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Smart Classes for Rural Schools

  • 04 Jan 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, RailTel has proposed to the Ministry of Education its plan for equipping rural schools, run by the central government, with the ability to hold ‘smart classes’.

Key Points

  • About the Proposal:
    • The proposal is to power remote government schools with high-speed broadband and create an “Internet of Things” environment for learning.
    • The plan is to create end-to-end e-learning solutions for the schools, using the solid Optical Fibre Cable network, which is the backbone of Indian Railways telecom operations.
      • Behind the plan is the education sector’s thrust on leveraging the gains of e-learning as a mode of instruction, at a time when the pandemic has forced teachers and students to migrate to virtual platforms and adopt IT-enabled interactive means for teaching.
    • The cable network runs along railway tracks, and so as far as reach is concerned, there is the capability to impact rural schools anywhere in India, including the remotest locations which otherwise may not get reliable Internet.
      • RailTel has already provided such connectivity to 723 institutions of higher learning under the Centre’s National Knowledge Network programme, with broadband speed of up to 10 gigabytes per second.
    • It would impact around 3.5 lakh students who are enrolled in these schools, which are run by the Central government predominantly for meritorious students in rural India.
  • RailTel:
    • It is a "Mini Ratna (Category-I)" Central Public Sector Enterprise.
    • It is an ICT (Information and Communication Technology) provider and one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers in the country owning a Pan-India optic fiber network on exclusive Right of Way (ROW - for laying telecom cables) along Railway track.
      • The OFC network covers all important towns & cities of the country and several rural areas.
    • It has been selected for implementation of various mission-mode projects for the Government of India including rolling out the National Knowledge Network, Bharat Net and USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) funded optical fiber based connectivity project in North East India.

Source: IE

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