The VALUE initiative took another leap forward by extending its workshop outside the state of Kerala to the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu & Karnataka. The workshop on virtual labs was conducted for the first time at Coimbatore and Bangalore Campuses on the 17th and 18th February respectively. The welcome speech was delivered by Chairman for the Department of Sciences Coimbatore Campus, Dr C.S Shastry. The introductory presentation on Virtual labs was presented by Dr Krishnashree Achutan, Head of VALUE initiative followed by an the Vice-Chacellor, Venkat Rangan's address. In his address he highlighted the enormous importance of projects such as Virtual labs which is funded by Government of India's MHRD's National Mission on Education through ICT. Dr Rangan made his point by quoting the figure Rs.4000 crores as the amount that has been ploughed into ICT development in education. Dr Chandrashekaran M. P, Dean of Engineering brought the Coimbatore inaugural event to a close. Bangalore Campus hosted the virtual labs workshop on the following day with the welcome address delivered by the Associate Dean, Prof. Rakesh.
The level of interest from Universities and Higher Education institutes in Virtual Labs has been phenomenal. 96 attendees participated in the Coimbatore campus workshop representing 46 distinct institutions while Bangalore campus workshop attracted 22 educational institutions.
Educators from Physics and Chemistry disciplines were led through an exhibition of VALUE - virtual labs at its benefits before being given the opportunity to use the web-based labs themselves. The feedback session from both campuses resounded with the voices of appreciation of what these virtual labs can achieve in science education. The workshops also incorporated a Nodal Centre forum which saw no shortage of interest or enthusiasm. VALUE- Virtual Labs popularity across 3 states has clearly been made evident with the rapid progress made since its launch in January. Nodal Centres for Virtual Labs looks set to established in good collection of colleges over the next few weeks bringing the MHRD National Mission ever closer to be realized as a reality.
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