Dr Mangala Sunder Krishnan has spent his career sharing his love of science with students. For the past 25 years, he has worked at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras focused on inspiring the next generation of learners and advancing research in the field of physical and theoretical chemistry.
“India has the world’s largest youth population,” says Dr Sunder. “They are our biggest resource and the gift of God. By educating our youth, we invest in the future of India.”
With support from Dr Sunder and other educational leaders like him across the country, the Indian government has taken massive strides to provide high-quality education to more students. Through the National Programme on Technology enhanced Learning (NPTEL) funded by the then Ministry of Human Resource Development, platform and content development models were provided for online collaborations between premier institutions in India to understand and utilise visual and interactive tools and technologies in teaching and learning programmes in science and engineering for a decade.
The National Mission on Education through ICT (NME-ICT), a landmark initiative that aims to support teaching and learning across higher education using technology, expanded NPTEL to all domains. NME-ICT also brought forth connectivity and devices for online teaching, delivering many virtual courses that use streaming video, discussion forums, emails and other digital methods to educate students and eventually launch one of the world’s largest online certification programmes, the SWAYAM.
Swayam Prabha is one of the newest and most ambitious education projects from NME-ICT. Started in 2016, Swayam Prabha consists of 34 direct-to-home (DTH) television channels broadcast over GSAT-15 satellite. Each channel is devoted to several connected subjects, such as Language & Literature, Social & Behavioural Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Applied Sciences and more. From the beginning of NPTEL in 2003, Adobe has been helping with creative applications, which are now provided through Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise. Media teams across India work with educators and use the software to create visuals and edit videos for these courses.
“Studies clearly support that video leads to higher engagement than text,” says Dr Sunder. “The current generation of students particularly love digital displays, so even if students don’t understand the lesson at first, having a professional-looking video with strong visuals will attract students and keep them watching. Adobe Creative Cloud gives us special tools to create compelling visuals that reach students across India.”