Internet-based training is picking up as an easy
medium of learning in India.
The speed at which the Web is expanding
allows institutions such as the National Institute of Information
Technology (NIIT) to innovate online courses for their Net varsity.
Education is only one of the many fields being transformed by the Net.
This is a form of education where learning takes place in a virtual
classrooms on the Web, where examinations are conducted and assessed
in that mysterious realm known as cyberspace and where the medium
really is the message.
Though online universities are a very real phenomenon in the US, in
India, however, it is still in its infancy. A majority of
Indian students attending classes online are students of
Most organizations offering online education are thus involved in
Organizations such as NIIT offer a number
of modular courses online while an institution such as Aptech
online classes and forums into its regular curriculum.
others such as Zee Education,
which has plans
of going online with diploma and certificate courses in commerce and
other subjects, in addition to computer courses.
As Sanjiv Kataria of NIIT’s Corporate Marketing Organization explains,
“The biggest advantage is ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning and that is
the goal that we are working towards.” NIIT’s NetVarsity has around
60,000 users worldwide.
Aptech offers online training courses to corporates and individuals
wishing to enhance their skills and candidates who desire
international certification through the MCSE certified online
NIIT’s US-wing NIIT (USA) started the Internet university nearly two
years ago and offers focused training on specific brands of software,
with an initial module on generics.
Internet technology courses such as Java programming, Web publishing
and building Web sites using graphics and multimedia are offered in
The varsity also offers courses in C++ and Visual
Basic, operating systems (Windows 9x/NT) and client servers (Oracle).
The varsity uses what it calls skilletes to deliver the training. The
skillete, trademarked by NIIT, is basically a tool to deliver
education on demand.
Therefore, each skillete is specific to a skill
that the learners think they need to pick up.
Each skillete contains a set of instruction that take about half an
hour to go through.
As this is done through NIIT’s interactive Web
site, NetVarsity claims that it uses skilletes because they are Web
playable and developed keeping in mind the handicaps of traditional
All the skilletes on the site and bunched together in a sequence to
form a module.
Modules are then sequenced to form a course.
However, a major limitation of online education in India is the fact
that a very small percentage of the country’s population has access to
Moreover, non-availability of payment through credit cards
is currently a major problem.
Additionally, market observers point out, India needs to work in the
areas of connectivity and bandwidth, if online education is to take
For online examinations might also be a problem because of
the fact that connectivity might be better in some areas, than in