The broad aim of the project NPTEL is to facilitate the competitiveness of Indian
industry in the global markets through improving the quality and reach of
engineering education. The operational objective of NPTEL is to make high quality
learning material available to students of engineering institutions across the country
by exploiting the advances in information and communication technology. The target
group for this project consists of students and faculty of institutions offering .
undergraduate engineering programmes in India. The educational goals are:
• Make video lectures in a format appropriate for broadcasting that would provide
quality content through the Technology channel named the Eklavya channel by
the previous Honorable Minister for Human Resource Development in recognition
of the first student of distance education named in the great Indian epic
Mahabharata thousands of years ago.
• Create web-based (e-learning) material and make it available in the form of a
portal / DVDs that would be tailored to meet the needs of engineering students
across the country.
• Create a website for NPTEL activity.
• Make e-learning material available in the web for the video lectures to
supplement class room teaching.
• Advise target institutions with regard to the software/hardware requirements for
benefiting from the national project.
NPTEL has developed curriculum based video courses (110 new courses and
109 existing courses encapsulated in digital video format) and web-based e-courses
(129). This has been undertaken by IITs (Seven) and IISc Bangalore as Partner
Institutions (PI) and other selected premier institutions as Associate Partner
Institutions (API) through a collaborative effort.
Target Groups and Their Needs":
• The primary target group is students and faculty of institutions offering
undergraduate engineering programmes.
• The syllabi of these common courses were pooled for development
work to be shared across all PIs.
• Modules were identified (not more than three classroom sessions
worth of material) and their minor variants (with regard to scope) to
account for the needs of the identified universities (This is a major
task which was undertaken by teams of specialists, with the support of
faculty from the APIs wherever possible).
Five branches of engineering (Civil, Electrical, Electronics and Communication,
Computer Science and Engineering, and Mechanical) were addressed in the first
phase. Each Institute identified the courses in which it would like to participate as
video (V) or Web (W) based content contributor. The core courses common to all
these disciplines including basic science and engineering were addressed by a core
courses group also formed of members from all PIs. The courses were allotted to PIs
as per the following:
The TEL coordinator from each Institute prepared a list of courses for which he
obtained the consent of faculty from that PI. The discipline coordinators in each
discipline met and then determined the allocation of courses to PIs. The TEL PIC
finalized the allotment of courses to the Institute. In content creation each PI was
also able to involve faculty from other PIs with experience and willingness to jointly
develop the course with its own faculty and encourage it as much as possible.
However, the PIs were responsible for the delivery of courses assigned to them
The following summarizes the programme for web supplement materials:
• E-Learning material have been created in such a form that it can be expanded
and updated continuously. Currently it consists of one or more of the following:
Localization of examples
Elaboration of key concepts and theorems to facilitate clearer
Case studies to provide more comprehensive design experience than that
offered by simple numerical examples
Examples that require the use of different categories of engineering
knowledge under different sets of assumptions
11 Question banks to assist instructors to design good tests and
Additional reading material for underperforming students, especially those
with difficulties with English
Additional reading material for over-achievers
Historical information and anecdotes related to specific topics
Creation of the e-learning material in those formats which ensure that the
content creation and course management platforms are decoupled.
• Simple course management packages that provide features like e-mail queries by
students, bulletin board and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are being
• Every module was prepared preferably by a team of faculty.
• The material is organized to create CDs/DVDs to meet the needs of students of
• The same material can be suitably restructured for printing if needed.
The following summarizes the programme for video lectures:
• The course consists of around 40 video lectures.
• Each video lecture is of one hour duration.
• To enhance the longevity of the video lectures, it was suggested that they
should not be too specific to syllabi but should be confined to core concepts.
Its contents were suggested to be distinct from text book and web support
• The video lectures utilize a multitude of facilities of the video medium such as
chalk-and-talk, tablet writing, power point, two and three dimensional
animations, interactive codes etc.
• The lectures were intended to motivate the student by emphasizing why
he/she must study a topic in a subject, and often related to industrial practice
creation of video lecture units was not tied necessarily with the scheduling of
regular courses in the Institution.
The review process is similar to that of web material.