New UGC portal to offer over 23,000 free online courses

The University Grants Commission (UGC) said on Thursday that more than 23,000 higher education courses, including programs in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and early childhood care, will now be freely accessible on a new web platform. .

The UGC Electronic Resource Portal with Common Service Centers (CSC) (http://digitalseva.csc.gov.in) will be unveiled at 8:00 p.m. on Friday as part of the second anniversary of the National Education Policy 2020, with the objective of reducing the digital divide and improving access to higher education in rural areas of the country.

PARTNERSHIPS WITH CSCs AND SPVs

In order to offer these courses from the next academic session of 20222023, UGC has partnered with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to integrate electronic resources into their more than 7, 5 lakh Common Service Centers (CSC) and Special Utility Vehicle Centers (SPV).

“As part of its efforts to make higher education accessible to all, UGC has consistently worked to make digital resources available to students in English as well as regional languages,” said the president of UGC, Mr. Jagadesh Kumar.

The CSC wants to give people, especially those in rural India, access to digital technology and e-government services at their doorstep.

Over 5 lakh CSC/SPV centers are operational nationwide, while about 2.5 lakh CSCs and SPVs are utilized in the Gram Panchayats.

“The CSCs and SPVs are managed and operated by entrepreneurs who belong to the local community and are called Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs). The VLEs operate the centers to earn a living by providing online services. computers and internet connectivity,” says Kumar.

FREE COURSES ON THE UGC PLATFORM

There are 23,000 postgraduate courses in addition to 25 non-technical SWAYAM courses and 137 SWAYAM MOOC courses in emerging fields. These are accessible free of charge on the UGC platform.

“All courses are free. However, to avail the services and infrastructure of CSC/SVP, a user has to pay a fee of Rs 20 per day or Rs 500 per month to reimburse the efforts of VLEs and the cost of their infrastructure,” Kumar said. .

“This is similar to other government projects like Ayushman Bharat Yojana, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, e-Shram, Pan Card, Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana (PMSYM) and many more,” Kumar added.

(With PTI entries)

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Karen O. Fielding