open letter april 2010

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Open Letter April 2010



    As a pioneer in Open and Distance Learning (ODL), IGNOUhas been at the forefront of taking education to thedoorsteps of learners for the past 25 years. It has beeninstrumental in reaching the unreached in the remotest partsof the country. Its inclusive nature, as well as the vital andempowering role it plays in helping millions of people reskilland upskill themselves, is well known.

    What is not so well known, however, is IGNOUs impressivetrack record in delivering quality atthe upper end of the learningspectrum in high-end research andstreams such as engineering,medicine, technology and the naturalsciences.

    How does a primarily distancelearning institution like IGNOU dothis? By forging innovative alliancesand networking with institutions inboth the private and government

    sectors which helps us to optimally utilise the often state-of-the-art facilities that are available with them. Such inter-sector collaboration has also given us access to top-notchinfrastructure that exists outside the education sector.

    For instance, in engineering and technology, we havecollaborated with the Madhya Pradesh Council for Science andTechnology and a host of other institutions. In medicine, asyou will read in our cover story this month, we have tie-upswith 44 institutions across the country, including leading ones such as Escorts and the National Heart Institute. In the frontier areas of sciences, we have tie-ups with suchprominent institutions as the Indian Institute of Astrophysicsin Bangalore (a Department of Science and Technologyinstitution) for a residential M.Sc. Astrophysics Programme,and the Pusa Institute of Delhi, for a full-time M.Sc.Programme in Nutrition and Dietetics.

    IGNOU is also the key implementing institution for theambitious National Programme for Technology-EnabledLearning (NPTEL), under which some 300 IIT and IIScprofessors are creating content modules that will help improvethe capabilities of engineering teachers across the country.Also on the cards is a SAARC-level Science Olympiad that weare undertaking in collaboration with UNESCO, that will helppopularise science among school children.

    With such smart networking and cross-sectoralcollaborative ventures, IGNOU helps overcome the problemscaused by a scarcity of seats in the higher educational sectorand ensures a significant increase in the national pool oftrained and employable workforce. This is a national mission,and at IGNOU, we are proud to be playing a crucial part inensuring its success.



    Healing Hearts

    Learners Day at RCs

    IN FOCUS: IGNOUs PGDiploma in Clinical Cardiology provides intensive training in cardiac care to doctors from the ruralhinterlands so that theycan go back and savethousands of lives

    NEWS SCAN....................7

    SPOTLIGHT .....................8

    PASSING BY....................9

    21ST CONVOCATION.....10

    NEWS UPDATE..............12


    MILESTONES ................16

    GYAN DARSHAN............16

    10 21st Convocation: 18,000 learners received Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates at the Regional Centres across the country in a ceremony joined by 43 RCs via video-conferencing

    IGNOU OPEN LETTER is Printed by Printek Grafix, 148-D,Pocket-F, GTB Enclave, Delhi-110093 and

    Published by Ravi Mohan, Chief Public Relations Officer, Indira Gandhi National Open University,

    Maidan Garhi. New Delhi 110068.Ph: +91-11-29535924-32; +91-11-29535062-65

    Fax: +91-11-29535933; E-mail:

    Managing Editor: Ravi MohanPhotos: Rajesh Sharma/Amlan Paliwal

    Advisory Council:Prof P.R. Ramanujam

    Design and Production: IANS Publishing


    V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai

  • IGNOU OPEN LETTER | APRIL 15, 2010 3


    IGNOUs 1st European PI in London

    Charting a new education route toEurope, IGNOU has signed anMoU with TASMAC (Training andAdvanced Studies in Managementand Communications), London School ofBusiness, to open its 61st internationalPartner Institution (PI).

    TASMAC is the first foreign directinvestment (FDI) in the education sectorby an Indian institution in the UnitedKingdom. TASMAC is the trading name ofTASMAC-UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary ofTASMAC India, with its headquarters inPune and offices in Mumbai, Bangaloreand Kolkata.

    According to Dr Giri Dua, ManagingDirector of TASMAC, the institution is thefirst wholly-owned Indian subsidiary inUKs education sector and is accreditedby the British Accreditation Council(BAC) and licenced by the UK BorderAgency (Home Office).

    TASMAC London is also a member ofthe European Council for BusinessEducation, Study UK and the Associationof Collegiate Business Schools andProgrammes, USA.

    About two dozen of IGNOUs academicprogrammes would be on offer at this PIthat would not only benefit learnersamong the Indian Diaspora but also

    trans-national students interested in theUniversitys programmes.

    The MoU was signed at an eventpresided over by Vice Chancellor Prof V.N.Rajasekharan Pillai, Pro-Vice ChancellorProf D.K. Chowdhry, Director of IGNOUsInternational Outreach Division, Dr SilimaNanda, academics from various schoolsand senior officials at the Universityscampus in New Delhi on March 30.

    The Universitys Registrar, Dr UdaySingh Tolia, signed the MoU for IGNOUand Dr Dua for TASMAC.

    Prof Pillai appreciated TASMACsefforts at imparting quality educationusing the innovative need-basedprogrammes offered by IGNOU. He saidthese would immensely help learners toreceive application-oriented courses andenhance their employability.

    (From left) Dr Giri Dua of TASMAC; Dr Silima Nanda, Director, International Outreach Division: VC Prof Pillai; Registrar U.S. Tolia; and Pro-VC Prof D.K. Chowdhry with the MoU.

    IGNOU is planning to start anInformation Communication Technology(ICT) cluster in five South Asiancountries for capacity-building ineducation sector.

    The University has already given apresentation outlining the details of theplan to Parliamentarians of Bangladesh,Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and SriLanka, at the first-ever contact groupmeeting of Parliamentarians on educationorganised by the United NationsEducational, Scientific and CulturalOrganisation (UNESCO) recently.

    We have given a presentation ondeveloping an ICT cluster in thesecountries. India will lead the action andIGNOU will be the nodal body to

    implement and operate it, ViceChancellor Prof V.N. Rajashekharan Pillaiannounced on March 28. This will boosteducation, help in capacity-building andgenerate education content across theregion, Prof Pillai added.

    Earlier, Union Human Resource

    Development Minister Kapil Sibal told theParliamentarians that such a cluster wouldhelp in the creation of wealth, skilldevelopment and employability.

    Once implemented, IGNOU will develope-content, facilitate virtual class-roomfacilities and enhance access to millionsof students. From teachers training tomaking students get quality andcontemporary education, everything canbe done efficiently. With ICT, the countrieshave come closer and here, India andIGNOU can lead, Prof Pillai said.

    He added that Edusat, the educationsatellite of India, had the potential to playa role in facilitating this effort. Anenlarged footprint of Edusat can help thecause in a major way, he concluded.

    ICT cluster in five S. Asian countries soon

    Edusat can help in the formation of an ICT cluster in a big way, says VC Prof Pillai.

  • For Dr Neelesh Khandelwal, IGNOUsPost-Graduate Diploma in ClinicalCardiology came as a blessing indisguise. Fresh out of R.N.T.Medical College in Udaipur, Rajasthan,Khandelwal joined a government hospitalin Dungarpur, a city situated at thesouthernmost fringe of the state.

    Aghast at the absence of specialitycare in hospitals in the rural hinterland,Khandelwal, an MBBS, decided to pursuea course in cardiology.

    When he heard about the IGNOUprogramme that offered exhaustivecourse material and training at some ofthe countrys best cardiac care facilities,he applied straight away.

    Now a second-year student of theprogramme, the young doctor says thetraining is actually better than the

    learning an MD acquires in cardiology.This programme is exhaustive in nature.An MD gets around three-months trainingin cardiac care, but in this course wespend two years at some of the bestheart institutes in the country. I feel weare better placed than any regular MD,says Khandelwal.

    The doctors at the governmenthospital in Dungarpur do not have basicknowledge about speciality care in fieldslike cardiology. On top of it, the hospitallacks medical facilities to cope with anyemergency, he laments.

    After completing the programme at theEscorts Heart Institute and ResearchCentre in New Delhi, Khandelwal wants togo back and work in Rajasthan. I amwilling to serve the needy in the remotevillages, he adds.



    Healing HeartsIGNOUs PG Diplomain Clinical Cardiologyprovides intensivetraining in cardiaccare to doctorsserving Indias ruralhinterland. Theyreturn to remotevillages to savethousands of lives put in danger forwant of lack ofspeciality treatment

    Dr Ashish Dave, right, at the National Heart Institute in New Delhi. Having completed a PG Diploma in Clinical Cardiology from IGNOU, Dr Dave, who hails from Bundi district, Rajasthan, now wants to serve patients in remote areas.

  • Dr Asim Parvez from Patna shares hisviews. After completing MBBS, I foundthis programme a unique one from thetraining and practice point of view. Thereare very few doctors who know how todeal with heart cases and the coursetaught us those details from ba