Mayo College embarked on its ambitions IT Project in 2002. The main aim of the project is to provide an advanced computing environment and access to Information Superhighway to all human resources in the College.
1. Wiring all boarding houses, Staff Quarters and the main Academic block with Optical Fiber Cables to enable multimedia learning and teaching.
2. Providing Internet facility to students in all boarding houses (approximately 10 computer systems in each boarding house) spread over the campus through a Leased line.
3. Providing centralized access to various departments/boarding houses/administrative blocks using servers (Mail, Proxy, Firewall, Authentication, Database, File and Print).
4. Providing manpower for maintaining the above facility and also to create an e-content which could be shared by others.
5. Purchase of Operating System Licenses and Software required for the above purpose.
The entire concept was conceived in 2002 and Old Boys of active chapters had come out with a proposal to wire the entire campus. HCL also gave a proposal to convert this dream project into reality but due to lack of funds, it did not take off. With the emerging needs of students and IT as a major tool in shaping their life, the project assumed significance and implemented in 2003. A technical committee was formed with Maj.Gen.Aditya Singh as Chairman, Th.Randhir Vikram Singh Mandawa and Principal, Mayo College as Members.
A Request for Proposal was sent to 13 major IT companies in the country and proposals were received from 5 of them. L & T, HCL, WIPRO, TATA Infotech and NIIT were then asked to quote based on a Tender Document. The proposals were received in two parts viz. the technical proposal and the commercial proposal. During the technical evaluation of bids, NIIT was not found to satisfy our technical needs and hence their bids were rejected. Commercial proposals from the remaining four vendors were then analyzed and the contract was awarded to the lowest bidder M/s L & T Ltd. A supply order was then issued to L & T mentioning the salient features of the project which also envisaged supply of 120 PIV and Celeron systems with 4 servers to connect the existing and new systems.
The work on the project commenced as soon as the school closed for summer vacations in 2003. The team of workers from L & T found major hurdles in digging trenches for laying cables as the terrain was rocky. Mild blasting was done at many places; however, standards for cabling were followed meticulously.
Under the supervision of Mr.S.Sriram, Co-ordinator IT, the project was completed in two phases a fortnight behind schedule-first to connect the Admin block and classrooms and then to connect all boarding houses. Though the first phase was completed on 31st July, 2003, connectivity to the boarding houses started on 02nd September, 2003 and the students were able to access restricted sites. Today, students in various boarding houses access the net between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for sending mails and browse the net for educational purposes.
The Aim of Project IT is to provide connectivity to all places in the campus including Boarding Houses, Admin Block, Class Rooms, Computer Labs and Staff Residences so that communication becomes simple and easy between the vast areas of the College Campus. The network is designed to cater to 360 nodes in the initial phase and can be expanded to a higher level as the backbone is a 10Gbps Fibre cable of laser grade. All the Edge switches have 24 ports wherein only 12 ports are loaded in the initial phase. The Network Layout that was designed originally by L& T was modified to bring in more redundancy at the outer layers so that the entire project can be well maintained with minimum downtime. A 512 Kbps Leased line from Shyam Internet Services Ltd., Jaipur catered to be needs of students for internet purposes. Today, Mayo College is connected by a 8Mbps Leased Line from MTS.
The project intended to facilitate e-learning process that has become a benchmark in today’s learning curriculum. In addition to providing Internet facility to students for mailing purposes, the network is extensively used for project work and career guidance. It also facilitates easy communication between staff and students and vice-versa any time in the day in addition to helping the students to be in touch with their parents. The students can share resources among themselves thereby saving a lot of time and increasing productivity. They can also get 24x7 help from the staff during vacations.
The local intranet facility "MayoOnline" is a customized Information Management Solution that was developed by the school in partnership with Kalingasoft, a Bhubaneswar based company. “Mayoonline” is a single platform where all stake holders- Administration, Staff, Teachers, Students and Parents connect with each other. It helps in Class & Student Management, recording student results and performance, Staff Management, Attendance, Payroll Management, Accounting, Stores Management, Hospital Management, Library Management, Hostel Management and a host of other features. MIS reports are available to check usage and improve efficiency. It also helps the school in better implementation of schemes. In addition, it helps the students to be in touch with each other and also help them to access offline material stored on the database servers.
A. "Bhartiyavidya" – These are highly informative multimedia capsules that can act as teaching aids to teachers in imparting quality education in classrooms. The capsules contain images and videos in 3D and can depict things that cannot be drawn on board. The visual appeal of these capsules is so powerful that it has found good flavour amongst students in understanding some difficult concepts in various subjects.
B. "Eureka" – An excellent teaching aid designed for all classes from Class IV to Class XII based on CBSE curriculum. It has mind boggling visual effects to explain concepts and help the students understand the concept in detail. Teachers find great use of this software in the classroom to explain concepts that cannot be explained on a blackboard. Many capsules have an interactive module in the form of a Quiz to check the retention power of students.
C. "Geometer Sketchpad" – A phenomenal tool for Mathematics teachers to help them out in making the students understand the basic concept of every geometrical figure. It has provisions for proving theorems using diagrams. Very user-friendly, teachers can animate the flow of events to show the change that takes place with every step. “Extramarks.com” – A portal, complete in all respects mapped to CBSE curriculum to enable teachers use it as a Teaching tool and for students to use it as a learning tool in Boarding houses. It has facilities like Mindmap, Smart Learning Modules, Animations, Formative discussions, Questions on ‘Higher Order Thinking Skills’, Chapter-wise Q & A, CCE MCQ Tests, Model Test Paper and Group Quiz.
All the computers in the campus are connected to the Network Centre and five high-end servers cater to different applications to make the job faster and easier. The firewall placed outside the network prevents unauthorized users from hacking the network and it also acts as a Virus-wall to prevent the network from virus attacks. A Domain Name Server (DNS) with Active Directory Services is used for authentication of users. Built-in LDAP services enable rights to users based on login id. Every student/staff has a login name and a password with a 25 MB server space and an email id with mayocollege.com as the domain with a 10 MB Mailbox. A proxy server that runs on Linux/Squid helps us in providing Internet connectivity. A host of data servers helps users in providing data related to students/staff and also hosts learning material for students.
The Network is very robust with a 3 tier architecture-Core, Distribution and Access. All switches used are CISCO make with CISCO 3550G as the core switch and 22 CISCO 2950 as the edge switches. A mix of ring and star topology was preferred to maximize redundancy. Universal standards for cabling and documentation have been followed. It is a completely "managed" network for effective LAN Management. Approximately 10 kilometres of Multi-mode fibre and 3 kilometres of Single-mode fibre in addition to 14 kilometres of UTP cable and 5 kilometres of STP cable have been laid to complete this project.
The entire project was executed under the supervision of Mr.S.Sriram, IT Administrator, Co-ordinator and Head of the Department of Information Technology. This facility shall bring better learning facility for students, enhance knowledge access for staff, improve efficiency in office and decision making through MIS and better career awareness.