India launches Virtual Labs for Science and Engineering Students
Union Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal launched virtual labs today. Virtual labs is a collection of 91 virtual laboratories which has hundreds of experiments in about 9 disciplines of science and engineering.
As a part of National Mission on Education through Information and communication technology, the Ministry of Human Resources Development launched the virtual labs. The virtual labs provide easily accessible and high quality education through out the country.
The main aim of virtual labs is to provide graduate and undergraduate students of colleges and universities the ability to perform their laboratory experiments by using only a computer and an internet connection. The virtual labs allows sharing of costly equipments across the country. This allows the rural students to can perform experiments who would not have otherwise able to do the experiments.
More than 300 department heads, faculty members and staff of nearly 150 educational institutions were trained across India on this virtual labs project. Nearly 20 nodal centers were created from institutions which are interested in providing virtual labs in their organizations.
The virtual labs project began in April, 2009 with approximately 20 labs. Till now more than 80 virtual labs have been developed and undergoing field trials.
There are two types of virtual labs which were developed under this project. One is the simulation based virtual labs. In this labs, the experiments are modeled using mathematical equations. The simulations will be carried out remotely at a high-end server and the results will be communicated to the student over the internet. This kind of labs can cater to a large number of simultaneous users.
The other type of virtual labs is the remote triggered virtual labs. In this type, the actual experiments are triggered remotely from student. The output of this experiment which is conducted remotely is communicated back to the student over the internet. But time slots are booked before conducting this kind of experiments.
Any one can access these virtual labs from a website with URL: www.vlab.co.in. A student needs to have a computer and an internet connection to access the virtual labs. These kind of labs would be very useful for engineering and science students who do not have good lab facilities in their colleges and also to high school students who get motivated towards research. There are more than 750 experiments are developed in 85 virtual labs at present. A number of trainings and work shops are held all over India to inform about these virtual labs to students.
There is a lot of response to the virtual labs website. The site www.vlab.co.in received 233,500 site visits and 1,000,000 page visits in just 6 months time.
So let us hope that each and every student will make use of these virtual labs. You can log in to the site at www.vlab.co.in.