MHRD’s IIT PAL launch may be delayed, MOOC platform being considered

Last week, the Ministry of Human Resources Development had announced that it will soon launch an app, IIT PAL, to help engineering aspirants in their preparation for the Joint Entrance Examination.

The student community rejoiced at this initiative as the app was to be launched in two months’ time and would have been available free of cost. The proposed app would have past 50 years’ JEE question papers and video tutorials from IIT professors.

However, with newer amendments to the plan, it seems PAL launch may be delayed. Sources say that MHRD is now planning to rope in current year IIT students to prepare notes and study material for the app.

Aspirants who were earlier rejoicing at the initiative are now sceptical about the ministry’s timelines for the launch. Arun Goyal, 2017 JEE aspirant from IITian’s PACE, said, “It was quite ambitious on the Government’s part to release the app by August. It is hard to compile so much data so soon.”

However, the delay in launching the app is not what is bothering aspirants. The Ministry has now decided to launch the preparation material on its Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform in the form of open courses. This platform is available to foreign students as well. The aspirants are worried that the material published on MOOC in the form of courses might be paid and will limit the free benefits of the app.

How and why is the Ministry planning to use two completely different mediums for publishing the study material is questionable?