It took a 14-member committee 50 days to come up with a name: Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds.

The name is a mouthful; the committee had to work backwards from ‘Swayam’, a phrase coined by India’s then-Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani in 2016. Swayam, Hindi for self, is India’s first, national Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform. 

Like its name, Swayam’s purpose was also decided in advance. It was meant to be a one-stop national melting pot of courses from grade nine physics to university level robotics.


Olina Banerji

Based in Delhi, Olina writes about mega-trends in urban mobility, education, skilling and the environment, with a focus on how institutions and innovations can help cities grow sustainably. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics, and has worked previously with India Today and global non-profit Ashoka.

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