From next week, students from 100 engineering colleges will be able to listen to lectures by professors at IIT Bombay. The interactive lectures will be beamed to their classrooms by satellite.
This is an experiment worth emulating elsewhere in the country. India already faces a skills shortage—and it could get worse in the years ahead. Engineering colleges across the country do send lakhs of young men and women out into the job market, but most need some more training before they can man the computers and work the lathes. No wonder companies spend crores to retrain their new recruits.
Innovative solutions such as the IIT Bombay virtual classroom are one way out. Students will get exposure to the best teachers. Many of the world’s best universities already offer their course material online.
The government should encourage new ways to bridge the skills gap. And it should ensure that the education market is open, in the real and virtual worlds.