CLOUD COMPUTING IN EDUCATION: INDIA
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal Management effort or service provider interaction.
In this article I will be focusing on a problem faced by most of the Indian government i.e. providing computer facilities to its students. It is mainly due to the fact that funds if allocated are either eat up by corruption or computers bought get stolen.
one traditionally needs components of computer like processor, ROM, RAM, permanent storage device say hard drive and input/output devices to get going, which can cost up to Rs.30,000 per PC for hardware only additional cost of software licencing has also to be borne by the government , which is huge considering the size of audience we want to cater.
One of the solution Indian government is looking at is using cloud computing. All they have to do is provide computer in schools which have basic components computer i.e. low end processor (just to process basic functions like booting the system),ROM to boot the device , a cache memory and input/output devices .It need not be a desktop PC even a low end touch pad device like (Akaash tablet) can also get the job done .These end user devices can be provided in all government schools which would be connected to a central server, These servers can be placed around the city . Cable network can be used to form the network from schools to servers mainly because of range they provide and security reasons ,Now all the major processing ,storing data work will done on a central server from which the device is connected .The end user device (Tablet/low end PC) will merely act as an interface between user and server.
This will have many advantages on traditional systems and cures main problems of government i.e.:
1.End user Cost will come down drastically from on average 30k to mere 3k as one neither have to purchase whole traditional PC nor software licencing.
2. Less scope for corruption (a major concern of government these days).
3.There would be no theft as end user devices is of no use until connected to the server which could be password protected and could be banned from accessing server if any such case comes up.
4.Mobility can be provided by using tablets as end user devices and wireless network at schools via WiMax and WiFi.
5. Open ups a great source of knowledge i.e. world wide web for every student
6.It can even reach the rural India.
But implementing all this our government has to face many challenges like
1. Higher initial cost of setting up servers and under laying the network from schools to server.
2. Providing end user device.
3. Technical and administrative hassles (deciding the final end user device to be used tablet or low end PCs, selecting type of networking, arranging the funds etc.)
Therefore making by making use of cloud computing Indian government can solve its major problem of spreading IT knowledge across all its government schools be it at rural or urban India thus providing quality education to intriguing young Indian minds.