Friday, September 28, 2012


NPTEL provides E-learning through online Web and Video courses in Engineering, Science and humanities streams. The mission of NPTEL is to enhance the quality of Engineering education in the country by providing free online course ware.

The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a 
project funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) was first 
conceived in 1999 to pave the way for introducing multimedia and web technology to 
enhance learning of basic science and engineering concepts. Significant 
infrastructure has been set up earlier for production of video-based teaching material 
by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and Technical Teacher Training Institutes 
(TTTI). In the first phase of the NPTEL project (June 2003-June 2007), seven IITs 
and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have worked together to develop web and 
video based material for basic undergraduate science and engineering courses  in 
order to enhance the reach and quality of technical education in the country. 
The concept of multimedia based courses with high potential of interactivity has 
become a popular and a viable option for both the developed and the developing 
nations, though for different reasons. Offering multimedia courses in technologyassisted modes has not only become invaluable for the learner, but also an attractive 
and creative option for faculty. Such courses have the potential to enhance the onand off-campus learning experience for students and in a distance learning mode. 
Technology opens up several interesting  avenues for innovation in design and 
delivery of courses as also for sharing expertise among faculty in different parts of 
the world. In India, where a large number of private institutions have entered the 
field of engineering education with inadequate faculty support and training, the 
project is aimed at providing a standard for academic content for both the teacher 
and the student. 
Many of the courses, especially basic core courses in science and engineering are 
similar across the IITs and to a lesser extent across many institutions in the country. 
Most institutions offer programme in traditional branches of engineering with a large 
number of similar courses  forming a substantial part of the undergraduate 
curriculum. There is clearly a lot of advantage in sharing the development work in 
these courses. The NPTEL initiative in this regard is to help institutions all over the 
3country to substantially increase the  number and quality  of the engineering 
Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

The objective of TEL is to enhance the way students learn concepts, to enhance the 
learning component and to reduce the tedious and mechanical aspects of some of 
the current learning methods through the use of technology in a variety of forms:    
a) Computer applications include: 
• Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) that uses the computer as a selfcontained teaching machine to present individual lessons. 
•   Computer-Managed Instruction (CMI) that uses the computer to organize 
instruction and track student records  and progress. The instruction itself 
need not be delivered via a computer, although CAI is often combined with 
• Computer-Mediated Education (CME) consisting of applications that 
facilitate the delivery of instruction. Examples include networked 
classrooms, electronic mail, discussion boards, real-time computer 
conferencing and World-Wide Web (WWW) applications.  
b) Voice - Instructional audio tools that include interactive technologies of 
telephone, audio conferencing, and the passive (i.e., one-way) audio tools of 
tapes and radio. 
c) Video - Instructional video tools that include still images such as slides, prerecorded moving images (e.g., film, videotape), and real-time moving images 
combined with audio conferencing (one-way or two-way video with two-way 
d) Print – instructional print formats that include textbooks, study guides, 
workbooks and case studies. 

The IIT Initiative:
Technology enhanced learning initiative involving IITs and Indian Institutes of 
Management (IIMs) was first proposed by IIT Madras in the year 1999, immediately 
following a Workshop on Technology Enhanced Learning (WoTEL) conducted in 
Chennai in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, USA. The 
4vast experience of CMU in setting up a successful virtual university in Mexico was 
useful in drawing up the initial proposal which envisaged four initiatives, namely 
providing distance education, developing interactive and electronic resources for core 
courses for undergraduates, conducting joint Ph. D. programmes and setting up a 
digital library focused on the role of technology in knowledge accumulation, storing 
and disseminating content for  education in three sectors: university, industry and 
 A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between five IITs, four IIMs and 
CMU established a Virtual Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning (VCTEL). It was 
the first initiative in which all IITs and IIMs shared a common vision and proposed to 
work together to improve the quality  of science, engineering and management 
education all across the country by offering courses through VCTEL. This proposal 
was submitted to MHRD in 1999 and revised several times. 
 The Current Programme
The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India considered a 
modified proposal favorably and approved funding of  20.47 crores (204.7 million) of 
Indian Rupees in Phase I for three years from June 2003 till June 2006. Due to the 
complexity and the heterogeneous nature of the Partner Institutions with respect to 
Multimedia and video production capabilities the project was given a one year 
extension till June 30,2007 when it has been completed. The digital library project 
was de-linked from the proposal and funded separately.  Indian Institutes of 
Management have been provided additional funding for distance education in core 
areas of management. Seven IITs and the Indian Institute of Science have been 
working together in Phase I to develop  web and video based  material  for basic 
undergraduate science and engineering courses in order to enhance the reach and 
quality of technical education in the country. In order to facilitate the distribution of 
course material, two modes of operation have been suggested, namely, digital video 
lectures of courses and web based courses.   110 video based courses and 129 web 
based courses have been prepared for distribution to Institutions in India by 
December 2007. The courses have been made available from July 2006 as and when 
they are complete with video lectures being broadcast through the Eklavya channel 
provided by Gyan Darshan (Door Darshan Television, Govt of India enterprise). The 
web courses are currently available through the official NPTEL website  Efforts are underway to provide free access to video lectures 
5through Google-YouTube as video-on-demand for anyone with broadband 


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