Courses

Basic Course in Ornithology on NPTEL/Swayam — Registrations OPEN

Go to course page for details and to register | Go to FAQs

The course intends to introduce students to the scientific study of birds (ornithology). It covers basics of a range of topics like bird anatomy, physiology, taxonomy, behaviour, conservation. It is ideal for students pursuing their Bachelors and Masters degree in life sciences and for those who want to explore ornithology as a career option. It is also useful for birdwatchers and other enthusiasts from among the larger public who wish to learn about the formal discipline of ornithology.

Course start date: 24 January 2022.
Duration: 12 weeks
Enrolment fee: Free
Final exam (for those who wish to receive a certificate, costs Rs 1,000): 23 April, 2022
For details of course content, and to register, visit: Basic Course in Ornithology course page.

Faculty:
Anand Krishnan — Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune
Manjari Jain — Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali
Mousumi Ghosh — Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF)
Rajah Jayapal — Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON)
Suhel Quader — Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF)
Umesh Srinivasan — Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
VV Robin — Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Tirupati
Teaching Assistants: Jobin Varughese and Ankita Sinha
Course coordinator: Devica Ranade — Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF)

The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) is a collaboration between seven Indian Institutes of Technology together with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. NPTEL offers over 2,000 online courses, which feed into the Government of India’s SWAYAM platform. Students in most colleges and universities in India can take NPTEL/SWAYAM courses for academic credit.

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I register for the course?
For registering, please follow this link: https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in/noc22_ge10/preview and click on “Join”. You will have the option to create an account if you don’t already have one on NPTEL. Or you can login with your existing Google, Facebook or Microsoft account.
Once you register, you will get an email from NPTEL and the registration is complete. The last date for registration is 31 Jan 2022.

I am unable to register – what do I do?
A small number of people have reported difficulties registering. If you face a problem, you can try the following options:

  • Wait for a few hours and try again
  • Try from a different browser
  • Try to sign up with your Google, Facebook or Microsoft account.

What is the schedule of the course?
Every week, there will be 2-3 hours of pre-recorded lectures by faculty, which you can view at your own convenience. In addition, there will be a 1-hour live interactive session with faculty. The day and time of the weekly interactive sessions will be announced soon. There will also be weekly assignments, which participants will have 10 days to complete.

Who can take this course?
The course is designed with Bachelors and Masters students in the life sciences, especially those who want to explore ornithological research as a career. But it will also be also useful for birdwatchers and other enthusiasts from among the larger public who wish to learn about the formal discipline of ornithology. It is not a course about birdwatching or bird identification.

I am a school student – can I still take the course?
Enrolment for the course is open to anyone regardless of age or educational background. It is up to you to decide whether you think it may be useful to you, or whether it is likely to be too advanced or too simple. You can also try out the course for a few weeks, and drop out if you aren’t finding it helpful. The course is likely to be offered every year, so you can always take it again later if you wish.

How do I get a certificate?
If you wish to receive a certificate from NPTEL, you will have to appear for an in-person final exam on 23 April 2022 during either the morning session (9am to 12 noon) OR the afternoon session (2pm to 5pm). The exam fees are Rs 1000, which you pay when you register for the exam. To register for the exam, please follow this link. Please note that you can register for the exam only after registering for the course.

What is the final exam? Where are the final exam centres located?
If you want a certificate from NPTEL on completion of the course, you must appear for a final exam on 23 April 2022. The exam will be held in person (not online) at 160+ centres across India. Here is a list of exam centres. To register for the exam, please follow this link. Please note that you can register for the exam only after registering for the course.

Do we get books/notes etc to go with the lectures?
You will get pre-recorded lectures to view. In addition, the faculty will share titles of relevant books and papers to refer to, as well as links to online material for extra reading.

Past course

To introduce Bachelors and Masters students to ornithology research, in 2019, a course in Basic Ornithology was organised at IISER Tirupati.
A total of 90 students participated in this intensive 3-day course, which was aimed at educating and encouraging students to pursue a career in ornithological research and conservation. A range of topics was covered during this course, including anatomy, evolution, ecology, behaviour, basics of study design and field and lab techniques.
Recordings of these lectures can be found here.

Faculty
Anand Krishnan — Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune
Ashwin Viswanathan — Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF)
Mousumi Ghosh — National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)
Suhel Quader — Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF)
Umesh Srinivasan — Princeton University, USA
VV Robin — Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Tirupati
With valuable inputs from Rajah Jayapal (Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON)
Course coordinator: Rohan Menzies — Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF)