Virtual IIT Degree: Soon a Reality!Seven IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology), and IISc (Indian Institute of Science) are coming up with India’s first virtual technology university. The idea of Virtual Tech University is expected to become a reality in the next 2 to 3 years.

IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kharagpur and IISc Bangalore will meet in Delhi next month to finalize the project details. It’s not clear yet whether the virtual university will offer degrees directly or it will tie up with other universities to transfer credits for a degree.

IITs are also running National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning or NPTEL virtually. The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning is a joint venture between the seven IITs and IISc to offer web- based and video- based course content for basic sciences, Engineering and humanities – based on the ‘OpenCourseWare’ programme of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Until June 2014, this programme was offering 372 web courses and 398 video courses for free through the YouTube channel. Students from 887 engineering colleges, science colleges, technology institutes, and management institutes have accessed it.

Virtual university will be the next step to make higher education more accessible to students. NPTEL online content may serve as the base content for it giving credits, degrees and certificates to students who access and learn from NPTEL courses. These online engineering degrees may also be offered to students of this tech university. Also, IITs are in talks with IT and engineering companies to add employment value to these degrees and certificates.

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