IIT lectures now online

March 12, 2008

Lectures given at India’s premier engineering colleges can now be viewed online for free here. Seven of the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) along with the Indian Institue of Science, Bangalore have teamed up for the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

NPTEL aims to eventually put more than 20,000 hours of video online. When completed, it will dwarf other online-courseware efforts by leading American universities like MIT or Yale.

The videos cover every engineering subject right from a basic first-semester course like Engineering Chemistry I to Database Design. This will be a great resource for students who complain that their lecturers are incompetent/mildly retarded.

It is, no doubt, an admirable effort, but I am disgusted by the fact that the videos have been uploaded onto Youtube. This is a government sponsored project, why cant they afford the bandwidth to host a couple of petabytes of high-quality video? Besides the obvious lowering of video quality (I beleive Youtube compresses video to save bandwidth), it is a shame that that the Indian government had to turn to a foreign corporation to host its own content.

The URL of the NPTEL site is http://www.nptel.iitm.ac.in/home.php