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SWAYAM, India’s MOOC Platform, Launches In Beta — It’s Off To A Rocky Start

Our initial findings after using SWAYAM for the first time.

The website for SWAYAM, India’s ambitious MOOC platform, has finally been launched in beta. You can find it here: swayam.gov.in

swayam homepage

In our deep dive on SWAYAM, we mentioned that we were concerned about the technology side of the new platform. Unfortunately, some of our concerns have come true.

The design of the website looks somewhat dated — it doesn’t feel like it was created in 2016.

Furthermore, we weren’t able to create a new account on SWAYAM, because the CAPTCHA image was broken and so we couldn’t move on to step #2 of the registration process.

Broken CAPTCHA image prevents registration

Class Central reached out to the SWAYAM support email mentioned in the website’s footer, and we got a response within a couple of hours. The reply was from someone with a Microsoft email.

There were some crossed wires in the communication, because SWAYAM’s representative misunderstood and thought we were a campus faculty trying to register. We sent some clarification and will update this post as soon as we get a response.

The other hurdle is that creating an account requires you to have an Indian phone number. Before you can access the courses, you need to activate your account; activation is done via an Indian phone number.

Hopefully these issues will be resolved soon, and the platform opened up to the entire world — not just India.

Additional info about SWAYAM:

SWAYAM: Inside India’s Massive Bet on MOOC — Class Central
A Complete List of SWAYAM MOOCs — Class Central

Dhawal Shah is the founder and CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine for online courses. You can see which courses he is taking here — classcentral.com/@dhawal

Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

Comments 2

  1. Max Friedrich

    Seems like the requirement for an Indian phone number is no error. From the help section:
    “All courses are available only to the residents in India.”

  2. Claude Coulombe

    I am not at all surprised knowing that building a MOOC platform from scratch is a major undertaking which can take several years with a dedicated team of genuine developers.

    As a software architect and data scientist, I was the technical responsible of the Ulibre’s initiative (https://ulibre.ca), the first MOOCs at TÉLUQ – Université du Québec in Montréal which is based on the Open edX. After carefully technically evaluating all the main MOOC’s platforms available at the end of 2013, we have chosen the Open edX platform.

    From a technical perspective, the choice of Open edX is a no brainer. For me the explanation for choosing a Microsoft proprietary platform for the SWAYAM initiative is more a political and financial affair… We are talking about lobbyism here, not about technology or public interest.


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