Last Updated On June 2nd, 2017 at 08:22 pm
IGNOU: IGNOU Updates at www.ignou.ac.in. This page gives you detailed information about IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University). Education is a medium of empowerment and there is no other force, other than Education, that can bring people closer and enlighten them with certain important fundamentals governing life. The education system of a country is reflective of many things: culture, inclination towards global changes, and whatnot. Every education system endeavors to reach out to the remote areas so that no one is deprived of the beneficial effects of education. Whether its school, universities, what is imperative that people are able to avail these facilities because education often comes at a cost, quite literally.
In order to reach out the remotest areas, open universities have been set up to bring disadvantaged persons together and provide them with the benefits of education, without compromising its quality. These universities have played an essential role in the progressive development of people, who, for some reasons, are unable to join higher education. With the help of distance programs, people are able to learn without having to attend regular classes in a university. This is one of the most convenient and cost-effective means of creating an intellectual class, which otherwise would not have the means to higher education.
This does not mean that open universities are not available to otherwise well-off students. Just as its name suggests, the universities like IGNOU, are open to everyone but their foundational principle was to ply disadvantaged sections with educational services. India has many open universities, which provide high-quality distance learning programs and it would be unfair to not name IGNOU, which stands for The Indira Gandhi National Open University, which has given much impetus to distance education in India.
It has been a major galvanizer in the task of reaching out to disadvantaged people by means of education. With its extensive programs and convenient mechanism for delivery of education, IGNOU has become the large university in the world with four million students enrolled in its various programs. IGNOU has made great contributions in the dissemination of education and thus, it must be understood from scratch. Here are ten things one must know about IGNOU:
History of IGNOU:
The preparatory work for the establishment of IGNOU had started all the way in the year 1970, when the Ministry of education and Social Welfare collaborated with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the UGC and the Indian National Commission for cooperation with UNESCO to organize a seminar, which suggested for the establishment of an open university.
A working group was appointed to look into the feasibility of such recommendation, which later highlighted the possibility of an open university. It proposed that the university should have countrywide jurisdiction so that people even from the remotest corner will have access to its programs.
However, it was only in 1985 that the Union Government established the university and named it after the India’s former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. An Act of Parliament established the university with the purpose to promote distance learning at university level.
Schools of IGNOU:
IGNOU was established with the purpose of delivering good quality education to people. It warm-heartedly welcomes students from not only India but also abroad. The entire coursework and degree programs provided by IGNOU have amassed a lot of popularity abroad since it has seen students from countries like China, Nepal, France, Nigeria, Mongolia, Maldives, UAE, Ghana, Lesotho, Afghanistan, etc. In fact, IGNOU schools are established in the aforementioned countries.
Apart from international headquarters, IGNOU has 21 schools and an extensive network of 67 regional centers, and approximately 2267 study centers. Some of its schools include School of Humanities, School of Social Sciences, School of Health Sciences, School of Agriculture, School of Journalism and New Media Studies, etc.
Divisions of IGNOU:
It is important to have an extensive framework for delivering education. India is a complex country, with large-scale uneven development. Many regions across the country are unable to access developed education systems flourishing in the developed areas.
Since an open university has to reach out to every nook and corner of the country, it must ensure that there are properly placed institutional divisions that carry out various activities pertaining to the purpose of the university. IGNOU, likewise, has many divisions established that look after some of the essential functions of the university.
Currently, IGNOU has eleven divisions: Academic and Coordination Division, Student Registration Division, Student Evaluation Division, Planning and Development Division, Library and Documentation Division, Finance and Accounts Division, Computer Division. Administrative Division, Material Production and Distribution, Regional Services Division, and International Division.
IGNOU’s Focus on Research:
Research is the backbone of development. Educational institutions across the globe have understood the indispensable role research unit plays and therefore, have started establishing research units that carry out comprehensive and extensive research on various areas. It helps in not only increasing knowledge but also paves the way to the development of intellectual mind. Keeping in mind the tremendously effective results of research on the quality of education, IGNOU too has established a research unit.
The Research Unit was established on 6 October 2008. The unit established has the objective of conducting meetings for discussing on and developing research policies; to provide an effective monitoring framework for the doctoral students enrolled in IGNOU programs; to conduct programs for the assistance of researchers; to promote a research-based environment among its students and staff members, etc.
Cells in IGNOU:
Like Divisions, IGNOU has many cells established for the management of distance learning programs in particular areas like Horticulture. Some of the cells include National Council for Disability Studies, Horticulture Cell, Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education, National Centre for Innovations in Distance Education, Electronic Media Production Center, etc. These cells have been tasked with the purpose of monitoring these programs and provide intellectual and financial incentives to these programs.
Step towards Digitalization:
The world has become overwhelmingly digitalized, with everything being conducted online. From framing of governmental policies to simple management of daily life, everything seems to have taken a liking to the digital world. The education sector, too, has not fallen back in introducing its benefits online. The world is now even more connected due to the virtual space. It has reduced the time consumption and increased access to relevant information without much hassle.
IGNOU realized the future prospects of digital education in 1999 and launched its first virtual campus in India, starting with computer sciences and information sciences courses online. Now, IGNOU hosts many courses online. This initiative, which has now become a popular movement across other universities, has taken positive advantage of the internet, which has become a strong force of communication among people.
Recognition of IGNOU:
IGNOU is recognized as a central university by the University Grants Commission and by virtue of the IGNOU Act, 1985 it is authorized to grant degrees for the programs offered. Its degrees are considered of equal value as that of those conferred by members of Association of Indian Universities (AIU). It operates all its programs concerning distance learning via Distance Education Council.
Earlier there were many apprehensions and doubts regarding the academic value of the degrees offered by IGNOU, however, with time, people have realized that IGNOU’s degrees are as prestigious as any other conventional degrees offered by other universities. This rising credibility has given IGNOU tremendous participation from students and teachers across the country and the world.
Alumni of IGNOU:
IGNOU has been widely popular since its inception and has attracted many fellows, who went on to become great leaders, academicians, and reputed professionals. These individuals have added to the popularity and credibility of the university and have driven people to take benefits from the IGNOU programs.
Some of its notable alumni includes the popular Bollywood actress, Deepika Padukone; Celina Jaitley, another Bollywood actress; Aditya Bandhopadhya, who is a practicing lawyer and a renowned gay activist; Deepak Kumar, who should be referred to as General Deepak Kumar, was the former Chief of the Army Staff in the Indian Army; Bishwatosh Sengupta, who is a renowned academician of the country; Shiv Kumar Rai, who is an Indian journalist with more than 20 years of experience, etc.
Library is the storehouse of knowledge. Any educational institutional that believes in effective dissemination of knowledge and bolstering inclinations towards thorough researches among students and staff members must establish a library at its heart. Library helps in inspiring people to develop the much-desired sense of zeal, which a true learner must possess.
IGNOU has libraries established with the aim of fostering reading habits among students. It is a well-constructed infrastructure, occupied with good quality and quantity of books shelved in the aligned racks. The IGNOU functions under a three-tier system, with the Central Library at its headquarters followed by libraries situated at Regional centers (RCL) and then Study Centers (SCL).
The Central Library, which is situated at the headquarters, serves the needs of students, teachers, and administrative staff. The regional Centers look after the needs of academic staff and regional coordinators of the centers. The Study Centers are designed to meet needs of the students exclusively.
Thus, each hierarchal system of libraries in IGNOU is established to serve special purposes. The Central Library monitors the development of Regional Centers and Study centers and integrates them into one system called LIBSYS, which is a management software that stores all modules for assessment of library.
IGNOU libraries are open to internship programs and invite willing individuals to apply for the Library Internship Program. The applicants must have qualifications in Library and Information Science and Computer Science to make them eligible for an internship program that aims at training them in the operation of Library services and other related ICT programs.
When radio entered to foster communication ties among people and between people and government, it was a big hit. It became a symbol of connectivity. It became a method of expression of views, opinions, criticisms, and whatnot. People realized the phenomenal power of radio to reach out to different corners of the country. Eventually with time, the government started using Radio as a tool of dissemination of education to unprivileged area and promotion of awareness programs. IGNOU, too, has been an active participant in such programs and has its own broadcast services.
The famous Gyanvani program broadcasted on FM Radio Network is run by IGNOU. The program provides broadcast on different aspects of education and focuses on providing primary and secondary levels of education. It handles some very important public issues. Radio is not the only medium through which IGNOU promotes its education program. It runs a TV Channel by the name Gyan Darshan, which broadcasts programs on various issues concerning society. Thus, IGNOU has effectively used these media of communication to reach out to every nook and corner of the country.
IGNOU is the largest university in the world, with 4 million students. It has excelled in the field of education and promotion of awareness programs that have managed to provide a different perspective to people, who come from advantaged or disadvantaged sections of the society. It caters to the need of students in the manner it should be and have tailored programs to suit the needs and requirements of different aspects of education. With IGNOU, a higher level of education has become a possible dream to many people, who do not have minimum educational services in their region. These efforts have been acknowledged already.
In 2013, The Academic Councilor of IGNOU, Shri Begi K Mathew, was selected as one of the top rankers of the C-level Examination of the year 2012 and was awarded for the same achievement. Shri. Kapi Sibal, the then Minister of Communications and Information Technology presented him the award during a workshop organized by the National Institute of Electronic and Information Technology.
Students, too, have achieved laurels. In the year 2011, Siri Ni Nair had won a gold medal for the MCA. Also, the same year saw the largest convocation ever conducted so far by any university. IGNOU had awarded in that year degrees and diplomas to roughly 1 lacs students from about 44 locations in the country. This shows how much IGNOU has managed to permeate through the barriers of society and successfully managed to bring together people in the field of education.
As mentioned earlier IGNOU has reached out to students from India as well as abroad. It has managed to secure partners overseas that help it in the administration of its programs. Some of the overseas partner Institutions of IGNOU are Wisdom Educational Institute, Abu Dhabi; Global College of Higher Education, Kuwait; Glory Institute, Oman; Educational Consulting and Guidance Services, Riyadh; Open University of Mauritius, Mauritius; The University of Papua New Guinea; International Centre for Academics P. Ltd., Nepal; Regent International Institute of Higher Studies, Nepal, CJ Overseas Academy for Teacher Training and Technology Studies, Sri Lanka; Open Minds International, Singapore; St. Mary’s University College, Ethiopia; Asian International IT Establishment, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, etc. In total, there are 29 overseas partner institutions that have collaborated with IGNOU for the effective implementation of the latter’s programs.
Projects Supported or Initiated by IGNOU:
IGNOU has been a keen participant in the development of community through public awareness programs and other initiatives that are necessary to create a stable and conscious society. It has initiated some of the most commendable projects that have shown significant results.
- Construction Workers Vocational Qualification (CWVQ) Project is a project aimed at providing vocational training programs for skill development of construction workers.
- Another program is Sarva Sikhsa Abhiyan, where attempts are made to implement distance learning programs to reach out large population within a small span of time.
- Pre-testing of UNESCO Resource Kit for Science and Technology Education Project 2000+ is another ambitious project of IGNOU, where it attempts to provide this kit to rural and urban schools and implement this policy from the outputs obtained.
- GNOU-FDDI (Footwear Design and Development Institute) Project, which focuses on the development of footwear industry with the introduction of new techniques and academic programs for the same.
- HIV and Family Education is yet another program that aims at raising public awareness regarding HIV and establishing healthy human relationships. It is a praiseworthy program aimed at eradicating stereotypes attached to HIV.
- Strengthening the Local Govt. in MP is a project aimed at strengthened the lower level of governance. The Technical assistance to this project was provided by the Asian development bank through the Price Waterhouse. It provided skill development programs necessary for effective management in local governments.
- Empowering Women through Distance Education is an initiative to promote awareness among women. It aims at women, particularly. It brings together women from all classes to fight for their rights and promote the importance of education for women. Its aim is to organize Self-Help Groups, which help in the empowerment of women in the field of education. Some of the methods opted are counseling to women, radio broadcast, and regularly organized public programs for the same purpose.
- Training of Rural Youth aims at providing educational assistance to youth from rural areas through skill development programs. It provides these programs in the field Commercial Vegetable Production and Fruit Nursery Production.
- Programme on participatory management of displacement, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (PGCMRR) is IGNOU’s firs online course for social sciences. It is a joint initiative of the World Bank and the IGNOU that provides a post-graduation certificate for the same. It provides skill development in the areas relating resettlement, displacement, and rehabilitation.