In an effort to meet the growing demand of the IT industry, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) may start an online certification for engineering disciplines.
The initial plan is to start a certified programme in two major disciplines by 2013.
To begin with, IIT Madras will coordinate the programme, but all other IITs are being contacted to become partners. Besides IITs, IT and industry partners will also be part of this programme.
The certification programme will be a direct offshoot of the ambitious National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) project, which was launched a few years ago.
The project - jointly carried out by IITs and IISc - provided a large number of courses online for students and teachers across the country by providing a new national curriculum.
"To begin with we will confine the programme to include two major areas of engineering-- IT and computer science. This would gradually be expanded to other engineering and science disciplines. The initial topics for the certification programme would include programming, data structure and algorithms," coordinator of NPTEL Mangala Sunder Krishnan told HT.
"It will essentially fulfil the demand for more employable graduates for IT industry," Krishnan said, adding, "This will be different from other online programmes because of a strong element of monitoring. We are proposing centrally invigilated exams with IT partners lending support in the management and conduct of the programmes in a very direct way. Also we do not envisage any entrance criteria. We only want the applicant to have a professional degree or being a student of a higher education programme."
Krishnan added the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology, under the HRD ministry, is fully supportive of the programme.
NPTEL is funded under the Mission, which has a larger vision for creating content and innumerable opportunities for quality improvement.