New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) To provide easily accessible and high-quality science and engineering education through information and communication tools, the human resource development ministry Thursday launched a series of virtual laboratories that will aid studies in nine disciplines.

The 91 virtual laboratories will enable hundreds of experiments in nine disciplines of science and engineering.

This project is part of the ministry's National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT).

The primary focus of the labs is to provide graduate and undergraduate college and university students with the ability to perform their required laboratory experiments using only a standard computer and an Internet connection.

Virtual Labs allow students to practice and better learn the science and engineering behind the experiments that they are required to perform, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said.

Virtual Labs also allows the sharing of costly equipment across the country, and in very rural areas, students will be able to perform experiments that they would not otherwise be able to access, he added.

Nearly 300 department heads, faculty, and staff representing 152 institutions have been trained across India on the project. Over 20 Nodal Centres have been created from institutions interested in championing Virtual Labs in their organisations and geographical areas.