The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 5 , 2014
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New-age tech tools to turn varsity classrooms smart

- Blackboard, chalk & duster to make way for ceiling projectors, students pin hopes on ambitious plan

Think of LCD screens, interactive boards and Wi-Fi connectivity as you walk into college or university classrooms. Mind you, they are not miles away but closer home at Patna University.

The present classrooms at Patna University (PU) and its constituent colleges, which are devoid of modern-day contraptions, would undergo an intense makeover shortly. PU pro-vice-chancellor Ranjeet Kumar Sinha said: “The university administration plans to have smart classrooms in different colleges and departments of the university to help make the teaching-learning process more interactive and interesting.”

Welcoming the move, Vijay Yadav, a Patna College student, said: “It is good that the university plans to introduce smart classrooms but the students would benefit if the project is not confined to only pen and paper but becomes a reality.”

According to sources, the university administration plans to introduce smart classrooms in phases, with the first phase of work likely to start by April-May. Under that, every department and classroom at PU would get a ceiling projector to ensure teaching through PowerPoint presentations.

At present, the university departments and classrooms have traditional blackboards, where the teachers use chalk and duster to teach. In the second phase, which would take a year, all the classrooms and departments would have the facility of virtual classrooms with networking facility.

To help make the virtual classroom facility a reality, all colleges and departments would have the facility of e-library. At present, few colleges under Patna University — Patna Women’s College, Magadh Mahila College and Patna Science College — have e-library. All departments would have two sets of Net-enabled computers, which would subscribe to materials from Scopus for the teaching-learning process.

Scopus is the database delivering comprehensive overview of the world’s research material in science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities.

The pro-VC said: “The e-library facility would be of great help to students, mainly postgraduate and PhD, providing them easy access to quality research material.”

For infrastructure development at the colleges and postgraduate departments, PU would get funds from Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (Rusa), Bihar Educational Infrastructure Development Corporation and University Grants Commission. Sources said as the Rusa, which would mainly fund the entire project, is yet to take shape, the university plans to take up the work in phases.

The university administration also plans to repair the closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed on the varsity campus to keep check on the activities of students indulging in anti-academic activities. The cameras, installed around four years ago, became defunct after students damaged the control room of CCTVs in the proctor’s office.

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