Jharkhand's Initiative: Click & Learn

by Sonal Desai    Nov 10, 2006

Taking forward United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA)’s aim of Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan (SSA), the Jharkhand government has rolled out a computer education and computer-aided education programme to down link satellite based education at the local level. It will cover over 440 schools across 22 districts of the state.

A part of the states’ e-governance initiative, the project is being jointly implemented by the Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) and the Jharkhand Agency for Promotion of Information Technology (JAPIT). Core Projects and Technologies Ltd.(CPTL) will provide technology support. The project is to be implemented in a span of five years on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis.

S.K. Barnwal, director, JAPIT, informed that CPTL would develop the software. The project will be based on a Child Tracking System (CTS) module. The module, based on Management Information System (MIS), will compile information on children up to 14 years, including their family history. Current information at the school, cluster, block and district level will be data entered and sent to a central location.

“This will enable us find out the reasons why students drop out? Whether flexi-curricula will attract them back to the schools? Whether any innovative methods can be devised? etc. The module will also track their progress reports till they reach class VIII through quality monitoring tools. Education inspectors at the district level and state administrators at Mantralaya will be able to avail all the information on a single screen.”

The module will also help government devise strategies for starting new centers, their locations, etc. Each school will be mapped on the Geographic Information System (GIS).

Another project in the pipeline is use of technology for live feeds.

Said Barnal, it is based on audio and video technologies. “At present, we use only the audio process where we can communicate with students and teachers, and get real life feed-back on projects and their problems. However, it is being implemented at the district level. We aim to introduce it to the block level soon. We are planning to introduce video surveillance system as well. These technologies, backed by ISRO and IGNOU -will be integrated with the CTS module,” he added.

“Direct monitoring mechanism will be put into place at the regional, district, block and cluster level, enabling project surveillance at the micro level. It will help provide the government with a more accurate view of the level and efficacy of education being imparted in the state over the next few years,” said Alok Pathak, president of CPTL for US operations.
He informed, the CTS module would be able to identify children with special needs. Different courses will be designed (as per NCERT rules) for these children and teachers will be trained to impart education as per their needs.

Pathak averred that the software would also monitor the grants disbursed to various schools. Citing a CAG report, he said: Close to Rs 11,000 crore is to be spent on the SSA project. There are reports of alleged misappropriation of funds up to Rs 436 crore by seven or eight states. Our software will keep an eye on the fund transfer. Right from issue of sanction letters to money transfer, the entries will be added to the database, and a signal would indicate completion of a deal.”

CPTL’s products are based on the latest dotnet member 1.0.3 on Microsoft and will support Java and Java eApps and Oracle technologies.

To a question whether connectivity problems could pose a problem, he said, “Though National Informatics Centre (NIC) has taken care of the basic infrastructure, in instances with connectivity problems, the data will be transmitted over the conventional route of telephone lines.”

He added that the company is talking to governments in Maharashtra, Orissa and Chhatisgrah for similar projects.

The cost of the project runs in crores.