What is NPTEL?
NPTEL is an acronym for National Programme on Technology
Enhanced Learning 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.
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. Web supplements were expected to cover
materials that could be delivered in approximately forty hours.
Five engineering branches (Civil, Computer Science, Electrical,
Electronics and Communication and Mechanical) and core science
programmes that all engineering students are required to take in
their undergraduate engineering programme in India were chosen
initially. Contents for the above courses were based on the model
curriculum suggested by All India Council for Technical Education
(AICTE) and the syllabi of major affiliating Universities in
- 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. In this context, the focus
areas for NPTEL project have been i) higher education, ii)
professional education, iii) distance education and iv) continuous
and open learning, roughly in that order of preference.
- Manpower requirement for trained engineers and technologists is
far more than the number of qualified graduates that Indian
technical institutions can provide currently. Among these, the
number of institutions having fully qualified and trained teachers
in all disciplines being taught forms a small fraction. A majority
of teachers are young and inexperienced and are undergraduate
degree holders. Therefore, it is important for institutions like
IITs, IISc, NITs and other leading Universities in India to
disseminate teaching/learning content of high quality through all
available media. NPTEL would be among the foremost and an important
step in this direction and will use technology for
- 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
- A large number of students who are unable to attend scholarly
institutions through NPTEL will have access to quality content from
All those who are gainfully employed in industries and all other
walks of life and who require continuous training and updating
their knowledge can benefit from well-developed and peer-reviewed
course contents by the IITs and IISc.
Experience with NPTEL?
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