In Open Learning, the face-to-face contact is very limited and the learners are at a distance and the teaching methodology is distance education mode. In such scenario, Open Schooling has to depend heavily on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is much more relevant in case of Open Schooling by its very character. NIOS has made the optimum utility of ICT in almost all of its activities and programmes. Under the programmes and activities of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), Information and Communication Technology is being used as a major strategy towards reaching the unreached and management of NIOS.
The Computer Unit backs up the Information Technology needs of the Institute. It provides computing facilities and Internet services to all the staff members and learners of the Institute. Network facilities have been provided to all the staff members to access and share the Resources. Individual email accounts have been provided to all the staff members on NIOS Domain. High speed internet connectivity through network connections and through Wi-Fi is provided to all the staff members of the Institute. Wi-Fi internet connectivity is provided in all the floors in the NIOS office building. Appropriate network security is being maintained in the Institute. The Computer Unit is equipped with state-of the art Centralized computing facilities through high performance servers in client server architecture.
The NIOS has come a long way in the forefront of ICT since it made a small beginning with only two personal computers in 1989. Over the years all necessary hardware and software infrastructure were installed for computerization of NIOS activities.
Starting with a small Computer Unit with few numbers of computers, it has reached to the level of full fledge Computer Division with five units within it namely
- EDP Unit
- Internet & On-line Application Unit
- Software Development and Implementation Unit
- Networking & Maintenance Unit
- On-Demand Examination Unit.
Today it is equipped with latest hardware and software. There is Local Area Network with centralised database. There are two fast line matrix printers to meet the requirements of heavy printing work of the EDP unit. Besides Desktop and printers were provided to all the departments and branches for their smooth and efficient functioning. All the computers in all the buildings are connected with a high end IBM server and Windows 2012 server Operating System and 100/100 mbps backbone connectivity. This has greatly enhanced communication and resource sharing among the users.
For Internet there is Internet Leased Line (ILL) installed. With this, the access of the Internet has been made possible round the clock through the Local Area Network. This has greatly augmented the Information and Communication capability of NIOS. It has also helped reaching the learners very promptly.
Another landmark was the installation of a compact integrated Learner Support Centre (LSC) on the pattern of call centre operational 9.00am to 5:30 PM (supported by Executive) and from 5:30 PM to 9:00 AM (Supported by IVRS) all days. It is a Technology-assisted learner support system, which consists of a 5-7 Learner Support Executives backed by recorded information through Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS).
Web Servers and Online Applications: NIOS is having 10 web servers for all online applications and database.
All the Regional Centres of NIOS are provided with basic computing facilities with 4-6 computers and 2-4 printers. The Regional centres are also provided with ILL of 1 Mbps for Internet access and e-mail facility for transfer of data and for smooth connectivity with Headquarters at Delhi. The Admission and Examination data were transferred through e-mail from the Regional Centres to the Headquarter, which expedite the processing work tremendously.