Warangal Urban, August 25: “Online is the lifeline of education,” said the Governor Dr.Tamilisai Soundararajan. Delivering the inaugural address in the national webinar organized by the National Institute of Technology (NIT) on “Online Education – The Opportunities and Challenges” here on Tuesday morning, Dr.Tamilisai Soundarajan said that digital education and online education (OLE) would fill the void for classroom education while minimizing the chances of any infection to students till the commencement of traditional teaching. She appreciated the Government of Telangana for initiating online education before any other State in the country and suggested that in India, OLE would act as an enabler of inclusive education by facilitating learning across diverse geographies. Stressing on the flexibility offered by OLE, she said that online education ushered in as a blessing in disguise and recommended that educational institutions should develop purposeful and well-defined online courses and mitigate and compensate for the impediments posed and inconvenience caused due to COVID-19 pandemic to the education system and learners. She insisted on the need to consider socio-economic challenges of the students and focus on their mental health along with the physical health. Stating that education and economy were the two sectors severely affected by the pandemic, Dr.Tamilisai Soundararajan advised the educators to bring the education sector to the normal state. She advised the educators to think of the ways and means to “Connect the Unconnected”. Participating as the guest of honour, the Director of NIT, Warangal Prof.N.V.Ramana Rao said that the Institute had left no stone unturned in preparing the students for the workforce system with knowledge, skills, and abilities by leveraging on technology, ensuring safety in COVID times. Stating that NIT, Warangal ranked among the top engineering colleges in the country, he said COVID-19 triggered a digital revolution in the country and NIT Warangal was utilising the time as an opportunity to transform education system and had been the trendsetter of activities like re-examining assignment, re-calibrating control and authority, toning down suspicions about students delivery, and developing sustainable future ready courses. Earlier, the Registrar of NIT Prof.S.Goverdhan Rao introduced the Governor. Prof.Anand Kishore Kola, convenor of the Webinar said that over 1000 participants from different education institutions were attending the seminar. Co-Convenor of the Webinar, Dr.M.Heera Lal also spoke. Later in the afternoon, delivering the lecture on “Building the Competencies of Teachers for Online Teaching”, Prof.K.Srinivas, Head, of ICT & Project Management Unit of National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) laid emphasis on the necessity of building teacher competencies. In another lecture on “Virtual Labs – A Way forward for Laboratory Curriculum”, Prof.KV Gangadharan, Head of the Centre for Systems Design from NIT, Suratkal suggested the ways in which virtual labs could act as bridges connecting students and educational institutions during the pandemic.