India – Afghanistan to collaborate on digital education initiatives, rope in IITs to design programs

Chennai : The Ministry of Human Resource Development signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Higher Education, Digital Education Initiatives that will include many programs developed by Indian Institutes of Technology. IIT Madras will also be a part of the collaborations.

The Fields of Cooperation include: Sharing of Online Education Platform, named ‘Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM) developed by Government of India, facilitating use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) available in SWAYAM Platform by students and faculty of the educational institutions in Afghanistan, imparting training to the faculty and students in the educational institutions in Afghanistan for using the SWAYAM Platform and Capacity building of Afghanistan faculties and related staff in e-learning, assisting in uploading and publishing of existing courses developed by educational Institutions in Afghanistan on the SWAYAM Platform, assisting Ministry of Higher Education, Afghanistan to develop/set up Afghanistan’s own MOOC platform.

Talking about the collaboration, Ministry of Human Resource Development secretary R Subrahmanyam said, “The historic ties between India and Afghanistan would grow further with this collaboration. This would enrich the lives of young people achieve their aspirations.”

One of the main objectives of the MOU is to facilitate students and faculty from Afghanistan to enroll and learn from the courses offered on SWAYAM, which will expose them to latest technology courses and also upskill them in areas of their interest, a note from IIT Madras said.

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Among the other initiatives is the sharing and access with the Higher Educational Institutions of Afghanistan of various Indian facilities such as the National Digital Library of India (NDLI), VIRTUAL LABS, Spoken tutorials for Higher Educational Institutions of Afghanistan and sharing of experience and participation of higher educational institutions of Afghanistan on robotic projects and symposiums held under e-Yantra.

Further, establishment of joint educational programmes between higher educational institutions of Government of India and higher educational institutions of Afghanistan are also on the anvil, the note added. The MoU will facilitate assisting the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to carry out the curriculum development process including sharing of curriculum developed by MHRD, it said.

Other features include, promoting mobility of students between the two countries, facilitating Afghan students to study in reputed higher educational Institutions of India, under the Study in India Programme, assisting MoHE in Quality Assurance and Accreditation Processes, Administrative Reform of MoHE structures, Joint Academic Journal Establishment, Joint Research Program with Indian Institutes, document attestation, sharing experience on Control and Monitoring of Private Institutes and other academic programs.

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