IIT-ians gift smart class to tap skills

An IIT-Bombay alumnus from the state launched a digital classroom programme on Sunday to help people gain proficiency in computers.

By Nishant Sinha
  • Published 19.09.16
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An IIT-Bombay alumnus from the state launched a digital classroom programme on Sunday to help people gain proficiency in computers.

The programme - initiated by Ashutosh Kumar from Madhubani and five IIT-Bombay and Delhi colleagues - is named the Empowering Classroom Learning Initiative.

As part of the inititave, the "Testbook Smart Labs" will provide students, competitive exam candidates and the general public access to computer tests in Bihar and other states.

The group aims to usher classrooms into the digital world, and has partnered with local teachers to install the smart labs in their classrooms. There will be a nominal fee for the programme.

Three of these labs opened in Patna on Sunday, and one in Bhagalpur.

Ashutosh and his fellows - three from his alma mater and two from IIT-Delhi - had earlier created a website ( www.testbook.com) to help aspiring candidates prepare for online recruitment examinations.

"As all government and banking recruitment exams have switched from offline procedures to the Internet, students of Bihar find themselves at a disadvantage because of lack of computer and Internet access," Ashutosh said.

"Majority of students in Bihar lack not only Internet access but also familiarity with computers. How can a student succeed if he uses such an interface for the first time at the examination centre? The 'Smart Labs'aims to bridge this digital divide."

Testbook will also provide teachers with national-level test series and a computer platform which covers at least 7 lakh students from across India. So far, over 10 crore questions have been solved on the platform.

"With this we hope to build an ecosystem where we also empower teachers, who will in turn, help students," added Ashutosh. "As part of the Empowering Classroom Learning Initiative, Testbook will also help local teachers build their own smart labs."

"We plan to open 400 'smart labs' across Bihar in the next four months. In Patna alone, around 50 smart labs will be created," said Ashutosh. The goal is simple - to ensure that no student in Bihar is at a disadvantage because of a lack of computer access.

"Students from metros cities have the advantage of better computer infrastructure and widespread Internet connectivity," said Amitabh, a student from Patna preparing for the SBI probationary officers' recruitment exam. "This new initiative will help level the playing field."