Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar launched an online portal TAPAS (Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services), developed by the National Institute of Social Defence, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the presence of Ministers of State, Mr. Ramdas Athawale and Ms. Pratima Bhoumik.
TAPAS is the initiative of the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, to provide access to lectures by subject experts, study material and more, but in a manner that it supplements the physical classroom without compromising on the quality of teaching. The course modules will impart training and enhance the knowledge and skills for the capacity building of the participants. It can be taken up by anyone who wishes to enhance his or her knowledge on the topics and there is no fee for joining. The five basic courses are on a drug (substance) abuse prevention, geriatric/elderly care, care and management of dementia, transgender issues and on the comprehensive course on social defence issues.
The idea of TAPAS was conceptualised at a time when exploring the online medium for work and education had become imperative due to the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic. What fuelled it further was the Ministry’s vision of ensuring maximum participation of stakeholders and volunteers working in the field of social defence for better training and capacity building.
Dr. Virendra Kumar congratulated the NISD team for the initiative and said that the online medium of learning will enable the Ministry in reaching out to an even larger number of people working in this area of social defence. He urged everyone to enrol for the course for a better understanding of issues such as substance abuse prevention, elderly care, transgender welfare and beggary prevention. “Everyone working in the field of social defence is encouraged to enrol for the course. It is an online course and one can utilise this facility to its full potential,” Dr. Virendra Kumar said.
“In our education system, where the offline mode of teaching is so deeply entrenched, this course will lead the path of change and open up new possibilities. There is no dearth of respect and regard for our age-old guru-shishyaparampara, but there’s no reason why it can’t be transited to the online medium. Hence, let us embark on this new journey and increase our horizon when it comes to learning and gaining knowledge,” he further added.
Mr. R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, informed that TAPAS is a standard MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platform with course material such as filmed lectures and e-study material. It also includes discussion forums to support and encourage interactions among students and course coordinators.
Ms. Radhika Chakravarthy, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, further highlighted the components of TAPAS. The platform has been made with a quadrant approach, she said. There will be a virtual class where an expert or a resource person will give a lecture about the subject with the help of animated infographics and Powerpoint presentations. The participants will be provided with informative material like articles, case studies and other study material on the related topic, which can be downloaded for future reference. After completing each module, students can assess their understanding of the subject with the help of a multiple-choice quiz. There is also a discussion forum on the portal on which they can raise their doubts with the course coordinator.
This was followed by the release of the TAPAS prospectus and an informative video on the Online Learning Management System. Dr. Veerendra Mishra, Director, NISD, proposed the vote of thanks.