In Kerala, Local Self-Government Institutions have been meaningfully empowered through massive transfer of resources as well as administrative powers. Local self-government Institutions have emerged as effective agencies for the implementation of developmental programmes. With the decentralization of power, Local Self Government Department (LSGD) has gained an important role in formulation and implementation of developmental works at the grass-root level. Today Panchayat Directorate, Directorate of Urban Affairs, Commissionerate of Rural Development, Town and Country Planning Department and LSGD Engineering wing are the major allied departments of LSGD.Apart from these, there are different allied institutions and training centers under LSGD to address different capacity building activities of the local bodies, both rural and urban. To strengthen the capacity building initiatives, Local Self Government Department under the subcomponent of SATCOM of RGPSA a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India provided for setting up Virtual Class Rooms all over the state. Under this scheme it is intended to set up 28 trainee nodes (2 in each district) and 5 trainer nodes. The list of nodes is given in Annexure-I
The following are the broad objectives of setting up Virtual Class Rooms in the state.
- To conduct various training programs for the elected representatives and departmental officials
- Promote interactive and participatorytraining sessions, overcoming the barriers of distance through video conferencing with trainees sitting in the virtual classrooms established at remote locations
- To facilitate and strengthen the process of de-centralized planning with up to date information sharing.
- To undertake action-oriented research activities.
- To document best practices on local governance and prepare for wider dissemination
- To organize seminars, workshops and discussions efficiently.
- Overcome the shortage of quality trainers/experts and maximum utilization of their services.
- Reduce Travel and other expenses, quick planning and training management.
- Enable a master trainer to reach out to a larger number of trainees across different locations
- Prevent dilution of instruction quality.
- Standardization of learning and instructional quality.
- At any time 28+5 locations can be chosen in different combinations as required.
Establishment and working of a virtual classroom is envisaged as follows:
- A multi-port conferencing unit will be placed in State Data Centre
- A real time interactive platform between instructor and participants spread across different locations.
- Both the trainer/instructor and the participant should be able to see and interact with each other real-time.
- The instructor should be able to teach several virtual classrooms in different locations at the same time on the same subject.
- Make more than one location as trainer/central locations enabling multiple training sessions simultaneously or single training sessions from any such trainer locations.
- Video conferencing equipments with one camera and audio system will be placed at trainee locations. Cameras at trainer location will follow and focus trainer as well as trainees.
- There will be two displays at trainer locations, one displaying remote locations and other displaying contents.
- Each remote location will have a projector displaying trainer/contents and other locations.
- There will be 2 mics at each location, one fixed in the ceiling and other a wireless handheld device. Additionally, for all trainer locations, there would be a wireless collar mic for trainer.
Scheduling of Classes/meetings on available slots
The free slots available after the trainings scheduled in the training calendar of KILA and SIRD can be utilized for meetings and classes by LSGD and other Government Departments and Institutions.
- The availability of the dates may be checked in the online calendar link available in the website of Panchayat Department.
- If the dates are available a request may be send by email to the Director of Panchayats in firstname.lastname@example.org.The request should reach at least two working days before the proposed class/meeting.
The details to be included in the request are
a. The proposed date and time
b. Locations to be covered
e. Nature and no of Participants in each location
- Periodic field level review meetings of departments under LSGD shall be done using this facility.