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Laptop must for higher education, says panel
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October 12, 2006 15:52 IST

Students pursuing higher education may soon be provided with laptops going by the recommendations of the Oversight Committee. The committee headed by former Karnataka Chief Minister Veerappa Moily, which went into the issue of preparing a roadmap for the implementation of 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Castes in higher educational institutions, has also suggested that teachers too should have laptops.

"The committee feels that there is a need for a mindset change and it has to be accepted that the laptop should been seen as the entry device to get connected to the knowledge world in cyberspace," the committee said in its final report submitted to the Prime minister's Office.

"Every student and every teacher should be given such a device on an ownership basis and the process should be facilitated by bank loans," the report said. Time has come and it is necessary to mandate and facilitate the purchase of personal computers and laptops for each student, it said.

Where it was not possible, computer laboratories on campuses should be provided with sufficient intensity and should be made accessible on a 24x7 basis so that each student has a dedicated machine on a time-slotting basis.

Recognising that technology would have a large part to play in the establishment of excellence, the committee said that each campus of the institutes of higher learning should be Information, Communication and Technology enabled, fully networked with digital classrooms and video conferencing lecture theatres.

The report said the grand plan for technology deployment on campuses was aimed at preparing and providing them essentially digital infrastructure ready to be used by a "plugged in, digital savvy-generation". Similarly, there was some "idle capacity" in the institutes of higher learning and optimal use needed to be made of them, it said adding use of ICT, introduction of Edusat terminals and distance learning methods in these institutes could also reduce cost.

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