NPTEL: A Govt Funded e-Learning Project Successfully Spreading The Education Democratically!


The basic objective of science and engineering education in India is to devise and guide reforms that will transform India into a strong and vibrant knowledge economy. India needs many more teachers for effective implementation of higher education in professional courses. Therefore, methods for training young and inexperienced teachers to enable them carry out their academic responsibilities effectively are a must. NPTEL contents can be used as core curriculum content for training purposes.

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), which is an initiative by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for creating course contents in engineering and science, and helping to get the same desired objective as above.

NPTEL as a project originated from many deliberations between IITs, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) during the years 1999-2003.

A proposal was jointly put forward by five IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Madras) and IISc for creating contents for 100 courses as web based supplements and 100 complete video courses, for forty hours of duration per course.

It is one of the fundamental goals of the project to bring in all the best teachers in the country under the umbrella of NPTEL and record their lectures/seek their collaboration with IITs/IISc and make their courses available for the community under free and open sources agreement.

Contents for the above courses are based on the model curriculum suggested by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the syllabi of major affiliating Universities in India. Course contents are useful for teacher training and through them improve the quality of students. In addition, the course materials (both web and video) are freely accessible by everyone independent of their geographic location.

These courses can be used by professionals for updating their academic background. Open and distance education using NPTEL contents are long term prospects for IITs.

NPTEL Courses Institute Wise

Institute No. of Courses
IIT Bombay 95
IIT Delhi 80
IIT Guwahati 99
IIT Kanpur 152
IIT Kharagpur 159
IIT Madras 205
IIT Roorkee 50
IISc Bangalore 83
Total 923
Certificate: Symbolic

So, how big is NPTEL?

The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) is now more than a decade old. Conceived initially and still coordinated by IIT Madras, NPTEL is funded by the ministry of human resources development (MHRD) to take quality education to remote areas.

It’s the most accessed library of peer-reviewed educational content in the world, an emailed fact sheet states. According to Alexa, it’s ranked at 328 in India. Its YouTube channel, with close to 20,000 videos, has more than 800,000 subscribers and over 245 million views. Head-to-head, MIT OpenCourseware has more subscribers, but fewer than half the views (112 million views). But Youtube stats alone don’t give a full measure of this mammoth beast. Its content is also free to download, available on DVDs, and distributed under the CC BY-SA.

The contents will hopefully help evolve criteria for focused learning and a common set of standards for professional education in India through participation by everyone concerned under this platform.

You can also download these lectures if you have broadband connectivity and browsers like Firefox, IE 7 onwards, Safari etc. Please go to the website.

The Project is funded by MHRD, Govt. of India.




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