NIIT to offer 20,000 free courses

By : |October 16, 2001 0

BANGALORE: NIIT has self-anointed December 2, 2001 as "World Computer
Literacy Day", as a tribute to its 20-year-old effort in spreading IT
education across the globe. A "special package of 20,000 free courses"
for India’s elected leaders and government school toppers was unveiled by NIIT
chairman Rajendra S Pawar. IT and Communications minister Pramod Mahajan flagged
off the activities for the D-day.

"IT has placed India on the world map and Indian talent today is being
sought by global customers and Fortune 500 leaders for resolving complex
problems. However, in order to enable the benefits of IT percolate to the Indian
masses, it is imperative to make our people computer literate," said Pawar.

"As an IT training pioneer, NIIT has been consistently working towards
bringing people and computers together. Be it the Hole-in-the-Wall experiment or
the SWIFT India movement, our commitment to bridge the digital divide has only
grown stronger. For our 20th anniversary, we’d like to reiterate this commitment
by declaring December 2, our Foundation Day, as the World Computer Literacy
Day," stated Pawar. US-based market research and intelligence agency IDC
included NIIT in its Top 15 IT education companies’ listing in the world, a
first for an Asia-Pac organization.

On December 2, NIIT plans to train around 8,000 of India’s elected leaders —
MPs, MLAs and corporators — and 12,000 of government school toppers of Class 8,
9, 10 and 11, absolutely free.

"NIIT has set its heart on achieving this milestone, even though an event
of such magnitude has not been attempted before by any organization. The
logistics are simply mind-boggling, but we are confident of achieving our
goals," commented P Rajendran, NIIT’s Chief Operating Officer.

The special course designed by Dr Sugata Mitra, head of NIIT’s R&D, is
called SWIFT Jyoti. A survey cutting across vast segments of society guided the
NIIT think tank in building the course for global citizens, which will enable
them to participate in the evolving digital economy.

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