If everything goes as planned, the Mysuru-based Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), which has stepped into its 25th year, has proposed to distribute tablets to students taking admissions in July cycle this year.
In the last cycle (admissions from July 2020), more than 18,000 students took admissions to 35-plus courses and the entire process happened online, with the university bringing in reforms in admissions and examination procedures for the benefit of the students, besides making it transparent.
“We had planned to distribute tablets with preloaded lessons of the respective courses from last year itself. However, since the university still had printed lessons and are expected to last until this year, we put off the proposal for the July cycle since we don’t want to waste the already-printed lessons. Once the printed lessons deplete, we shall examine whether to go for printing once again or switch over fully to e-lessons, making them available online and preloading them in the tablets,” said Vice-Chancellor S. Vidyashankar.
He told The Hindu that the number of admissions may rise in the January cycle this year and the university was hoping to double the admission numbers considering the exclusive right it recently received on running Open and Distance Learning (ODL) courses in the State.
The university has launched its Android-based mobile application besides a platform for easy access of information for the students such as course details, prospectus and admissions/examination information.
“When we are switching over to digital mode, bringing in reforms and incorporating new technologies, we thought of giving tablets to the students as part of their admissions to make learning even more easier. If we buy the devices in bulk, we may get the them at a lesser price. After the January cycle, we shall look into the proposal of introducing tablets, following the mandatory procedures sticking to the government guidelines,” said Prof. Vidyashankar.
Arguing that the university was focusing on revamping the way the distance education was reached and taught to students, the VC said new courses would be introduced upon getting the nod from the University Grants Commission (UGC). More IT-based courses and science courses are getting launched, keeping in view the job sector and the emerging areas. “Our thrust is on improving the gross enrolment ratio (GER), attracting more students to higher education. With ODL getting new impetus, we would be reaching out to more number of students, thereby improving the number of students taking higher education,” he added.
The KSOU is already running 35-plus courses. The programmes awaiting UGC approval include Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration; Bachelor of Computer Applications; Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (B.Sc IT; Bachelor of Science in Human Development; MA in Education; MA in Telugu; Master of Science in Information Technology; Master of Science in Botany; Master of Science in Zoology and Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition.
The KSOU’s proposal for launching new programmes in the online mode is also before the UGC. The courses proposed for the launch in online mode are Master of Commerce; MBA; MA in Economics; M.Sc Information Technology; M.Sc Computer Science; MA in English; MA in Hindi and MA in Kannada.