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India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: भारत गणराज्य Bhārat Gaṇarājya), is a country in South Asia.

It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of 7,517 kilometers (4,671 mi). It is bordered by Pakistan to the west; People's Republic of China (PRC), Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia in the Indian Ocean.

The population of India is 1,147,000,000.

Its capital is Delhi.

India is a republic consisting of 28 states and seven union territories with a parliamentary system of democracy. It has the world's twelfth largest economy at market exchange rates and the fourth largest in purchasing power. Economic reforms since 1991 have transformed it into one of the fastest growing economies; however, it still suffers from high levels of poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition.

A pluralistic, multilingual, and multi-ethnic society, India is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.

OER in India: Map

Total number of Open Education Initiatives in India on Wednesday, 8 April 2020 at 14:43 = 9 , of which:

  • 2 are MOOC
  • 7 are OER

Initiatives per million = 0.01

Loading map...

Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:India.


The preamble of the constitution defines India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. India has a bicameral parliament operating under a Westminster-style parliamentary system. Its form of government was traditionally described as being "quasi-federal" with a strong centre and weaker states, but it has grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a result of political, economic and social changes.

The President of India is the head of state, elected indirectly by an electoral college for a five-year term.

The Prime Minister is the head of government and exercises most executive powers. Appointed by the President, the Prime Minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance holding the majority of seats in the lower house of Parliament.

The executive branch consists of the President, Vice-President, and the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet being its executive committee) headed by the Prime Minister. Any minister holding a portfolio must be a member of either house of parliament. In the Indian parliamentary system, the executive is subordinate to the legislature, with the Prime Minister and his Council being directly responsible to the lower house of the Parliament.

The Legislature of India is the bicameral Parliament, which consists of the upper house called the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the lower house called the Lok Sabha (House of People). The Rajya Sabha, a permanent body, has 245 members serving staggered six year terms. Most are elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in proportion to the state's population. 543 of the Lok Sabha's 545 members are directly elected by popular vote to represent individual constituencies for five year terms. The other two members are nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian community if the President is of the opinion that the community is not adequately represented.

India has a unitary three-tier judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India, twenty-one High Courts, and a large number of trial courts. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over cases involving fundamental rights and over disputes between states and the Centre, and appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts. It is judicially independent, and has the power to declare the law and to strike down Union or State laws which contravene the Constitution. The role as the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution is one of the most important functions of the Supreme Court.


India consists of twenty-eight states and seven Union Territories. All states, and the two union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments patterened on the Westminister model. The other five union territories have centrally appointed administrators and hence are under direct rule of the President. In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were formed on a linguistic basis. Since then, this structure has remained largely unchanged. Each state or union territory is further divided into 610 districts for basic governance and administration. The districts in turn are further divided into tehsils and eventually into villages.


With an estimated population of 1.17 billion, representing 17% of the world population, India is the world's second most populous country. The last 50 years have seen a rapid increase in population due to medical advances and massive increase in agricultural productivity made by the green revolution.

Almost 70% of Indians reside in rural areas, although in recent decades migration to larger cities has led to a dramatic increase in the country's urban population. India's largest cities are Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Delhi, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Chennai (formerly Madras), Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

India is the most culturally, linguistically and genetically diverse geographical entity after the African continent. India is home to two major linguistic families: Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the population) and Dravidian (spoken by about 24%). Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman linguistic families.

Hindi, with the largest number of speakers, is the official language of the union.

English, which is extensively used in business and administration, has the status of a 'subsidiary official language'; it is also important in education, especially as a medium of higher education.

In addition, every state and union territory has its own official languages, and the constitution also recognises in particular 21 other languages that are either abundantly spoken or have classical status. While Sanskrit and Tamil have been studied as classical languages for many years, the Government of India, using its own criteria, has also accorded classical language status to Kannada and Telugu. The number of dialects in India is as high as 1,652.

Over 800 million Indians (80.5%) are Hindu. Other religious groups include

  • Muslims (13.4%),
  • Christians (2.3%),
  • Sikhs (1.9%),
  • Buddhists (0.8%),
  • Jains (0.4%),
  • Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahá'ís and others.

Tribals constitute 8.1% of the population.

India has the third-highest Muslim population in the world and has the highest population of Muslims for a non-Muslim majority country.

India's literacy rate is 64.8% (53.7% for females and 75.3% for males). The state of Kerala has the highest literacy rate (91%); Bihar has the lowest (47%). The national human sex ratio is 944 females per 1,000 males.

India's median age is 24.9, and the population growth rate of 1.38% per annum; there are 22.01 births per 1,000 people per year.

Education in India

For a general description of education in India see Education:India.


For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:India.

Quality procedures

Internet in India

Internet World Stats gives the following statistics on Indian internet usage:

1998 - Internet users = 1,400,000 (0.1 %)
1999 - Internet users = 2,800,000 (0.3 %)
2000 - Internet users = 5,500,000 (0.5 %)
2001 - Internet users = 7,000,000 (0.7 %)
2002 - Internet users = 16,500,000 (1.6 %)
2003 - Internet users = 22,500,000 (2.1 %)
2004 - Internet users = 39,200,000 (3.6 %)
2005 - Internet users = 50,600,000 (4.5 %)
2006 - Internet users = 40,000,000 (3.6 %)
2007 - Internet users = 42,000,000 (3.7 %)
2009 - Internet users = 81,000,000 (7.0 %)
2010 - Internet users = 100,000,000 (8.5 %) (

The BBC reported in January 2012 that there had been a 25% growth in internet users in India over the past 12 months. 59% of those who access the internet do so only via mobile devices. Only 2% of rural India has access to the web, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Considering that 70% of the population lives outside an urban conurbation, that is a small percentage. Currently around 18% of India's rural internet users have to walk more than 10km (six miles) to access the web. An additional issue is that being able to use new technology requires certain skills like literacy and computer literacy, and more work needs to be done in this area so villagers understand how computers are enriching their lives. (

The Pakistan branch of the Tribune reported in August 2011 that technology giant Cisco released data in June 2011 showing that global internet usage will quadruple between 2010 and 2015, but that India will still trail behind emerging market rivals such as China, South Africa and Mexico in terms of per capita usage. India’s absence of infrastructure – from steady electricity to an extensive landline network – has been a big stumbling block to broadening nternet access. A plan to create 20 million broadband connections by 2010 fell far short of its target, despite the government pegging broadband speed at only 256 kilobytes per second, 1/16th of the US standard of 4 megabytes per second. India has ambitious plans to raise the number of broadband connections to 160 million by 2014. (

Internet in Education

Copyright law in India

Copyright law in Education

OER Initiatives in India

India is becoming an active player not only in the open source software movement, but also in the OA movement as evidenced by the increasing availability of OA electronic journals, OA repositories and open source software-based repositories such as DSpace and EPrints. In fact India has a good record in the OA area, with 81 scientific journals accessible as OA. But the growth of OA materials as well as their impact on the cost and quality of research and human development in India has been stymied – not only by inadequate broadband connectivity and other technology constraints – but also by the absence of enabling policies exacerbated by insufficient government funding. (2)

In the Ekalavya project, launched by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, content developed in various Indian languages is distributed over the Internet. The project has developed an Open Source Educational Resources Animation Repository (OSCAR) that provides web-based interactive animations for teaching. OSCAR provides a platform for student developers to create animations based on ideas and guidance from instructors. This project is funded mainly from private industry. (2)

National OER initiatives

- National Strategy -

India’s National Knowledge Commission (NKC) decided, in December 2005, to explore opportunities with open education materials in order to understand the implications for extending access and enhancing quality for higher education in India. Subsequently, the NKC recommended that an important strategy for addressing the pressing problems is to make use of globally available Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Access (OA) as a means of radically increasing the widespread availability of high-quality educational resources. (2)

India was the first country to embrace OER for a nationwide approach with its Report to the Nation (2007) of the National Knowledge Commission. It launched a national E-content and Curriculum Initiative that has been followed up with a large variety of OER activities and projects. (1) However, despite a promising set of projects in India there has been no systematic national effort to develop a strategy for developing and delivering OER. There is need for a strategy to deliver OER in a wider range of disciplines and regional languages, as well as support to allow greater adoption among teachers and students. (2)

The NKC made a number of recommendations for the development of OER and OA in India, including the following:

- The NKC urged the use of already available open educational content such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseware and from other institutions in the Open-CourseWare Consortium, MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online –, Curriki ( and India’s National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning. The NKC recommends the use of these for adoption, adaptation and as models for further indigenous content production.
- The NKC has recommended that all research articles published by Indian authors receiving substantial government or public funding must be made available under OA and that, as a next step, a national academic OA portal should be developed, with the government allocating resources to increase the current effort to digitize books and periodicals which are outside copyright protection. (2)
- A number of key institutions representing diverse knowledge areas, such as engineering, medicine, arts, humanities, science, should be selected to develop standards-based customisable quality content and make it available not only for India but also for global consumption. Building Internet-based, multimedia, and open content repositories for various science and engineering subjects should be given high priority for development. (2)
- Initiate development of online simulation programmes for science and engineering laboratories. The iLab model, which provides worldwide internet access to laboratories at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and elsewhere, is a model to employ directly and emulate for providing widespread access to unique and expensive laboratories. By enabling flexible 24/7 access to a variety of laboratory facilities, the model offers the opportunity to radically alter the economics of first-hand experience. (2)
- An autonomous organisation should be established to monitor and support the implementation, adoption and sustainability of the network-based open education model. The activity and approach of this organisation would involve multiple areas (information technology, education, research, innovation, planning). It is imperative that this ‘meta-organisation’, while having links to existing educational and information technology organisations, remains independent so that the concerns and priorities of any one organisation do not dominate the open education agenda. This organisation will provide leadership and coordination for network-based open education and facilitate the integration of OER into the curriculum and organisational structure of educational institutions.

Specifically, the proposed ‘autonomous organisation’ would undertake the following activities:

● Select institutional projects for collaborative content development.
● Develop an adoption support strategy, including a national-scale faculty and institutional development plan for using high-quality open educational materials.
● Recommend and monitor practices for content development and adoption. Advise on policy implications vis-à-vis intellectual property, as well as existing specifications and standards that would make for more easily shareable content across multiple educational systems and software.
● Identify and set benchmarks based on international best practices.
● Establish relationships with international initiatives.
● Implement change management in educational institutions and government agencies involved in the pilot activities. (2)
- Public–private partnerships should be actively sought for developing and delivering open source and standards-based educational solutions. (2)

- National programs -

The National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning is a joint venture by seven Indian institutes of technology and science, funded by the Indian Govrenment's Ministry of Human Resource Development, to enhance the quality of engineering education in the country by developing curriculum-based video and web courses. Phase 1 of the programme has resulted in the production of 120 web-based courses and 115 video courses, each of 40–50 hours duration. These courses are in the core sciences, computer science, civil engineering, electrical engineering, electronics and material engineering. Over 300 faculty from all Indian institutes of technology and Indian institutes of science have been involved in developing course content, with the objective of improving the quality of engineering education in the next tiers of engineering institutions, including teachers and students from rural areas. The approximate cost of development of a course was $15,000. (2)

E-Grid, supported by the Human Resource Ministry of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kerala, provides subject-specific portals that are developed and maintained by subject domain experts. Currently, this programme offers OER only for science and engineering. (2)

Inter-University Consortium for Technology-Enabled Flexible Education and Development at IGNOU (IUC-TEFED), India

The IUC-TEFED was established in India at IGNOU ( in 2004 as an education, training, development, R&D and service centre on ICT-enabled interactive multimedia and online education for the distance education system in the country. It undertakes national and international collaborative R&D activities for appropriate technology applications for education, training, research and extension. IUC-TEFED aims at transforming the conventional distance learning to modern ICT-enabled, multimedia based, online and blended learning.

Digital Library of India

The Digital Library of India is hosted at the Regional Mega-scanning Centre at IIIT, Hyderabad. It's vision is to digitize all recorded knowledge in the world. The vision of the website states: “For the first time in history, all the significant literary, artistic, and scientific works of mankind can be digitally preserved and made freely available, in every corner of the world, for our education, study, and appreciation and that of all our future generations.” Currently, it is undertaking the million book project, and digitizing non-copyrighted materials. It is a collaborative project of over 21 institutions in India. (

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives

A notable initiative is the project being coordinated by the Indian Institute of Science of Bangalore, along with Carnegie Mellon University, in which 21 Indian institutions are participating and have digitised more than 450,000 books, 220,000 of which are now web accessible. (2)

BITS’ Initiative

The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) has brought around 14,000 books to students, research scholars and teachers at the click of a mouse. BITS has tied up with ‘24X7 Learning’, a leading e-learning company in India. Students can directly pick up books from the e-shelves of 290 publishers. The wide range in the cyber library covers IT Pro, Business Pro, Exec Summaries, Finance Pro, Office Essential and Engineering Pro in a searchable format (


2. M.S. Vijay Kumar (2009): Open Educational Resources in India’s national development, Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 24:1, 77-84 (


1. Hylén, J. et al. (2012), “Open Educational Resources: Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country Questionnaire”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 76, OECD Publishing.

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