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‘Meta university' to help students pursue two courses in different institutes

Rs 5,000-cr National Innovation Fund announced to support new ideas

New Delhi, Nov 15: Students will soon be able to pursue two courses simultaneously in two different institutions.

The Government has proposed setting up a ‘meta university', which will make it possible for, say, an IIT Kanpur student to also enrol in the Ancient History course in Jawaharlal Nehru University or a mathematics student from Indian Institute of Science to pursue a course in comparative literature from Jadavpur University.

The setting up of the ‘meta university' was announced by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday, while releasing the first report of the National Innovation Council (NIC). The Government also announced a Rs 5,000-crore National Innovation Fund, with initial infusion of Rs 100 crore, to support new ideas that will be useful for the common people.

open source learning

The Chairman of the NIC, Mr Sam Pitroda, said, “They (students) would be tested for their competencies before enrolling into a programme in another university and will be awarded degrees.”

He said the idea was to enable students to use open source learning material from across the globe, including material prepared by Indian Institutes of Technology.

The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, said the ‘meta university' would be operational from next year. “It will be a collaborative and multi-disciplinary learning platform,” he added.

The university will leverage the national knowledge network programme that already connects major institutes across the country through high-speed fibre-based broadband connectivity.

It also promises an unique opportunity to the country for innovation, given the huge unmet demand for high quality education in an environment of limited resources and availability of a dedicated national network, said the report.

Source:-BusinessLine, Nov 16, 2011

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