Use of ICT among Faculty Members of Self Financing Engineering Colleges in the Changing Higher Education Environment

Article excerpt

Introduction

India actively promotes the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education in the formal education sector today, as it has in the non-formal sector for more than 40 years. From the use of radio to spearhead the green revolution, to satellite-based, one-way and interactive television for rural development in some of the most backward districts, to today's thrust for the use of open and distance learning models to serve the larger populations, India has tried it all, with varying degrees of success. In fact, since the early 1950s, Indian policy documents have identified the need to use all media for promoting development and, implicitly, for education. The subsequent policy and plan documents on education, prepared from time to time, have chalked out a role for technology applications, especially in the non-formal education sector. Today, the country's decision-makers, at both the central and state levels, have chosen to explore the use of newer computer and Internet based ICTs for education, along with broadcast ICTs, and have been promoting the use of open and distance learning for both the formal and non-formal education sectors. The launch of a dedicated broadcast education satellite, EDUSAT, is scheduled for early 2004, with capacity for specialised educational channels and up to 5000 FM community broadcasting stations for use by educational institutions. This infrastructure will be available to all sectors of education, but primarily to publicly funded and implementing agencies that will be responsible for transmission and programming for their defined audiences.

The Internet facility in India has grown tremendously over the years. The use of Internet is rapidly increasing owing to its efficiency and capability in providing right information to the right person at the right time. It works around the clock and connects every corner of the world. Internet has become an unavoidable necessasity for every institution of higher learning. The engineering and technical education is important for the development of any country. The engineering colleges are very much needed for the scientific advancement of the country. For making engineering faculty more accomplish and innovative in the work force information play vital role, for accessing information and keeping abreast with the new developments, Internet is becoming an essential human needs with all its facets.

Today, the advent of information technology has resulted in reducing the size of libraries. In fact, these smaller modern libraries are rich potential of information. It has been possible due to the digitization of information. The digital and electronic information is based on digitized data/information, which has gradually replaced paper-based records. As the visual information system in comparison to text based information system is getting more and more popular these days, the traditional libraries are becoming hybrid libraries as they are in the process of doing digitization of their documents and moving towards to become digital libraries. There are number of terms which are used by authors to represent the concept of digital libraries. These terms are; polyglot library, electronic library, desktop library, online library and library without walls etc. The term 'digital and electronic library' is the common word used by majority of the authors. A digital library is defined as "an organized collection of online full-text digital information focused on one or more specific subject areas" (Monopoli et al., 2002).

ICT and Services

In the fast-emerging and ever-growing information explosion it is very difficult to retrieve particular information without wasting time. Recent advances in the field of information technology contribute significantly to improve the services of libraries. Now-a-days libraries are not only seen with printed document and non-print document but also with computers. …