Open Letter March 2010
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IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 20102
Convocation Day is the most important and fulfilling day in thelife of any university. It marks the culmination of a year of hardwork and academic rigour for both students and faculty. At its21st Convocation on March 15, IGNOU handed out Degrees, Diplomasand Certificates to 1,33,628 successful learners. As many as 6,000of them received these at our main campus in New Delhi, while therest received them at 43 Regional Centres where Convocations wereheld simultaneously. We also honoured 66 of our brightest learnerswith Gold Medals.
The Convocation was even moresignificant this time as the University is inthe midst of celebrating its Silver JubileeYear. It has been a landmark year in otherways too. IGNOU is now the worldslargest university, with over 28 lakhstudents on its rolls. It is, in the words ofUNESCO Director General Irena Brokova,a living embodiment of the concept ofbuilding inclusive knowledge societies in aglobalised world.
After successfully evolving uniquemodels of democratisation of education, training and capacity-buildingin the Open and Distance Learning mode, we are now also offering on-campus programmes.
IGNOUs Community College Scheme, which aims to provide analternative system of education to those who have missed out onmainstream education, is a great success, with 271 such collegeshaving become operational. This number is expected to rise to 500 bythe end of this year.
Other initiatives such as Gyan Deep, in collaboration with the Army,the Convergence Scheme, the establishment of the RegionalInstitutes of Vocational Education and Training (RIVET) in associationwith Srei Sahaj eVillage, and the pioneering programmes launched forthe hearing disabled are a testimony to IGNOUs commitment to reachout to the unreached, to take education to the doorsteps of learnersand offer inclusive education without barriers.
In this Decade of Innovation, IGNOU will strive to optimally utilisethe educational and training infrastructure as well as the intellectualcapabilities available in both the formal and informal sectors, be itprivate or public, to ensure we achieve our national mission ofsignificantly increasing the Gross Enrollment Ratio.
Our 21st Convocation was a great success, and I would like tothank the entire IGNOU community faculty, administrative staff andstudents for working tirelessly to ensure it was a grand event. Weare also grateful to the 50,000-plus academics, experts and staff ofscores of other institutions both in India and abroad who havecontributed to making IGNOU the success it is.
I thank Prof S.K. Joshi for accepting our invitation to be Chief Guestand delivering the Convocation Address. I congratulate all thesuccessful learners across the country and abroad, and wish themwell in their future vocations.
I also welcome the over 6,36,000 new students who have enrolledwith the University this year, and would like to assure them thatIGNOU is, and will remain, committed to the nations goals for highereducation: Expansion, Inclusion, Excellence.
For Access, Equity & Quality
Beacons of Light
CONVOCATION ADDRESS: Research,equity, quality and values are essential ingredients of higher education, said Prof. S.K. Joshi, theChief Guest of the 21st Convocation
8 GOLD MEDALLISTS: These meritorious learners prove that ODL actually complements the conventional education system
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FROMthe vice chancellor
V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai
It reaches out to over 28 lakhstudents but is much removedfrom the hurly-burly of aconventional University campus.On March 15, though, IGNOU hostedabout 6,000 students at its MaidanGarhi Headquarters in New Delhi.And, suddenly, the quiet campuscame alive.
Learners of all hues middle-agedexecutives, proud degree-holdingmoms tending to their tiny tots, andyoung 20-somethings capturing theexcitement on their cameras rubbed shoulders as they queued upfor degrees and diplomas, examinedthe stalls at the exhibition venue, and stood up to honour the academicprocession at the ConvocationCeremony. The flowers in themanicured lawns were juxtaposedbrilliantly against the sea ofsuccessful students donning black gowns.
The mind-boggling numbersnotwithstanding, the Convocationwas testimony to great planning andexecution an air-conditionedpandal seating thousands, a timelystart, a timely conclusion, next-to-nilmicrophone glitches, and a warmhigh tea party for the gold medallists.A great shutterbug moment.
IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 2010 3
...and the quiet campus comes alive
IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 20104
LearnersDayWhat makes IGNOU a livingtestimony to social inclusionand democratisation ofeducation? The successstory has been made possible owing tothe Universitys huge national andinternational outreach, real-life academicprogrammes, flexible entry qualifications,diverse learner groups, walk-inadmissions, on-demand examinations andmodular programmes based on a creditsystem, among others, to help over 28lakh students enrolled with theUniversity, said Vice Chancellor Prof V.N.Rajasekharan Pillai while inauguratingthe Universitys 21st Convocation.Addressing a large and diverse
gathering at the Universitys ConventionCentre in New Delhi on March 15, ProfPillai said that ensuring quality andstudent satisfaction are the hallmarks of
the IGNOU pedagogy today, which willfurther be honed to excellence.The University has evolved into the
worlds largest, most diverse andinclusive institution in its 25 years,stressed the Vice Chancellor whilewelcoming the Chief Guest Prof S.K.Joshi, former Director General, Council ofScientific and Industrial Research (CSIR);Guests of Honour at 43 Regional Centresacross the country; Pro-Vice Chancellors;Members of the Board of Management,Academic Council and the PlanningBoard; Directors of 21 Schools of Study;Gold Medal winners in their respectivefields of study; recipients of degrees,diplomas and certificates; IGNOU facultyand mediapersons.IGNOU will further work to implement
the objectives of the National SkillDevelopment Mission, Prof Pillai said.
1,33,628 learners received their Degrees, Diplomasand Certificates and 66 meritoriousstudents were honoured with gold medals at the 21st Convocation organised at theDelhi Headquarters and 43 Regional Centres
Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai inaugurating the Universitys 21st Convocation in New Delhi. Sharing the dais
with Prof Pillai are Pro Vice Chancellors, Directors of 21 Schools of Study, Divisions, Centres, and Chief Guest Prof S.K. Joshi.
In response to the recent UNConvention on Disability, IGNOU, alongwith the International Centre for SignLanguage and Deaf Studies (iSLanDS)and Ishara Foundation, is planning todevelop a vision for a college for deaf,where Indian and international deafstudents could study a range ofundergraduate and post-graduate coursesin sign language, he added. Prof Pillai also announced new
programmes in Mental Retardation,Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairmentas well as an M.Ed. in Special Educationand M.Sc. in Counselling and FamilyTherapy. IGNOU has already announced aB.A. in Applied Sign Linguistics, to beginfrom the July 2010 academic session. Nearly 24,000 students received
Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates inperson during the Convocation ceremony,telecast live on Gyan Darshan TV channeland broadcast by over 30 Gyan Vani radiochannels. Forty-three Regional Centresjoined the ceremony via video-conferencing. Around 6,000 learners werepresent at the Delhi campus and 18,000learners at 43 Regional Centres to receivetheir Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates. The golden moment came when 66
learners were honoured with Gold Medals.Apart from this, six gold medals wereawarded in special categories like BestResearch Paper, Best Service Centre,Best Overseas Partner Institution, etc.;two cash awards of Rs 10,000 each(Commonwealth Educational MediaCentre for Asia, or CEMCA, and the
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam award); Prof. RamReddy Memorial Gold Medal award andProf. Grover Award (for the best amongthe physically-handicapped meritoriousstudents), were presented by Prof Joshi.This year, 1,33,628 students received
Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates.Today, IGNOU has 25 lakh students, anational network of 61 Regional Centres,over 3,000 Learner Support Centres anda presence in 36 countries. Over 636,000students have enrolled with IGNOU (thisacademic year) a record for theUniversity, Prof Pillai declared. The Gold Medal for Masters Degree in
English went, for the fourth consecutiveyear, to the Jedda-based EducationalConsultant and Guidance Services Centre(ECGS), a Partner Institution of IGNOU.Its learner, Shahmida Mohammed,received the award. ECGS, run by RiazMulla, also received the Best OverseasPartner Institution award. Dhundup Dolma from Nepal earned two
Gold Medals one for the best studentin Masters of Sociology and the ProfRam Reddy Memori