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Kerala’s education channel to go online

IT@School ViCTERS, Kerala’s educational channel for schoolchildren, will be available live on the Internet from New Year’s day. It will allow students, teachers and general public watch the channel live at from any part of the world, an official said here yesterday.The entire programme telecast on the channel from 6am to 11pm would be available online, benefiting millions of schoolchildren, including those in the Gulf countries and Lakshadweep islands where schools follow the Kerala curriculum. The advanced video streaming technology enables viewing through an Internet connection with a minimum data transfer speed of 150 Kbps.Since most of the broadband Internet connections that are available possess higher data transfer rates, the streaming of the channel would deliver real-time watching without any disruptions. Students need not subscribe to any cable or DTH services to watch ViCTERS. All the schools in the state are currently equipped with broadband Internet connectivity and the students could watch the programmes in their classrooms or computer labs with the aid of their teachers. The programme schedules would be available a week in advance.ViCTERS (Virtual Classroom Technology on Edusat for Rural Schools) is the only channel in the State to air specific curriculum-based programmes, international programmes on science and technology prepared by Deutsche Welle, the German broadcaster, the BBC as well as classic Indian films produced by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). Initially, the channel was available to students and public through receive-only terminals but it is now available through almost all local cable and direct-to-home (DTH) networks in Kerala.It also airs popular programmes like Haritha Vidyalayam, an educational reality show and the state school festival, the biggest youth festival in Asia. This year’s festival will be held January from 17-23, 2011 and it will be telecast live on ViCTERS.“Students would also be able to select their specific choice of programmes through facilities like ‘Video on Demand’ which is proposed to be implemented this year,” said K Anvar Sadath, the executive director of IT@School project and the ViCTERS. “We are also getting requests from other states as well for sharing content that can be dubbed into the respective regional languages.”

Kuwait Airways grounds its Airbus A300 fleet

Kuwait Airways has grounded its fleet of five Airbus A300 to conduct an inspection of the jets, the state-owned carrier said yesterday. The carrier did not specify what prompted the suspension, other than that Airbus had asked the airline to conduct a check-up on its A300 planes after Kuwait Airways “submitted notes” to the manufacturer. “The procedure has resulted in delaying some flights until the check-up is done and this type is back to flying,” Adel Broslay, Kuwait Airways’ director of public relations and media, said in a statement. Broslay said Kuwait Airways could lease aircraft if the maintenance works were delayed.

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