Chennai: National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a SWAYAM national coordinator, has opened enrolment for more than 500 online certification courses, which are open to students and working professionals across India.
These courses are being offered completely free of cost by NPTEL. There is a nominal fee charged towards the in-person proctored exam for the certification. Certification is optional. Students can join these courses through the website – https://swayam.gov.in/. Some of the popular courses include Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms using Python, Basic Electrical Circuits, Engineering Thermodynamics, Health Research Fundamentals and Constitutional Studies.
The NPTEL is a joint initiative of IITs and IISc and certification courses are offered through the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) format. Learners must watch videos online, submit assignments on a weekly basis and register for an in-person final exam which is invigilated. More than 1.2 crore learners have joined NPTEL courses till date. The NPTEL videos have received more than 1 Billion views so far.
Highlighting the unique aspects of NPTEL Courses, Prof Prathap Haridoss, Coordinator, SWAYAM-NPTEL-IIT Madras, said, “NPTEL has been working towards bringing in an industry perspective to its technically rich courses and started partnering with companies through NPTEL Industry-Associate initiative. Companies can partner with NPTEL and use NPTEL courses to train their freshers, cross-skill and up-skill their existing workforce.”
Further, Prof Prathap Haridoss said, “NPTEL currently has 49 Industry partners. Experts and senior leaders from companies are contributing to NPTEL through their LIVE sessions on various technologies and are giving career guidance to NPTEL learners. NPTEL has conducted more than 150 LIVE sessions till date.”
Speaking about the courses being offered, Prof Andrew Thangaraj, Coordinator, SWAYAM-NPTEL-IIT Madras, said, “In order to streamline the efforts of learners and to guide them to obtain expertise in an area, NPTEL has initiated the idea of ‘Domain Certification.’ A domain comprises a set of core and elective NPTEL courses. Those who complete a domain (specified core courses + elective courses) with an average score of 60 will get a domain certificate from NPTEL. There are no additional charges/ fees involved in obtaining domain certification. There are 44 domains across 12 disciplines available now and more are in the pipeline.”
Learners spanning ages from 13 to 86 years can take up NPTEL Certification. Age has never been a barrier for learning for Dr. Sarada Ramani who is 86 years old. With multiple degrees to her credit, having retired as the Headmistress of a popular school in Chennai, she has taken up courses on German language from NPTEL.
Sharing her experiences, Dr. Sarada Ramani, who attended NPTEL certification examinations in December 2020, said, “Instructors taught every word with great clarity which ensured that I attained a certain degree of expertise over the language and the orderliness I enjoyed during the in-person proctored NPTEL exam is exemplary”.
Dr. Sarada Ramani added that the assignments aided her in getting a better grip of the concepts and wishes to take up courses on music in the future.
SWAYAM-NPTEL currently works closely with more than 4,000 colleges in engineering, arts, commerce, science and management disciplines across the country. Many students are taking these certification exams as it helps them in improving their employability.
In a survey conducted by NPTEL with the colleges to understand the impact of NPTEL courses on employability, 82.9per cent of the colleges mentioned that NPTEL courses had a positive impact and that the students who took up these courses gained confidence to attend and clear technical interviews and technical assessments.
Mr. Rakesh Ranjan from West Bengal, received placement offers from two top multinational companies. Speaking about how the NPTEL Courses helped him, Mr. Rakesh Ranjan said, “After the interviewers saw the NPTEL certifications on my resume, I wasn’t questioned on the basic concepts during the interview. The recruiters directly asked me tough and in-depth questions based on my certification courses.”
NPTEL recognizes active learners who have effectively used NPTEL courses, as ‘NPTEL Stars’ and has started providing free soft skills training to the course toppers and NPTEL stars. This will help them to become well prepared for the job interviews.
As part of the soft skills training NPTEL conducts employability assessment, online mock interviews, online interactive sessions and live video sessions and gives personalized feedback to the students on areas for improvement in the context of employment.
Mr. Narayan Balaso Koli, a student from Maharashtra who has been selected in a core company as site engineer, mentioned that soft skills training from NPTEL helped him face job interviews with a lot of confidence.
NPTEL is also being used by a steadily growing international audience. Enrollment is now open and NPTEL invites learners to use the opportunity.