New Delhi: Common service centres (CSC), which facilitate affordable online services in rural areas, may soon be offering educational coaching from the well-known Super 30 coaching institute as well as global online tutorials provider Khan Academy.
CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd, a special purpose vehicle, formed by the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY), to monitor the implementation of the CSC scheme is in talks to finalize the agreement with the Super 30 and Khan Academy.
The Common Service Centres (CSCs) scheme, which has received a strong push from the current government, was conceptualized to provide Internet services in rural areas such as generating Aadhaar cards, booking railway e-tickets, and collecting insurance premiums. However, it is now offering various skill development and education courses.
Super 30 enrols 30 meritorious talents from among the economically backward sections of the society and trains them for India’s most prestigious institution—the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
As part of this programme students are provided free coaching, lodging and food and in the last few years, and most of its students have been able to crack the IIT entrance exam.
CSC has also tied up with a Bengaluru-based up company to package and digitize Super 30’s content through its platform, which will then be offered at the CSC portal free of cost.
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The CSC operators—private individuals also known as Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE)—can charge their own fees for the course according to the demand.
Super 30 founder Anand Kumar confirmed that he was in talks with a Bengaluru-based firm to create content for online education.
For the course, the teacher will have to keep in the mind the way people speak in rural areas. For example for north India, he/she should be able to use both Hindi and English words, so that students can relate to the speaker, said Kumar.
“This requires a lot of research. It won’t be easy and won’t become successful within six months of launch. We will have to do a lot of homework and in the next two-three years, it will spread out and benefit the students,” Kumar added.
CSC is also in talks to sign an agreement by September with the not-for-profit online educational tutorials designer Khan Academy to provide online tuition content on its portal.
Khan Academy revolutionized the way schoolchildren learn mathematics and science in the US and then the rest of the world by offering free online study courses on various subjects for users ranging from primary classes to college students.
It also launched in December its offerings in Hindi for Indian students, backed by funding from Ratan Tata.
Khan Academy did not respond to Mint’s queries.
CSC is already offering several courses such as animation course from TIRUBAA Technologies, as well as computer aided design (CAD) courses in association with Siemens. Three hundred persons have signed up for the CAD course including people from rural areas. After completing the course they will get certification from Siemens.
These courses, however, have not gained that much traction as it has not been publicized much, according to the person.
The success of these courses will be closely related to the initiatives by VLE’s to popularize the courses in their community and enrol greater number of students under the programme.