DAY BEFORE yesterday, I was at Purulia in West Bengal and met Sakina Khatun, Ruksana Khatun and Tyab. These children were trying out their little fingers on a laptop. Though it was not theirs but belonged to the assistant labour commissioner of the district, who was happy to share his laptop with these kids. These children are part of child activist programme being run by district labour department, district administration and Zila Parishad, which is providing an opportunity to voices of children who were once child labour but are now back in school. But in the coming days things may change, may be they have a laptop of their own.
This has been made possible by National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology. It is set to unveil on Feburary 3, a ’nano laptop’, which will cost only Rs 500. A boon for many in India and will help in taking the power of computing to interiors of the country. This has been made possible due to efforts of students of Indian Institute of Technology, scientists in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, IIT-Madras and Semiconductor Complex, a Public Sector Undertaking. Though it may take some time till the dreams of the little kids may get realised but nevertheless, it is a great hope in coming days.
The National Mission on Education through ICT has been envisaged as a centrally-sponsored Scheme to leverage the potential of ICT, in providing high quality personalised and interactive knowledge modules over the Internet/intranet for all the learners in Higher Education Institutions in anytime, anywhere mode. The mission plans to extend computer infrastructure and connectivity to over 18,000 colleges in the country and growing appropriate e-learning procedures, providing facility of performing experiments through virtual laboratories, online testing and certification, online availability of teachers to guide and mentor students
Contributed by Anil Gulati