The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), proposed for the first time in 1999 by Professor M. S. Ananth, Director, IIT Madras and funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, has developed curriculum based course contents for more than 240 engineering courses in five disciplines at the undergraduate level. The programme has been executed jointly by all seven Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. More than 350 faculty members from the above have participated in the programme to develop content. It is coordinated by the IIT Madras.
The disciplines covered are Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Core science, Management Studies and Language courses that all engineering students are required to take. The course contents are available freely on the Internet (URL: http://nptel.ac.in). The courses have been prepared in two formats, namely as web based lectures (slides, chapters or modules with animations), or as a sequence of thirty to fifty video recorded lectures of one hour duration each. They are modularized in such a way that a large part of each course covers basic learning materials for different University syllabi throughout the world on that topic. The contents of video lectures are available as video streams on demand through the generous offer of free web hosting by YouTube (channel: http://www.youtube.com/iit).
The video archive that has been created through this project is the single largest open video archive containing contents in engineering and technical courses at the undergraduate level anywhere in the world. Contributed by more than 200 faculty members from all partner Institutions in this project, it is also a unique exercise in which eight competing Indian academic institutions of international repute have worked together to deliver for a common cause, namely, improve current engineering education in India and at the same time, provide for any student in the world to undertake a systematic and self-study of engineering concepts. Approximately 5,000 one hour video lectures have been recorded under this programme. More than 3,500 hours have been made available already through the above site, with the rest to be uploaded within the next few months. Many different styles and pedagogies have been accommodated using a few simple guidelines for faculty contributors to adopt in content creation through the video and the web. The web based contents are already registered with Google Analytics and the statistics provided by Google is being used to study the effectiveness of this programme.