Open Letter December 2010

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Open Letter December 2010



    IGNOU not only bears her name, but is alsoan embodiment of her beliefs. As we enterthe 25th year of spreading the light ofOpen and Distance Education all over theworld, we also celebrate Smt. Gandhis spiritand vision in education.IGNOU today is the largest Open

    University in the world. We have striven tostay true to our mission and have set newstandards in democratising higher educationby taking it to the learners doorsteps.The University has provided seamless

    access to learner-centric quality education, skills upgrade, trainingand capacity-building across the country and abroad by making use of innovative technologies in distance education, open learning andonline teaching-learning methodologies.We have also ensured convergence of the existing systems of

    teaching-learning to build the massive human resources required for promoting integrated national development and global understanding. With the availability of EduSat, IGNOU is poised to take giant

    steps in extending ICT, Web and satellite-based education across theglobe, and pursue flexible and blended learning. Our effort has been to provide need-based academic programmes

    by giving a professional and vocational orientation to courses. It hasbeen our endeavour to provide better learner-support services to thedeprived, particularly in inaccessible regions.In the years to come, IGNOU looks forward to working on the Right

    to Education, strengthening its study centres and consolidating itsexisting programmes.The IGNOU system can be an effective model for education

    communities all over the world. For a developing country like India,the Open and Distance Learning system has to play a complementaryskill-development role to the conventional system of education. Although the primary aim of the Open and Distance Learning

    system is to improve the Gross Enrollment Ratio, this cannot happenin isolation. The quality of teaching-learning processes needs to be improved. Technology-enabled distance education has not only helped us to

    improve the quality of distance education in classrooms but also enhance the reach of education.By recognising and acknowledging the nature of our clientele and

    their needs, we have to adapt to the nature and mode of delivery of education. Active participation in the National Skills Mission, throughthe newly introduced Community Colleges Scheme, would be a key priority in the coming years. As an Open University, IGNOU occupies a significant position

    globally. Based on the edifice of dedicated and empoweringknowledge-dissemination, we envision the growth and expansion ofthe University into a dynamic, vibrant and inclusive system whichembraces all sections of the society, especially the unreached. We look forward to many productive and enriching years ahead,

    with a focus on both Access and Success in Learning.

    Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai

    FROMthe vice chancellor



    Seek the Tech Edge

    A Second Life

    25th YEAR: Leveragingthe power of ODL throughinnovative use of technology is critical to take quality education to the unreached and createlivelihoods, says UnionHRD Minister Kapil Sibal.

    EVENT OF THE YEAR ....03

    SILVER START..............04

    FOCUS ON GER ............08

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


    ON CAMPUS ................16

    10 IN FOCUS: Gyan Deep, a partnership between IGNOU and the Indian Army, is designed for training and awarding degrees to soldiers and providing them a career option after their retirement.

    IGNOU OPEN Letter is Printed by Enthuse-Answers Communications Pvt. Ltd., Z-35, IInd Floor,

    Okhla Industrial Area Phase-II, New Delhi-110020 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;


    Managing Editor: Ravi MohanEditor: Surojit Mahalanobis

    Advisory Council:Prof P.R. Ramanujam, Prof Ramindar Singh

    Design and Production: IANS Publishing

    The real purpose of education is to enlarge intellectual horizons,emotional responsibilities and aesthetic sensibilities.

    Smt. Indira Gandhi

  • IIGNOU has entered its 25th year. A youngUniversitys own tryst with its destiny. A milestone to cherish and a moment to introspect and chart the future. Indeed the moment to usher in the year-long Silver JubileeCelebrations. Appropriately, it was marked byceremony. The Universitys campus in NewDelhi was bedecked, anticipation adding to thebuzz in the air. The campus was festooned withflowers and banners. Faculty and studentswere dressed for the occasion a mlange ofcolour and youthful exuberance. All this to welcome visitors from near and far learners,teachers and thinkers... The Visitor also came the President of India,Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, to take stock and provide guidance.n


    EVENTof the year

    IGNOUs tryst with destiny



    A Silver StartPresident of India Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil called upon theOpen Distance Learning (ODL)system in India to be the torch-bearer of a knowledge revolution in India.

    Launching the Silver Jubilee celebra-tions of IGNOU on November 19, thebirth anniversary of former Prime Minis-ter Indira Gandhi, the President said that the primary challenge facing India lay inenhancing the skill-sets of its workforceto ensure that they could earn a living.

    Only 5 percent of the workforce inIndia has some kind of certification. Thisis in contrast to over 85 percent in developed countries. Encouragement of work-integrated learning followed by examination, certification and accredita-tion through distance education was critical, the President said.

    Noting that opportunities in an increas-

    ingly flattening world were for the prepared, Smt Patil said, Proper training,provisioning of skill-sets and capacity-building of our population are tools whichwould make our human resources compe-tent and confident to face the new set ofchallenges of a fast-changing world.

    The President exhorted open universi-ties, like IGNOU, which is also thelargest distance education provider inthe world with over 2.5 million students,to generate a movement in rural areasthat will impel people to acquire knowl-edge and skill.

    In this context, President Patil under-scored the important role that IGNOUsregional centres could play. IGNOU has15 per cent of all learners enrolled inhigher education in this country and offers a wide range of programmes andcourses through its vast network of

    Launching IGNOUsSilver Jubilee Celebrations, thePresident of Indiacalled upon the ODL system to be at the forefront of ushering in aknowledge revolution by reaching value-added education to the masses

    President Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil addressing the function marking the launch of IGNOUs Silver Jubilee year.

  • learning centres across the country. Its Regional Centres can play a very impor-tant role in reducing disparities in educa-tion by extending education opportunitiesto villages and remote areas.

    Urging the education sector to makefull use of IT, the President said that creation of high-quality human resourceswould place India in the elite list of front-ranking nations of the world.

    Noting that the Gross Enrollment Ratio(GER) in India in higher education wasvery low, as compared to the world aver-age, Smt Patil exhorted those leading the education system in India to make stren-uous efforts to attain the goal of enhanc-ing GER in India to 20 percent by 2020.

    Technology had to be harnessed in asignificant way to ensure that the chal-

    lenge of access could be overcome totake higher education to the unreached.The National Mission on Education,launched in February this year, will createInternet connectivity for about 20,000colleges and educational institutions. Thisinitiative will, I am confident, bring in theuse of modern technology in higher educa-tion in a more widespread manner, thePresident predicted.

    It was important that higher education was made accessible towomen, one of the marginalised sectionsof our society. By spreading educationamong women, not only is an individualeducated, but also the seeds of progressfor the next generation are planted, sheobserved.

    ODL is an enabling tool providing opportunities for the Indian workforce toupgrade and enhance their skills, leading

    to higher productivity and better avenuesfor livelihood. In that context, the President said that she was very happyto dedicate Gyan Deep a partnershipbetween IGNOU and the Indian Army tothe nation. Through this new collabora-tion they (army personnel) will get appro-priate certification. This can be helpful intheir current work and in starting a newprofessional life post their career in theArmy, she observed.

    Launching IGNOUs FlexiLearn initia-tive, the President commended the innovation and said, It will provide an opportunity for prospective learners tosample a course before enrolling in one,thereby helping them to choose appropri-ate courses and programmes.

    She announced the institution ofIGNOUs Rajiv Gandhi International Prizefor Education and Technology Develop-ment. The Prize would be given to an individual, or an institution, who has madesignificant contributions to educationaltechnology in the developing world. ThePrize will consist of a citation and a prizemoney of Rs 5 lakh.

    The President also paid tribute to theLate Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It isher deep commitment to development ofthe country and to the upliftment of th