To give the concept of digital education a further push, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has on January 15, 2018 written a letter to vice-chancellors and heads of all higher educational institutions of the country, asking them to contact telecom service providers (TSP) who are ready to provide internet services for free on college and university campuses.
The MHRD in its letter has asked nearly 900 universities and 40,000 affiliated colleges to coordinate with approved TSPs for the WiFi facilities on campuses by August 15, 2018.
“The creation of digital campus would require a large national effort involving both private and public players. Some telecom service providers have already evinced interest in participating in this effort.” the letter from the MHRD reads.
With the plan to install WiFi facility on 50,000 campuses in the country, the letter states that each user will have a quota of data they can use for free after which they will have to pay the telecom service provider.
“It is expected that the facility is to be provided by telecom service and internet service providers at their own cost. There shall be no financial implications to the institution,” the letter stated.
According to reports, each user of the WiFi facility will be allowed connections to a minimum of two devices such as a laptop or smartphone concurrently. The broadband network of the TSP should be interconnected to the National Knowledge Network (NKN) to access other e-learning resources.
Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio had last year expressed interest to deploy free WiFi services in 38,000 colleges under the MHRD. As per reports, the proposal is being scrutinized by the MHRD, Telecom Reglatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).