Chennai: The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) was initiated by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati and Roorkee) along with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 2003. The online courses offered by NPTEL, unlike other popular MOOCs portals, include courses from all disciplines of Engineering such as Biotechnology, Ocean Engineering, Metallurgical Sciences etc apart from the popular ones such as Computer Science Engineering or Electrical Engineering.
For July-November 2017 session, 159 courses are open for enrolment currently on the portal (https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in). Among the 159, 43 are rerun of courses offered previously and 116 courses are new. The courses are offered by experts in their fields. For instance, the course “Patent Law for engineers and scientists” is offered by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Chair Professor on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), who is also a practising Madras High court lawyer. The course on “Programming in Python” and course on Algorithms is by Professor at CMI who is also the President of ACM, India, the leading professional body for all computer scientists.
Prof. Andrew Thangaraj, NPTEL coordinator at IIT Madras says, “It is a great opportunity for learners across the country to access the IIT and IISc systems as well as experts from other reputed institutions. This enables learning without boundaries. You learn what you are interested in, and get a certificate confirming your abilities in that area”.
Some statistics regarding the open online courses since March 2014 till June 2017
Completed courses: 355
Enrolments across courses: 15,50,000+
Number of examination registrations: 1,00,000+
All the statistics pertaining to completed courses are available at nptel.ac.in/noc
All courses are completely free to enrol and learn from. The certification examination is optional and comes at a fee of Rs 1000/course examination
The content in every course is in-depth and as taught in the IITs, which will provide any candidate who goes through it, a solid foundation and understanding of a topic. Some courses such as- Networks and Systems, Fluid dynamics and turbomachines, Strength of materials, etc will help candidates prepare for the entrance examination for higher technical education as well. The bouquet also has courses on current and cutting-edge technology, which will improve the employability of candidates in the technical domain too such as Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Machine Learning, MIMO/OFDM Cellular and Sensor Networks, etc.
The objective of these courses is to make students employable in the industry or pursue a suitable higher education programme. Through an online portal, 4-, 8-, or 12-week online courses, typically on topics relevant to students in all years of higher education along with basic core courses in sciences and humanities with exposure to relevant tools and technologies, are being offered. The enrolment to and learning from these courses involves no cost. Following these online courses, an in-person, proctored certification examination will be conducted and a certificate is provided through the participating institutions.
The courses will begin on July 24, 2017 or August 21, 2017 with examination dates being September 24/October 22, 2017 (Sundays). Last day for enrolment to the courses will be the start date of the course.