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Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Government of India signs MoU with Ministry of Higher Education, Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Digital Education Initiatives

The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, is going to work with the Afghanistan Government on Digital Education Initiatives, which include many prominent programs developed by Indian Institutes of Technology. This collaboration will contribute to develop bilateral relations and beget mutual benefits for the two countries. The MoU was signed today (15th March 2019) at IIT Madras.

Speaking during the occasion, Mr. R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary (Higher Education), Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, speaking on the occasion 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.”

Prof M. Homayoun Qayoumi, Hon’ble Senior Advisor to the President of Afghanistan and Acting Minister of Finance, highlighted the impact of education in the progress of every country and this collaboration would help in providing better education facilities.   

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,
  • Facilitate 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.
    (L_R)Prof M. Homayoun Qayoumi, Senior Advisor to President of Afghanistan & Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary (Higher Education), MHRD, exchanging the MoU

SWAYAM is the National MOOCs platform, which has multiple National Coordinators offering courses at various academic levels. The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a project of the MHRD, is one of the biggest National Coordinators offering a large bouquet of courses as part of SWAYAM. IIT Madras has been the fore-runner starting the MOOCs initiative as early as 2014, developing and strengthening the MOOCs portal being used for delivery of the courses, with release of an open source version of this in the works.

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.

Among the other initiatives envisaged by this MoU 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 is also on the anvil. 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.

Other salient features include:

  • Promoting mobility of students between the two countries. Both the parties agree for the Mutual recognition of academic qualifications prevalent in both the countries. An instrument for implementation shall be signed separately,
  • Facilitating the Afghan students to study in reputed higher educational Institutions of India, under the Study in India Programme, 
  • Assisting Ministry of Higher Education 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.

By Editor