Bangalore: The Higher education institutions in Karnataka will implement several projects in phases that are aimed at helping students and enhancing their efficiency and performance. The projects envisaged and mandated by the state government will be rolled out from the coming academic year.
The things institutions need to have in place are online exams, evaluation and question paper delivery, among others. While the other things include biometric attendance for both staff and students, improvement of teaching standards and student feedback system.
A government order dated July 4, 2015, (with immediate effect) mandates using information, communication and technology (ICT) for various projects.
In this regard, the order, which is in TOI's possession says: "All institutions must create an IT cell with qualified people." There are over 30 such projects, including online faculty timetable, grievance re dressal system, online UG admission, placement, online student scholarship system, facilities management system, and even disbursal of scholarships and other government scheme funds. "They must train faculty and staffers of all institutions in hardware and software matters so everyone is computer-literate".
Confirming the move, higher education minister RV Deshpande told TOI the cabinet has also cleared the initiatives and that it's aimed at "enhancing the overall quality of higher education in the state".
In the order, the government says: "ICT in education needs to be adopted in order to overcome the challenges and realise better access, inclusion and quality." ICT, the higher education department has argued, can help strengthen democratic and transparent values, enhance students' performance and reduce costs, while preparing students for a lifelong learning.
Higher education principal secretary Bharat Lal Meena told TOI: "Some institutions are already working towards implementing this and by the next academic year, we will see them becoming models. But our aim is to have all institutions across the state implement this in a phased manner."
Ban on private software:
The government order says all state universities and aided colleges must refrain from using private software, and use only what the department has provided, developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). "If some colleges have MoUs with private agencies, the software must be discontinued after the contract expires," the order says. The NIC software can be provided to private and deemed universities on request, it says.
Some vice-chancellors have raised questions, and say a disaster is waiting to happen as NIC does not have the required credentials, which was discovered through RTI. None of the V-Cs, however, wants to go on record.
Meena, defending the move, said: "There are bound to be some problems with every new initiative. We are confident of implementing a programme that will help future generations."