Kochi: A faculty member of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies here has been selected by the University Grants Commission to develop and deliver Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels on Arctic studies.
Anu Gopinath, Associate Professor and head of the Department of Aquatic Environment Management at the KUFOS was chosen for the project and her proposal was one among the 92 proposals received from educational institutions across India.
She will deliver the courses through the SWAYAM portal, focusing on India's Arctic Policy, a KUFOS statement said here on Thursday. This initiative is a collaboration between the UGC and the Ministry of Earth Sciences, with the purpose of raising awareness among universities, colleges, and institutions about the availability of Arctic or Polar studies, it said.
The decision to generate course content on Arctic/Polar Studies for inclusion on the SWAYAM platform was made during a meeting of the National Security Council Secretariat, held after India released its Arctic Policy on March 17, 2022, under the title 'India and the Arctic: Building a partnership for Sustainable Development', it said.
This policy is expected to play a crucial role in preparing the country to collectively address challenges such as climate change. When implementing India's Arctic Policy, the country needs multiple stakeholders, including academia, the research community, business, and industry, the statement further said.
At this juncture, the UGC sought proposals from universities and colleges for the development of the MOOCs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels for subjects: Climate and Environmental Protection, Economic and Human Development, Transportation and Connectivity, Governance and International Cooperation, and National Capacity Building under India's Arctic Policy (IAP).
The UGC sent letters to the vice-chancellors, principals, and directors of universities, colleges, and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to submit proposals by May 15, 2023, for the development of MOOC courses in this regard.
In response to this call, KUFOS submitted a proposal entitled "Understanding the Arctic: Climate and the Need for Environmental Protection" prepared by Anu Gopinath, it said. This proposal was one among the 92 proposals received from educational institutions across India.
From these 92 proposals, 10 were shortlisted, and finally, only four were successful in the selection, including one submitted by KUFOS. The other three selected scientists are B S Balaji (JNU), Jitendra Kumar Pattanaik (Punjab Central University), and P Sakthivel (Dr Ambedkar Law University, TN). Anu Gopinath was a team member of India's Arctic expeditions during 2014, 2016 and 2017, the statement added.