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IIT Bombay To Be First Indian Institution To Join edX

Partnership may aid in training India’s engineering teachers

By Amna H. Hashmi, Crimson Staff Writer

The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, agreed to join the edX consortium Tuesday, marking the virtual learning platform’s first expansion into India and its seventh into Asia.

To cement the partnership with the Harvard- and MIT-founded online education venture, IIT director Devang V. Khakhar signed a memorandum of understanding at the U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue, a conference chaired by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and India’s Human Resources Development Minister M. M. Pallam Raju.

"At edX, our global community continues to grow at the student and institutional levels," edX president Anant Agarwal said in an edX press release. "India is an important market for us and is home to the largest population of edX learners outside of the United States.”

IIT Bombay, a globally recognized public engineering institution known for its highly competitive admissions process, is part of the Indian Institutes of Technology higher education system, which has previously engaged in online learning. Similar to edX, the IIT system provides free access to courses online through its National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning. The initiative has 600 course content pages utilized by affiliates from 800 colleges across India, the Indian Express reported in December.

According to the edX statement, xIITB’s courses could potentially aid in the training of India’s teachers, particularly in cramped engineering programs in which 1.25 million students are enrolled in approximately 5,000 engineering colleges across the country.

In its own statement, IIT Bombay said that the partnership with edX will expand the scope of technology-aided learning to areas such as “vocational training, school education, and faculty empowerment.”

On the heels of last month’s addition of 15 schools to the XConsortium, the entrance of IIT Bombay brings the total number of partners to 29. Institutions contributing courses to the year-old online education platform span four continents and include universities, colleges, and an international organization.

—Staff writer Amna H. Hashmi can be reached at amnahashmi@college.harvard.edu. Follow her on Twitter @amna_hashmi.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: Jan. 12, 2013

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the total number of partners in the edX consortium. In fact, there are 29 institutions, not 28.

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Higher EducationIndiaedXFaculty News