"A plan is afoot to establish smart class rooms in all the government first grade colleges across the state," Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande told reporters here on Saturday.     

As a pilot project, smart class rooms are being set up in the select 50 government first grade colleges. Smart classrooms will be set up in other government colleges in a phased manner, he said.     

Pointing out that virtual classes were the second mode, Deshpande said E-content in the form of video lectures, eBooks, audio books and lecture notes, pertaining to the undergraduate course syllabus, extra-curricular programmes and personality development available online as openCourseWare are being downloaded.

He said the downloaded E-content will be distributed to all the government first grade colleges and will be made available to students and staff to access through networked computers and mobile handsets via wireless Local Area Network.     

"This measure is intended to supplement the traditional course delivery system by enabling the students to access useful online OpenCourseWare content offline and bypass the bottleneck of text book production," Deshpande said.

Wireless local area network that helps in accessing the stored e-content is being set up in hundred government first grade colleges across the state.

Speaking on filling up teaching posts, Deshpande said, "Adhering to its commitment to encourage meritocracy and transparency in appointments, now the state government has granted permission to Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) to fill up 1,298 vacancies in teaching cadre in government first grade colleges through common entrance test".

A special feature of this initiative is that there will be no interview in the entire process of appointing faculty, he said, adding, further, another 856 teaching posts have been approved for filling up by Finance Department.      

Stating that to forge links between students and employing industries, placement cells have been established in government first grade colleges, department officials said.

"For the first time in the state, 14 students of first grade government colleges have been selected in the campus selection by Wipro under its 'Earn cum Learn' scheme."

They said each of these students will be granted a stipend of Rs 8 lakh for four years to pursue Master of Science programme at prestigious institutes like BITs Pilani and Vellore institute of technology.      

Deshpande also said that responding to government's efforts towards invigorating the placement cells, IT major Infosys has consented to impart in-house training to placement coordinators of government first grade colleges.

The training for the first batch has commenced from November 17.

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