NPTEL is an acronym for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning which is an initiative by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for creating course contents in engineering and science.
NPTEL as a project originated from many deliberations between IITs, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) during the years 1999-2003. A proposal was jointly put forward by five IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Madras) and IISc for creating contents for 100 courses as web based supplements and 100 complete video courses, for forty hours of duration per course. Web supplements were expected to cover materials that could be delivered in approximately forty hours. Five engineering branches (Civil, Computer Science, Electrical, Electronics and Communication and Mechanical) and core science programmes that all engineering students are required to take in their undergraduate engineering programme in India were chosen initially. Contents for the above courses were based on the model curriculum suggested by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the syllabi of major affiliating Universities in India.
There are two committees, the National Programme Committee (NPC) headed by the Joint Secretary, Higher Education, MHRD and the Programme Implementation Committee (PIC), headed by Professor M. S. Ananth, Director IIT Madras and Professor in Chemical Engineering.
The NPC oversees implementation of the programme and offers policy guidelines and financial structure. Some of the NPC members are also members of the PIC. The PIC enables the smooth functioning of the project in several phases and takes care of content creation and technology implementation. Members of the PIC meet periodically (about once every three months) to study the progress and issues related to coursework development.
In each IIT/IISc faculty are nominated as TEL coordinators to interact with their colleagues and encourage them to prepare course materials and offer technical and financial assistance using funds sanctioned for that purpose. In addition, two National coordinators, one for web based development and one for video lectures offer assistance and oversee the National programme. Groups are formed for solving specific technology or pedagogy related issues and arrive at general guidelines for faculty preparing course materials. In the first phase of the programme about 350 faculty members in all partner institutions worked together to deliver lecture contents. In the next phase this is likely to increase to well over 1000 faculty. Other Institutions such as NITs and major University faculty are also likely to participate.
Pretty much everything, if they are looking for all-round, well-educated, conceptually sound graduates as opposed to people with specific skill set. Even in the latter case, NPTEL has something to offer for each skill set. Industry can adapt one or more courses on a specific subject to train student population and offer them better financial rewards and career opportunities.
Through NPTEL, a part of the IIT training, flavour and the rigour with which they are given is made available to teachers and student community at large. Therefore, IT and core engineering industries can join hands to do the following: