The prestigious College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP) and four other premier institutes in the country are part of the $ 2,50,000 worth Shared University Research (SUR) projects for year 2011,announced by software giant IBM India here on Tuesday.
The focus will be on healthcare and education, Bhooshan Kelkar, IBM India’s country manager for university relations, said while releasing details of SUR 2011 projects in India at a news conference. Anil Sahasrabudhe, director of CoEP was present. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Bombay and Delhi; Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) and PSG Tech, Coimbatore are other institutes.
The one-year project involving CoEP is led by IIT, Bombay (IIT-B) and relates to building a cloud computing platform, which refers to use of hardware/software resources and teaching expertise in a collaborative manner on a shared basis. This will enable large scale sharing and joint scientific research in education and energy management, Kelkar said. The project also involves IIT, Delhi (IIT-D).
Kelkar said the conceptualisation and on ground implementation of the project started a month ago with all the hardware in place, software being installed and some of the students as well as researchers at the partner institutes having begun work.
He said the technical aspects involve development of a more efficient security system for the cloud platform that will be used for disseminating education. For instance, a student at CoEP can use the same resources and expertise that is available for his counterparts at the IITs in Mumbai and Delhi and vice versa, without having to leave the college campus, he added.
While IIT-B is in-charge of the overall governance, administration and deciding research direction for the project, the CoEPs role is to provide decision support system and research in energy management, he said. The IIT-D will work on cloud security, he added.
The project with YCMOU, a state university based in Nashik, involves ICT-enabled education content delivery system for over 3 lakh students across the varsity 56 rural and urban centres in Maharashtra.
As of now, YCMOU uses satellite technology and classroom methods for delivery of its courses. However, the satellite technology does not enable a two-way or multi-way interaction. The project will seek to address this issue, said Kelkar.
He said, The YCMOU also plans to use mobile technology for delivery of content through a mobile interface designed by IBM, for the underprivileged section of the society.
R Krishnakumar, vice-chancellor of YCMOU, said, with mobile technology, we intend to reach out to those section of people, who are not used to conventional classroom and textbook learning.
The idea is to have more images and less of written material in the delivery of course content to learners, who are mostly auto and taxi-drivers, dabbawalas, cobblers, barbers, puncture repairmen and powerloom workers, he added.
SHARED UNIVERSITY RESEARCH
The SUR is a key component of IBMs effort to collaborate with institutions for development of modules that make a perceptible social impact. Annually, IBM commissions 40-odd SUR projects worldwide, covering diverse themes such as genomics; analysis of disease affected cells; geological and weather mapping; e-governance models and water management, among others. At least 22 projects are already underway in India since the last 12 years.
Some of these include the Union environment and forest ministry’s Clean Ganga Project.IBM is working with IIT, Kharagpur on developing data models and data analytics to help predict floods, movement of water tables, shifting of water beds and draughts, all of which has an impact on health, crops and safety along the river Ganga.
Another project is in the field of diabetic retinopathy, which relates to use of medical informatics for identifying and tracking the progress of diabetes, especially in rural India. It involves data collection, data transfer and analytics for better and quicker diagnostics.
Courtesy: Times of India