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The national Virtual Laboratories project of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, along with IIT Delhi; IIT Bombay; IIT Kanpur; IIT Kharagpur and others, has been enhancing the laboratory education of students online for more than a decade. Launched in 2009, Amrita’s VALUE Virtual Laboratory initiative has developed and deployed more than 360 online laboratories for undergraduate and postgraduate students and teachers. This was part of National Mission on Education through ICT, funded by Ministry of HRD, Government of India, and was coordinated for Amrita by the Dean of Post Graduate programs, Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan.
At a review meeting on April 26, 2019, at IIT Delhi, all institute coordinators commemorated the world’s largest virtual laboratories project and its 10th year. Dr. Shyam Diwakar, Co-investigator of the Virtual Labs project represented Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham for this 10th year in review.
Several Amrita faculty members and centers were directly involved in the project. The initial platform for virtual labs across India was developed by Amrita CREATE led by Dr. Prema Nedungadi and Dr. Raghu Raman. Amrita CREATE had developed the animations and simulations for the Phase 1 and 2 of this project. Amrita School of Biotechnology professors made the largest biotechnology virtual labs contribution in this project and Dr. Bipin Nair, Dean, faculty of Sciences, was the discipline-wise National Coordinator of Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering Virtual Labs.
With over 1000+ online laboratories freely available for learners, a virtual laboratory is a tool for distance learning and/or experimentation that allows students and teachers to share knowledge, data, voice, video, tools, and many other resources. It provides a suitable environment to extend, improve, integrate, refine, and assist the learning and/or experimentation process of many subjects, thus contributing to an increase of the effectiveness of scientific research and widening the use of scarce or costly equipment.
Amrita virtual labs has 382704 registered users.