AMR APARD E learining Project

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Registration Name : eINDIA2011/AN/270
Project Category : digitalLEARNING::Best ICT Enabled Skills Development Initiative of the Year
Project Name : AMR APARD E learining Project

Details of Applicant
Name : Sri.K.ChandraMouli IAS
Address : NIRD Road,Rajendranagar Hyderabad,Andhra Pradesh,India – 500 030
City : Hyderabad
State : Andhra Pradesh
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 500 030

Details of Project/Implementing Agency
Name of Organisation : AMR-Andhra Pradesh Academy of Rural Development
Address : NIRD Road,Rajendranagar,Hyderabad,Andhra Pradesh,India – 500 030,
City : Hyderabad
State : Andhra Pradesh
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 500 030
Name of the head of Organisation : Commissioner
Website :

Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :
AMR APARD E learining Project: The e learning project was initiated as a part of implementation of Capacity Building and Training Strategy under Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme sponsored by Government of India. The project aims to equip the Panchayat Raj Elected Representatives and functionaries associated with PRIs, with the Knowledge and Skills required for effective management of these Institutions.

Why was the project started :
AMR-A.P. Academy of Rural Development is presently catering to the training needs of around 2.61 lakh elected representatives of Panchayat Raj Institutions and 50,000 officials of PR&RD Department. Among the Elected Representatives a majority are from the SCs, STs and women who are elected for the first time. All the elected persons hold office only for (5) years and are replaced largely by a new set of people. Therefore the number of elected representatives be trained and oriented is very large and the demand for Capacity Building is recurrent. The issues of capacity building of the PR functionaries are:

  1. knowledge enhancement
  2. skill up-gradation
  3. attitudinal change
  4. problem solving techniques
  5. practical solution seeking
  6. learning from best practices. The main problems and concerns that pose a challenge to Capacity building are:
  7. Number and quality of good trainers;
  8. Barriers to access and entitlements;
  9. Overly prescriptive, supply-driven nature of training
  10. Target audience (learners) widely scattered across the Mandals and Gram Panchayats.
  11. Functionaries cannot leave their workplaces for long time to attend training programs
  12. Requirement of large scale funding to reach these target groups through traditional training methods Therefore in order to provide formal and informal training to large number of development functionaries and Elected Representatives,AMR_APARD has planned to provide interactive and experiential learning at the learners’ doorstep using Information and Communication Technology by developing certain e learning solutions through e learning project.

Objective :
The objective of this project is to provide a life long learning opportunity and self paced learning opportunities to various learners at their own work and at the time convenient to them.
Target group :Elected Representatives of Panchayat Raj Institutions and Officials functionaries of Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Departments.
Geographical reach :Rajendranagar, Hyderabad , 500 030 Andhra Pradesh, India
Date from which theproject became operational : 10 April 2010
Is the Project still operational : YES

10 points that make the programme/project innovative?

  1. Computer Based Tutorials: AMR APARD is the apex training institute in Andhra Pradesh for Rural Development officers and Panchayat Raj elected representatives and functionaries. The institute caters to the capacity building requirements of around 2.61 lakh elected representatives of Panchayat Raj Institutions and @ 50 thousand officials from rural development department. Realizing that reaching such large numbers and ensuring the quality of training delivery in traditional face to face approach is a gigantic task, APARD had launched its e learning initiative. The E learning initiative offers a host of solutions which facilitate the learners to receive training content at his own place with minimal cost. Computer Based Tutorials are one of such products and over the period of last one year APARD had developed CBTs for over 30 Hrs. CBTs on MGNREGS Programme, Panchayat Raj Administration, Watershed Development, Integrated District Planning etc.. are now available for various target groups.
  2. APARD Knowledge Commons: APARD’s Knowledge Commons provides a platform for instant access to highly interactive and interesting Computer Based Tutorials, e books, presentations, research papers and a host of other valuable educative resources on virtually all aspects of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Administration. Knowledge Commons offers a self-paced, on-demand, high-quality training environment designed to meet the individual training needs of all the users. This e-learning solution ensures the learning process easy, highly interesting and reaches large number of users. Some of the advantages claimed for Knowledge Commons systems are: 1. Sharing of valuable organizational information throughout the academy hierarchy. 2. Can avoid re-inventing reducing redundant work. 3. Reduces training time for new employees 4. Retention of Intellectual Property after the employee leaves if such knowledge can be codified. 5. Self-Paced Learning
  3. Panchayati Raj Comprehensive Help Line:Offers access to information, advice or service via Telephone and Web.Our goal is to create a platform that we can use to set up a unique way to collect and visualize information for monitoring. The core platform is designed so that it can be customized for different locales and needs. The beta version platform an open source application is made available as a continuous handholding support to offer solutions to the problems that occur in day to day administration of Panchayat Raj Institutions. It is also being used to disseminate information related to various rural development programmes. It also helps as a tool for internal monitoring or visualization purposes.
  4. APARD Wiki :Wikis provide opportunities for trainees to collaborate with other Peers, share what they have learned, and become a centralized online resource as educators. This technology tool is ideal and used for project-based learning, cross curricular projects in teams, and thematic units. One advantage of Wikis in collaborative projects is that they are online. Participants can demonstrate their Knowledge by providing information which fits within specific parameters on the Wiki. Wiki can be used as Online Resources for training use. A list of websites that provided appropriate information related to subject content is provided by the developer for trainee use during the year. Wiki is also used to store files, images, videos, and other information in a special access controlled area of the Wiki.
  5. APARD BULK SMS: APARD has recently embarked on a community empowerment initiative,Viz,, KEYCAP (Link) which requires continuous contact with large number of village level volunteers called Bharat Nirman Volunteers. For this APARD has commenced a Bulk SMS Service to send frequent updates to these Volunteers. Bulk sms system has many advantages over the free sms services offered by various services providers whose services are limited and unsecure. We can’t reach our vast target group of over 200 Bharat Nirman Volunteers in lab to land programme at a time . Since Lab to Land envisages an effective communication strategy to create awareness among the BNV’s, this system bulk sms facility is greatly helping the APARD to reach the large numbers at comparatively lower prices.
  6. APARD You Tube Channel: APARD website carries a link to the You Tube channel in which all the video lessons/documentary films developed by APARD are made available. Content on various subjects related to rural development is made available for public. 452 training videos are uploaded on to you tube.
  7. Social Networking: APARD has been making the best use of social networking site like Facebook, and twitter to create a social group of rural development functionaries to share their job experiences and knowledge for effective functioning and for adopting good governance practices. A link to these social networking sites is provided on the home page of APARD website. Daily updates are available on Facebook and Twitter
  8. Distance Education Programme Information Monitoring System: APARD telecasts its distance education programmes through MANA TV (Ku Band Transmission) to consolidate the learning of various functionaries including elected representatives. With the help of Department of IT & C, APARD had established 1097 Receive Only Terminals(RoT) in the Office of the Mandal Parishad. This is a two way audio and one way video interactive system which enables the participants who are present at RoT station to interact with subject matter experts in the TV Studio through a live phone-in programme. This system is a very effective tool in reaching large number of trainees at one go and ensures quality delivery of training content. In order to monitor the training attendance at various RoT Points, APARD has developed an MIS application and it helps regular monitoring of the training delivery.
  9. Sthanika Palana e magazine: It is a 64 page multi – colour Telugu Monthly Magazine. The focus of the magazine is to enhance the knowledge base of the elected representatives and official functionaries working with the PRIs. The magazine features the topics related to Panchayat Raj, Financial Management, RD Programs, Disaster Management, Environment, Land and Poor, Women and Child welfare, Social Equity and Empowerment, Natural Resource Management and many such subjects. It also carries certain articles of general interest like short stories, cartoons etc. APARD Sthanika Palana monthly e Magazine in e book format is made available on APARD website for public viewing. The Circulation of the hard copy of the magazine is 27,000 copies every month and it Reaches all the Sarpanches, MPPs, ZP Chairpersons, CEOs, District Collectors, HODs, Principal Secretaries, Hon’ble Ministers , CMO, MPsMLAs, MLCs , District Level Officers
  10. Video Conference: In order to reach large number participants especially from the grassroots level, APARD has leveraged the ICT tools and established video conference facility with state of the art digital teaching equipment. Through this video conference facility APARD has established virtual connectivity with all the 22 District Head Quarters and 5 Extension Training Centres. The video conference facility is made available in 3 types 1) ISDN (connected to all SIRDs across the country) 2) Special Lease line to ETCs through Rail Tel 3) BSNL Lease Line to all district head quarters. APARD faculty regularly conducts training sessions through this facility and interact with various participants. This system not only helps in the training delivery but also helps as a management tool to review and monitor the training delivery at District and Sub Distirct levels with the Chief Executive Officers of Zilla Parishads and District Panchayat Officers.

List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?

  1. Andhra Pradesh is one of the few states which is implementing the MGNREGS programme in true spirit and providing livelihood opportunities to huge number of wage seekers. Government has recruited around 1200 Engineering consultants and 4000 Technical Assistants, to look after the execution of the programme at grass roots level. With the massive recruitment of these technical personnel, a training need arose in the state to equip the personnel with the skills related to various inputs on construction of water harvesting/SMC structures like Farm Ponds, Earthern Bunds, Sunken Pits, Rock fill Dams, Check Dams, Gully Plugging etc.,. APARD had produced CBTs to make the engineering subject easy even for a lay men and all these CBTs were made available to various target groups for easy understanding of the subject
  2. With Virtual availability of virtual class room facility, the APARD’s reach has now been extended to 22 Districts and 5 ETCs and participants at district and sub district level are now able to get quality training from the expert faculty members.
  3. With the social networking and bulk SMS facility in place, communication became very easy and participants are informed well in advance about the training dates, venues, other training related updates etc..
  4. Ministry of Panchyati Raj and Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India have recognized APARD as the centre of key institute for dissemination of e learning modules and advised all the other states to adopt the APARD e learning modules. The CBTs and other e learning material produced by APARD are being widely used in various SIRDs.
  5. The intel inc, having come to know about the initiatives of AMR APARD has come forward to provide 100 lap tops for furthering the project.

List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative

  1. There were not many companies which can produce e learning content in the subjects related to Rural Development. Although, technologically these companies are well placed, the availability of the subject matter experts and instructional designers with in the company was very low. APARD had short listed 14 companies after following a rigorous process. A committee comprising scientific officers from NIC, National Institute of Rural Development, MANAGE etc was constituted to set the standards for production of CBTs and other e learning content and negotiated with the companies. With the studious efforts of this committee, the companies are now able to produce excellent training content.
  2. Change Management: Initially, lot of resistance came from among the own faculty and many of them were skeptical about the success of the projects. After a series of orientation workshops, the faculty were fully convinced and became part of a winning team.
  3. Orientation of the key clientele group also became a challenge and APARD has overcome that by organizing a series of sensitization workshops
  4. Adoption of a suitable LMS for making available the training content has became another problem which was then overcome by adopting open source systems to avoid financial burden on the Institute.
  5. For establishing virtual class room facility, obtaining necessary permissions from NIC became a major problem. Later, after lot of correspondence, NIC has realized that this project requires such permissions and ultimately virtual class room facility came in to being. This virtual class room is connected in 3 ways 1) Through ISDN line to all SIRDs in the country, 2) Through Rail Tel Lease Line to all ETCs 3) Through NIC network to all Districts.

List the 5 points how can the programme serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?

  1. The application designed in such a way that can be replicated by any organization involved in massive training programmes with in a stipulated time frame optimally utilizing the available resources.
  2. The application is generic; i.e., without changing the code it can be implemented on a large scale
  3. Minister of Rural Development and Minister of Panchayat Raj, (Govt. of India) recognized as Key Institute by for preparation of e-learning modules and also advised all other states to follow APARD model. The effectiveness on e-learning depends upon how interactive it is, and its ability to retain one’s interest on a particular theme /topic.
  4. Efforts have been made to upload these e-learning modules on our website for easy access to one and all, so that any one can download them from anywhere on the globe for its usage. Lot of care has been taken to provide this vital training material in different formats like text, images, power points and video clippings, films with multimedia effects and so on.
  5. Keeping in view the rural audience as major focus the operational part is kept very simple. The commands are all icon based for better navigation and learning.

List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative

  1. The present application can be replicated in multiple sites, since it is web enabled.
  2. APARD would be too glad to share this model to any Institute/Agency which would like to utilize the existing application.
  3. This application can be tailor-made-to a particular Institution/situation to cater local needs with slight modifications/alternations wherever required.
  4. Since the e-learning model is a tested one and is being in operation at APARD for quite some, it can be rolled out to similar Institutions in a cost effective and flexible way.
  5. The application is developed on an open-source platform, so its scalability is much faster.

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8 Responses to AMR APARD E learining Project

  1. leela says:

    very good technology follows apard

  2. prasanthi asam says:

    AMR-APARD,Andhra pradesh is a pioneer of e-learning in Rural Development Training
    sector..reaching the field level functionaries and also lakhs of public representatives effectively…my valuable vote is to this valuable organisation…jai ho APARD!!!

  3. Sree Devi Kondapalli says:

    Very good technology

  4. T.N.SOBHAN BABU says:

    APARD has indeed initiated revolutionary and path-breaking methods of training through eLearning mode!. kudos to APARD team!!.

  5. T.N.SOBHAN BABU says:

    wish u the good luck!

  6. Siva Sankara Prasad says:

    Leveraging information and communication technology for enabling life long learning opportunities to practitioners is an innovative concept and APARD deserves great appreciation and encouragement.

  7. kumar says:

    Leveraging technology for transforming the rural areas is a novel initiative.

  8. k.jubeda says: