Harvard and MIT-founded edX in talks with Modi govt to provide 2,300 courses. These will be hosted on India’s own MOOC platform, SWAYAM.
New Delhi: One of the world’s most influential providers of online courses, edX, is set to partner with India to give Indian learners access to high-end academic programs from the best global institutes.
edX – founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – and the Narendra Modi government are learnt to be close to finalising an agreement under which over 2,300 edX courses will be co-hosted by India’s own Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform, SWAYAM.
It is learnt that edX CEO Anant Agarwal flew down to New Delhi earlier this week to seal the deal with Prakash Javadekar and his Human Resource Development ministry. A final announcement on the collaboration is expected within a few days.
While SWAYAM hosts about 1,000 courses right now, edX has proposed to bring in over 2,300 of its highly sought-after courses on to the Indian government’s platform.
edX declined to comment when reached by ThePrint.
edX and its Indian connection
Founded in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.
It boasts of 90 global partners and counts the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as its members, including charter members Harvard University, MIT, Berkeley, Caltech, University of Oxford, EPA, University of Princeton, and Imperial College, London.
The open source and nonprofit platform boasts of over 35 million enrolments and 12 million learners worldwide.
Incidentally, India’s first foray into the world of MOOCs had also started with edX, when IIT-Bombay tied up with the global MOOC platform for two courses under the UPA regime. The Modi government, however, was keen on creating its very own Indian MOOC platform, even though Agarwal had met Modi in 2016 to pitch edX instead.
The HRD ministry, then headed by Smriti Irani, insisted on the indigenous platform SWAYAM, backing it with an intellectual property rights regime to retain exclusivity of the courses on offer.
What is SWAYAM?
SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have poor access to the knowledge economy. It aims to take the best teaching/learning resources to all.
The indigenous IT platform facilitates hosting of all the courses taught in classrooms from class class IX till post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere, at any time. All the courses are interactive, prepared by the best teachers in the country, and are available free of cost to the residents in India.
SWAYAM is expected to ultimately host 2,000 courses and 80,000 hours of learning, covering school, under-graduate, post-graduate, engineering, law and other professional courses.