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NPTEL and IBM join hands to offer free blockchain course for students in India

Central government’s e-learning platform National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) has joined hands with technology giant IBM to offer a 12-week online course titled ‘Blockchain Architecture Design and Use Cases’ to Indian students.

The goal of the online blockchain course is to prepare students to meet the growing demand for blockchain skills globally. The course includes the fundamental design and architectural primitives of the blockchain, the system, and the security aspects, along with various use cases from different application domains.

Aimed to equip students with the conceptual and practical skills in the blockchain industry, the course will be available on the NPTEL website starting from July 2018.

Students will be asked to submit weekly assignments and pass a final exam at the end of the course to successfully receive a certificate co-signed by IBM.

The course has been co-developed by Praveen Jayachandran, Blockchain and Smart Contracts researcher at IBM India, and Sandip Chakraborty of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, who shall be jointly teaching it.

“IBM’s collaboration with India’s leading academic minds to create a blockchain curriculum is a reflection of our commitment to enabling the technology to realize its full potential, while also addressing the increased demand for adequate skills for students and developers”, Praveen Jayachandran was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The course will cover topics such as crypto primitives, consensus, the permissioned blockchain, use cases, and research efforts.

“The popularity of blockchain has moved from cryptocurrency to business applications across many industries such as insurance, finance, supply chain logistics, digital identity, healthcare and public sector,” Sandip Chakraborty said.

Designed to produce course content for the Engineering and Science fields, the NPTEL is a joint initiative of seven Indian Institute of Technology branches, the Indian Institute of Science, and the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The program disseminates instructional material through web supplements and video courses. Since many Indian students cannot attend a science or technology institute, NPTEL provides an alternative method for individuals to receive a quality education.

India is one of many countries to recently promote blockchain education. The University of California, Berkeley, plans to provide an online blockchain certificate program through the platform edX starting next month. In September 2017, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov included cryptocurrency education in a statement about an effort to increase financial literacy in the country. Educational institutions have also invested in blockchain technology for other uses, such as the issuance of academic credentials.

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Manmath Nayak

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