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Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) (External website that opens in a new window) established in September 1985, is responsible for the promotion of Open University and distance education system in the educational pattern of the country and for coordination and determination of standards in such systems. The major objectives of the University include widening access to higher education to larger segments of the population, organising programmes of continuing education and initiating special programmes of higher education for specific target groups like women, physically challenged and people living in backward regions and hilly areas, such as NE, KBK, and those predominantly inhibited by tribals and SCs.

The IGNOU provide an innovative system for tertiary education and training. The system is flexible and open in regard to methods and pace of learning, combination of courses, eligibility for enrolment, age of entry, method of evaluation, etc. The University has adopted an integrated multimedia instructional strategy consisting of printed materials, audio-visual aids, educational radio and TV, teleconferencing and video conferencing supported by face-to-face counselling sessions through a network of study centres throughout the country. It conducts both continuous evaluation as well as term-end examinations.

The IGNOU introduced its programmes in 1987 and has so far launched 117 programmes consisting of more than 900 courses consisting of Ph.D., Master's Degree Programmes, Advanced/Post Graduate Diploma, Diploma Programmes and Certificate Programmes, etc. During 2005 over 4.60 lakh students were registered for various programmes of study.

The University has established an extensive student support services network consisting of 60 regional centres, 7 sub-regional centres and 1298 study centres situated in different parts of the country. IGNOU has established 269 study centres for women, SC/ST and physically challenged persons. On 26 January 2001, IGNOU launched an education channel Gyandarshan which is now a 24-hour channel and has capacity for six simultaneous telecasts. In November 2001, IGNOU launched FM Radio Network for providing additional student support. As of now, 17 FM radio stations are functional and this number should increase to 40 FM stations in course of time. The launch of an exclusive educational satellite Edusat is an historic opportunity for the growth and development of distance education to create Educated India and meet the aspirations of our people and empower them through quality education. In the year 2005, the university established 100 Edusat supported Satellite Interactive Terminals (SITs) in its regional/study centres all over the country. Distance Education Council, established by the University as a statutory authority, is an apex body for coordination and determination of standards in distance education in the country.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 19-01-2011