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After virtual classes, govt to start virtual labs

Missed a laboratory experiment or failed to understand it, don't worry. Soon, your laptop or Aakash 2 will help you understand school and college laboratory experiments through the HRD ministry's new "virtual lab" for science and math students. Chetan Chauhan reports.

gadgets Updated: Feb 14, 2012 00:07 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Missed a laboratory experiment or failed to understand it, don't worry. Soon, your laptop or Aakash 2 will help you understand school and college laboratory experiments through the HRD ministry's new "virtual lab" for science and math students.

The HRD ministry with help from leading academicians will provide online facility to view laboratory tests through its education portal Sakshat.

"It will be country's first virtual laboratory in which the students will be able to conduct experiments while watching a video on the portal," a government official said. They will also be able to evaluate their performance and seek replies to their queries.

A virtual laboratory is part of the ministry's plan to provide entire school and college curriculum online. It is a precursor to the ministry's grand plan to provide low-cost tablet Aakash, first to college students and subsequently to school children.

The ministry plans to give an Aakash to 220 million college-going students in India in the next three to five years. The initial effort is expected to be launched in March, when the ministry will seek bids to supply a million Aakash tablets for distribution to students.

The new Aakash will have features to view the virtual lab on high definition with clarity in voice inputs. Videos of certain experiments will come pre-loaded with Aakash 2.

The virtual lab, to be launched next week, will try to be different by having latest from around the world on specific subjects. For instance if someone wants to understand an experiment on space science the portal will give information on the latest developments by Indian Space Research Organisation.

The virtual lab has been developed with the help of top academicians from the IIT and Department of Science and Technology under the ministry's guidance.