by July 6, 2009 0 comments

QWhat technologies does NIIT use to deliver courseware across centers?
NIIT has a very distributed network of centers across 40 countries and for us it
is extremely important that students get the best experience. In addition to
instructors, which are centrally trained and certified, we also use synchronous
learning tech which is a sophisticated inhouse pedagogical solution where using
a VSAT network we give students an experience where apart from doing groupwork
they can record and watch lessons later. The second tech is eLearning. NIIT has
the largest library of eLearning titles in world, about 6700 titles.The third is
web 2.0 which encourages collaborative learning and blogs. We can monitor what
is happening in classrooms of 325 centers which are connected through a VPN.

QHas the recent slowdown impacted investment in IT?
Many organizations have been looking at IT not as an added investment but to
improve their productivity and efficiency. Our investments in IT in the last 12
months have been higher for the simple reason that we use tech to bring down the
cost of course delivery and make the process much more efficient for all media
of course delivery. We are going to invest more to make sure that the same
expertise is made available across the country in advance curriculum and make
sure that tech is used to deliver that.

QWhat’s NIIT’s vision for revamping higher education in India?
NIIT wants India to be the global hub of excellence in higher education (HE) and
talent development. We believe that it is highly possible given the fact a large
investment is coming in this domain in the near future. We already have large
intellectual resources and given the rich experience we have gained in pedagogy
and delivery of non-formal education, we can improve HE dramatically.

We believe there should be higher research component for delivery of HE. As
part of the learning process, a student should be encouraged to solve real life
problems from society or industry and research solutions for some very
intriguing problems. We also need a strong linkage with industry because it is
this linkage that will make students get trained and educated in disciplines the
industry would require and then practise when they join industry. We want
practitioners to play a role in colleges and professors to come and work with
the industry. A student should get experience of real world while in college.
There is a great case for improving efficiency and effectiveness of not only
delivery but administration and management of HE institutions, given that we are
short of resources in faculty, administrators or even financial resources and
therefore we should use tech in a much larger measure in every aspect of higher
education system to benefit from efficiency that comes from tech. We would like
the students to be prepared for becoming global professionals rather than Indian
professionals. We believe Indians shall play an important role in global society
not only because of demographics but also because of the advance skills and
track record we have demoed over the last 20-30 years.

Education should be seamless from schools to colleges. Seamlessness is
required for a person to move from one discipline to another or from a science
career to tech oriented career or even humanities. Seamlessness is required for
how you learn in your hostel room, library or classroom. Seamlessness is also
required in terms of application of learning; what you apply in lab, you should
be able to apply in real life as well!

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