Section 1: Terms of Reference

The emergence of the Massive Open Online Course formats since 2008 and its worldwide appeal indicates a new breath of life for online learning. The potential of the format, because of its reliance on the capability of the participants, the nature of the learning itself, the underlying technology and the potential to address some very important issues around scale, quality and employability, is immense for a country like India. On the other hands, since it is a nascent format, placed in contradistinction to traditional formats and not much explored, it is necessary to choose paths of adoption that will conceivably have the maximum impact.

The FICCI Higher Education Committee, chaired by Mr. Mohandas Pai, understands the potential of this medium to make longstanding impact on Indian education. Accordingly, it constituted a sub-committee in December, 2013, to articulate a vision for MOOCs in Higher Education in India.

The sub-committee is chaired by Prof. B N Jain, Vice-Chancellors, BITS. Members of the committee include:

  • Girish Gopalakrishnan, Synoptes
  • Lokesh Mehra, Microsoft
  • Mohan Kannegal, Manipal Global Education
  • Manish Upadhyay, LIQVID
  • Rajesh Pankaj, FICCI
  • Viplav Baxi, LearnOS

The sub-committee knew that it would be antithetical to conduct this project in a manner that was small, closed and offline. Accordingly, members have set up a blog site (at, and publicized this initiative through both online and offline means, such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook and many online/offline conversations. We also have invited several guest contributions. Each committee member has brought in their own experiences, connections and perspectives and placed them in full public view for comments and critique. We have also put together a large repository of resources that is relevant to the domain. There is also the hope that these resources and public conversations will become part of an ongoing community of practice around MOOCs in the time to come.

To keep the report concise and actionable, we have decided to focus on an overall vision proposition with accompanying mission and goal statements, followed by clear identification of how this vision will actually be achieved (milestones, budgets, tasks and critical success factors).

It is our hope that this effort will spawn more concerted thinking and quick, decisive action from the various stakeholders of our educational system if the recommendations are found to be useful.



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