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NKC for online educational resources to promote higher education

New Delhi: In a recent letter to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, the National Knowledge Commission Chairman Mr. Sam Pitroda has suggested that India should use the broadband internet connectivity to spread high quality educational resources throughout the globe.

The NKC chairman states that, "One of the most effective ways of creating knowledge economy in the country is to stimulate the development and dissemination of quality open access materials and open educational resources through broadband internet connectivity."

"It is vital for India to leverage these initiatives as they are readily available for adoption and adaptation and to serve as model for further indigenous content production," the letter states.

Among other recommendations, the NKC suggests that all research articles published by Indian authors who receive financial assistance from the government should be available under the open access format. The government should also invest in the digitization of books and journals, which are outside copyright protection.

The government should also appoint institutions and experts for the preparation of contents in areas such as agriculture, engineering, medicine, arts, humanities, sciences, education and few other areas of interest. These contents should, however, not only be limited to use within India but also in world over, the NKC suggests.

Mr Pitroda, at the end, suggests setting up an apex body to provide leadership and co-ordination of network-based open education resources, select institutional collaboration for developing content, recommend and monitor standards etc. The designated body or institution will also advise on policy implications in terms of licensing, intellectual property rights, as well as identify and set benchmarks based on global based practices.

The suggestions made by Mr Pitroda have been welcomed by several intellectuals and academicians of the country. These suggestions are also synonymous with the National Network of Education's (NNE's) initiatives in bringing country's entire gamut of educational information on a single portal i.e. www.indiaeducation.net supported by 42 websites of all states, union territories and major cities of the country.

In India, NNE is the only network of its kind that is bridging the national and regional gap in education, fostering the overall development of the society. The network provides unparallel platform to all the education professionals, service providers and students.

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