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India to launch education satellite

Sunday 16 May 2004

KOLLAM, Kerala: India will launch a satellite this year for taking education, healthcare and other basic facilities to the doorsteps of the rural population across the country, a top official has said.

G. Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), made this announcement while launching an e-learning initiative that connects four Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham campuses at Amritapuri, Bangalore , Coimbatore and Kochi via satellite.

The initiative, the first of its kind in the country, was launched on Saturday at Amrithapuri near Kollam, the abode of spiritual guru Mata Amritanandamayi, or Amma as she is popularly known.

Amrita University , ISRO and Cognizant Technology Solutions jointly developed the e-learning venture.

"Technology and progress will be complete only if it reaches the common man. Technology, including rockets and satellites, should help in the improvement of the quality of life of the people," said Nair.

"Its benefits should be reflected in areas like education, health and agriculture. Amrita-ISRO’s venture should be seen as an attempt to mould education in our country with this vision."

With this new technology, Amrita University has become an interactive, multi-disciplinary, multi-media, virtual campus.

Students at any of the Amrita campuses can "attend" and interact in lectures taking place on the other campuses. Scientists at multiple locations across India can build inter-disciplinary research laboratories.

The initiative will deliver e-learning course content in several fields including engineering, medicine and management.

The initiative is also expected to provide expert medical care to people in remote villages. It will allow the Amrita Institute for Medical Studies to deliver its medical services to other centres.

Speaking on the occasion, Amma said: "Through the advancement of science and technology, the world has become quite small as if it has come under one umbrella".

"Knowledge of science is very important. It enriches and sharpens the intellect. It raises the standard of our life," she said.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Sunday, May 16, 2004.

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