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EDUSAT in stalemate

EDUSAT, the abbreviate of Educational Satellite, has been designed by ISRO that provides the country with satellite based two-way communication to classrooms for delivering educational materials. India with a vast part of its population living in villages far away from main towns and cities could not have a scheme better than EDUSAT that overcame the barriers of physical distance between the remote village student population and the main cities where quality education is available without much hassles. The State Government realizing the utility of EDUSAT to the rural and far flung population of the State, cherished to enter into a contract of sorts with ISRO so that the system of providing education through satellite to the rural population in the State could be made possible.
In the light of an understanding arrived at by the Education Department of the State with the ISRO and M/S Huges, two hubs—one each in Government College for Women, Gandhi Nagar Jammu and Government College for Women MA Road Srinagar were installed. The EDUSAT facility was made available in 103 institutions—59 in Kashmir valley and 44 in Jammu region several years back in order to provide long distance learning to thousands of students. Thousands of students began deriving benefit from this technological wonder that supported their urge for knowledge. Following installation of hubs at these two colleges and Satellite Interactive Terminals in 103 educational institutions comprising Degree Colleges, Higher Secondary Schools, District Institutes of Education and Training, Industrial Training Institutes and Polytechnics, the Higher Education Department of J&K entered into Comprehensive Annual Maintenance Contract (CAMC) with M/S Huges. In this way EDUSAT worked fine Till March 2012. By and large students got used to the system and realized its utility just because ISRO had devised the technology exclusively for the student community in distant villages.  However, between March 2012 and March 2013, only recorded lectures were provided to the students as Higher Education Department failed to revive the CAMC with M/S Huges on certain issues. Since March 2013, the EDUSAT facility has remained unavailable to the students. Despite intervention by the State Education Department in 2016, the ESUSAT is not fully functional as per expectation. The net result is that the student community is not receiving the benefits of the scheme.
We may note that Prime Minister is focusing on technical advancement in the country and putting it to use in spreading education among the youth in the country. But this is proving a hollow slogan for our State where the EDUSAT a much touted specialty of information technology for the State has remained ineffective. We are not aware what the real reasons are for the ISRO and M/S Huges not to make all the contemplated educational institutions functional to utilize the services of EDUSAT. We believe that there is not really a big snag anywhere but that misunderstandings might have cropped up that makes ISRO go slow with the scheme. The State Government should not hesitate to get into direct contact with ISRO and through it with M/S Huges and sort out the differences if any. There is no reason why ISRO should not be deeply interested in providing the facility especially to the J&K State where a large chunk of population lives in rural areas.


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