IIT-KGP to help eastern India students learn more about free online courses

Kolkata The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur will approach institutes of higher education in eastern India to familiarise students and teachers with free online courses offered by National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

NPTEL, a joint initiative of the IITs and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, offers 160 courses in various categories like agriculture, computer science, management studies, mathematics and basic science, engineering and humanities.

While over five5 lakh students had enrolled for NPTEL courses this year, only about 7% of them were from Eastern India.

“The biggest problem for NPTEL courses is that not only the students from eastern India, but also the colleges and universities in the region are not aware of it,” Anupam Basu, coordinator of NPTEL at IIT-KGP, said.

Students from eastern India will be familiarised with free online courses offered by the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

“We are sure if people get to know about the facility and that it is encouraged by AICTE and UGC, there will be many takers,” said Basu, also professor of computer science and engineering.

Too boost enrolments from the region, IIT-KGP is talking to various institutes of West Bengal, Odisha and northeastern states to offer credit transfers to the students, an IIT-KGP spokesperson said.

For West Bengal, IIG-KGP would approach the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (formerly West Bengal University of Technology), while talks are on with general degree colleges like Vidyasagar College and Gokhale Memorial Girls’ College of Kolkata.

Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Jadavpur University and and Presidency University would also be approached, the spokesperson said.

IIT-KGP has also approached most of the private engineering colleges in Bengal.

A workshop with over 100 teachers from various private engineering colleges was held at IIT-KGP recently. PTI SUS NN SBN

Uber, Yandex Agree to Merge Ride-Sharing Business in Russia, Eastern Europe

Yandex, the “Google of Russia”, and Uber have agreed to merge their ride-sharing businesses in Russia and five eastern European markets with Yandex as leading partner, the companies said on Thursday, marking another pullback from Uber’s breakneck global expansion that comes a year after its exit from China.

In a joint statement, Yandex and Uber said they will join forces in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan to create a new company operating in 127 cities, in a deal expected to close in the fourth quarter.

San Francisco-based Uber has agreed to invest $225 million (roughly Rs. 1,450 crores) while Yandex will invest $100 million into a new joint company in which Yandex will own 59.3 percent, Uber holds 36.6 percent and 4.1 percent by employees on a fully diluted basis.

 Uber, Yandex Agree to Merge Ride-Sharing Business in Russia, Eastern Europe

As part of the deal, Uber will contribute its UberEATS food delivery business in the six-country region to the new venture. Diversified internet giant Yandex is the dominant player in Web search, maps and mobile navigation in the region.

Earlier this week, Uber said it will be improving an offer to drivers and would welcome greater legal clarity about different types of employment in Britain, in response to a government review into the gig economy published on Tuesday.

The review calls for a new category of worker called a “dependent contractor” meaning that those Britons working for companies such as Uber and Deliveroo would receive more benefits.