Rourkela university goes the youth way

Rourkela university goes the youth way

New Delhi: Campus life may be about to change. BPUT Alert, a text-based service, is making it possible for university students to receive information on examination timetables, results and even social events via SMS—for free.

BPUT Alert was developed by iWebleaf Global Solutions, an Orissa-based information technology company, for students of Rourkela’s Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT).

The project has since been piloted on the campuses of some more universities in Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Delhi, said Chandrasekhar Panda, founder and chief operating officer of iWebleaf.

“Today, youngsters are more interested in social networking through websites like Facebook, Orkut, Twitter etc...and do not visit university sites often," he said.

“Since cellular interaction plays a vital role in present time, we came up with the idea of sharing information, academic calendars, notices etc. with students through the same," he added.

Users get access to university notices, results, college news as well as career information. At BPUT, it is available to students of B Tech, B Pharm, B Arch, M Tech, MBA, MCA and M Pharm.

And it is proving popular, with more than 62,000 students subscribing to it. Subscribers need to send an SMS to a particular number to activate it. Although the service is free, there is a one-time subscription charge of Rs1.50 for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd users and Rs3 for users of other networks.

“Apart from providing vital information via SMS completely free of charge, the service hold potential to create a higher growth rate in the field of m-education (mobile-based education). It is also much simpler than using the Internet, where you need to be logged in, or search the site," said Panda.

Although it has proved to be a hit among students, BPUT Alert is still struggling to catch the eye of major mobile phone companies.

“We are in talks with Virgin Mobile and Uninor mobile service, but haven’t received any significant response from their side as yet," said Chandrasekhar.