Infotech Lead India: NIIT has invested $9.25 million to launch a cloud campus with 100 new courses covering various branches of study such as IT, banking, global finance, management, digital and social media marketing.
NIIT hopes to cover over 500,000 students by 2014.
NIIT students can use web applications to complete coursework from anywhere in the world. The web based classroom complements the 300 odd physical learning centers of NIIT.
Students can access lessons on demand, complete assignments, interact with faculty and peers, access online video streams, store documents and edit them online and take assessments online. NIIT also has a 24/7 lab that students can access through the internet. About 40 percent of the coursework will be done online.
NIIT Chairman Rajendra S Pawar said,”Through Cloud Campus, we are harnessing the latest in technology that cloud platform can offer in re-defining the way we study. It aims to make studying more interactive and fun.”
Apart from benefitting from the mobility cloud computing offers, students will benefit from the implementation of a universal curriculum that is accessible from across the nation, enabling students across the country to enjoy the same experience in education.
G Raghavan, CEO of NIIT Career Building Solutions, said, “The real advantage is the learning availability that enables students to spend more learning hours including lab work according to their need and aptitude.”
Although cloud campuses may be the answer to India’s growing demand for quality education, weak and strong infrastructure may pose a big problem for emerging education models. Power and reliable internet connectivity are just some of the things that rural India lacks to benefit from technology backed learning environments.
Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor commented at a function organized by NIIT, “We can have a youthful dynamic working population only if we can equip our workforce with knowledge and training. If not we will have a demographic disaster.”