Physical distances and the limited availability of resources often put restrictions on conducting experiments especially when they involve sophisticated instruments. Virtual Labs have been designed to provide remote access to labs in various disciplines of Science and Engineering. These Virtual Labs cater to students at the undergraduate level, post graduate level as well as to research scholars. Virtual Labs enable the students to learn at their own pace and enthuse them to conduct experiments. Virtual Labs also provide a complete learning management system where the students can avail various tools for learning, including additional web-resources, video-lectures, animated demonstrations and self evaluation. Virtual Lab enables the user to perform experiments remotely as an on-demand service over the web. The Virtual Labs are being jointly developed by IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIIT Hyderabad, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Coimbatore, College of Engineering Pune, Dayalbagh Educational Institute Agra and NITK Surathkal.
Virtual Labs project is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India under the aegis of National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT). This project is a consortium activity of twelve participating institutes and IIT Delhi is coordinating institute. It is a paradigm shift in ICT-based education. For the first time, such an initiative has been taken-up in remote-experimentation. Under Virtual Labs project, over 120 Virtual Labs consisting of approximately 900+ web-enabled experiments were designed for remote-operation and viewing. The intended beneficiaries of the projects are: