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NIIT, Apollo Hospitals launch MedVarsity 

Our eFE Bureau  
New Delhi: Software Major NIIT Ltd and Apollo Hospitals Group on Monday announced the launch of MedVarsity to provide Web-based e-learning to medical students and continuing medical education to healthcare providers with a first phase investment of up to Rs 5 crore. NIIT Ventures, the incubation arm of NIIT, has picked up 15 per cent in MedVarsity (www.medvarsity.com) while the rest is held by Apollo Health Street of Apollo Hospitals Group.

Dr Prathap C Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, told media persons at the launch that the first phase of the project would cost Rs 3-5 crore. The venture expects to break even in about four years.

NIIT chairman Rajendra S Pawar said, "As a technology partner, NIIT will be sharing its technology, knowhow and expertise in e-learning." There are no plans as yet to tap the vast infrastructure of NIIT in the form of 1,800 centres, he added. MedVaristy has been designed as a comprehensive and interactive medical e-learning platform offering a virtual medical college that would complement the existing medical infrastructure, he added. It would later be available in Hindi, other regional languages, Dr Reddy said.The revenue model for the the online venture is based on the launched module - the examination module at present. The revenue would also be generated through sponsorships. According to MedVarsity managing director Sangita Reddy, "The site derives its competitive edge as much from the Apollo Group competencies as from NIIT's strengths in providing online learning customised development, software services and solutions."

Initially, the first section to go online is MedVarsity's examination module, which offers support to medical graduates preparing for post graduate exams. This module costs Rs 3,000 for 370 hours for a period of three months. The modules would be accessible to the users either through subscription or on a pay per use basis.

Students would be provided with self assessment and feedback modules and a question bank for the medical entrance examinations with over 60,000 questions in its reserve, he added.

According to Dr Mahendra Bhandari, a leading urologist, who has been appointed as the vice-chancellor of the university, apart from online education support, MedVarsity would offer a virtual medical library with focus on latest developments as also specific programmes in continuing medical education to practitioners, Dr Bhandari added. The venture aims to target 100,000 students spread across 160 institutes and 400,000 practitioners in the medical profession.

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