divide and improve the accessibility of higher education in remote parts of the country, will be launched on Friday as part of the second anniversary of the National Education Policy-2020.

UGC has partnered with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to integrate e-resources to their more than 7.5 lakh Shared Service Centers (CSC) and Special Purpose Vehicle Centers (SPV) to offer these courses from the next academic session of 2022-23.

“As part of its efforts to make higher education accessible to all, UGC has consistently worked to make digital resources available to students in English as well as regional languages,” said the president of the UGC. UGC, Mr Jagadesh Kumar.

The aim of CSCs is to provide digital access and make e-governance services available to citizens, especially those living in rural India on their doorstep. Nearly 2.5 lakh CSCs and SPVs are functioning in the Gram Panchayats and more than 5 lakh CSCs/SPVs are functional across the country.

“The CSCs and SPVs are managed and operated by entrepreneurs who belong to the local community and are called Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs). The VLEs operate the centers to earn a living by providing online services. computers and internet connectivity,” says Kumar.

Courses include 23,000 postgraduate courses, 137 SWAYAM MOOC courses in emerging fields, and 25 non-technical SWAYAM courses. Access to these on the UGC portal is free.

“All courses are free. However, to avail the services and infrastructure of CSC/SVP, a user has to pay a fee of Rs 20 per day or Rs 500 per month to reimburse the efforts of VLEs and the cost of their infrastructure,” Kumar said. .

“This is similar to other government projects like Ayushman Bharat Yojana, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, e-Shram, Pan Card, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana (PMSYM) and many more,” Kumar added.

(With PTI inputs)

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