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Emergence of open educational resources (OER) in India and its impact on lifelong learning

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 5 July 2011




The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the evolution of open educational resources OER initiatives in India – how OER movement emerges from the open access movement in the backdrop of an emerging knowledge‐based economy. This paper also illustrates how OER help in democratizing lifelong learning spaces that eventually help in skills development.


This paper primarily uses baseline surveys and recommendations of different working groups of Indian National Knowledge Commission. Relevant policy instruments of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, UNESCO, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and other national and international bodies are also critically examined to understand India's stand on OER in comparison with other promising developing countries. This paper analyses impact of OER on Indian systems of education, ranging from lifelong learning, technical and vocational education and training to higher education systems. This paper also illustrates various models of innovations which are shaping up multi‐dimensional lifelong learning pathways to cater to career aspirations of young Indians.


This paper finds out that Indian OER initiatives make use of textual platforms as well as audio‐visual platforms embracing YouTube, Metacafe and other web‐based streaming video channels. This paper also illustrates the collaboration patterns in OER initiatives in order to attain sustainability, optimum usage and integration with formal curriculum of skills development programmes.

Research limitations/implications

Although this paper identifies external as well as internal factors that are shaping up OER movement in this emerging knowledge economy, this paper mainly focuses on country‐level initiatives. The challenges faced at the institutional level as well as users level can be traced through advanced research studies.

Practical implications

This paper suggests some sustainable models for OER deployment, lessons learned and challenges faced by practitioners and users communities.

Social implications

OER development has become a social movement. Proper deployment and utilization of OER resources will lead to social empowerment of young adults. This paper helps in understanding how Indian society embraces OER in order to attain social justice and empowerment through sustainable educational development.


This paper is a unique attempt to produce a state‐of‐the‐art report on the emergence of the OER movement in a transitional emerging economy.



Das, A.K. (2011), "Emergence of open educational resources (OER) in India and its impact on lifelong learning", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 10-15.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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