10,000 India education bodies live on cloud
By Asia Cloud Forum editors 16-Apr-2012
India's statutory technical education body All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) announced to deploy Microsoft's Live@edu to 10,000 plus technical colleges and institutes for three months.
For three months, AICTE will deploy Live@edu to seven million students and 500,000 faculty members to help reduce costs and simplify IT management -- touted as the world's largest cloud services deployment by number of users. Implementation has stared and full deployment is expected to be complete by summer 2012.
Live@edu bundles a set of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools including email, calendar, 25GB file storage, document sharing, instant messaging, video chat and mobile email. The tools can be accessed through major Web browsers for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Extend cloud deployment
According to Microsoft in a media statement, AICTE also plans to deploy Microsoft Office 365 for education when it becomes available later this year, providing access to Microsoft Exchange Online email and calendar, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and Microsoft Office Professional as the technical infrastructure to support member colleges and institutes.
"Microsoft's cloud platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country's technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students," said AICTE's chairman Dr S. S. Mantha.
Consistent and timely communication
AICTE is the governing body for technical education under India Ministry of Human Resource Development.
To evaluate the curriculum and quality of education for all technical institutes across the country, AICTE needed consistent and timely communication with all colleges, some of which are remotely located.
AICTE and the Ministry considered deploying an IT system that would provide an efficient platform for students and the institutional framework and would foster efficiency and support broader educational reforms without significant additional investment in the institutions' IT management costs.
"India is seeing rapid economic activity and growth. Developing India's youth and their skills is going to play an important role in the country's inclusive growth. The union budget also laid emphasis on skill development and so does the proposed 12th Five Year Plan with a National Policy on Skill Development," said Kapil Sibbal, Union Minister for the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
"The PPP model (public-private partnership) is most essential in running and managing training institutions to address the skills gap most efficiently. Microsoft's commitment to empower students by deploying Microsoft Live@edu for 7.5 million users across the country with AICTE is commendable and a step towards an informed and developing India," Sibbal added.