Open Letter March 2010

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Open Letter March 2010


IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 20102Convocation 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.6CONTENTSFor Access, Equity & QualityBeacons of LightCONVOCATION ADDRESS: Research,equity, quality and values are essential ingredients of higher education, said Prof. S.K. Joshi, theChief Guest of the 21st ConvocationODL GUARDIANS...........10INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION...................11NEWS UPDATE..............12REGIONAL ROUNDUP....15STUDENTS CORNER.....15MILESTONES ................16GYAN DARSHAN............168 GOLD MEDALLISTS: These meritorious learners prove that ODL actually complements the conventional education systemIGNOU 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 MohanEditor: Surojit MahalanobisAdvisory Council:Prof P.R. Ramanujam, Prof Ramindar SinghDesign and Production: IANS Publishingwww.ianspublishing.comFROMthe vice chancellorV.N. Rajasekharan PillaiIt 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 321ST convocation...and the quiet campus comes aliveIGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 2010421st ConvocationLearnersDayWhat 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 diversegathering at the Universitys ConventionCentre in New Delhi on March 15, ProfPillai said that ensuring quality andstudent satisfaction are the hallmarks ofthe IGNOU pedagogy today, which willfurther be honed to excellence.The University has evolved into theworlds 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 implementthe 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 CentresVice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai inaugurating the Universitys 21st Convocation in New Delhi. Sharing the daiswith 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 newprogrammes 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 receivedDegrees, 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 66learners 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 receivedDegrees, 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 inEnglish 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 twoGold Medals one for the best studentin Masters of Sociology and the ProfRam Reddy Memorial award. GaganGurung, also from Nepal, received theGold Medal for Masters in RuralDevelopment programme. Anjali Kumari Singh received theCEMCA cash award for the Best FemaleStudent in any Degree Programmepertaining to technology while the AbdulKalam award for the Gold Medallist inBachelors of Social Work went to VijayanM. Naresh Chand, B.A. (Ord.) receivedthe Prof. Grover cash award for the beststudent among the differently-abled.For Dolma, it was a dream come true.From working in a restaurant to sharingthe dais with top-notch Indian academicswas an enriching experience. My effortshave paid off and now I am lookingforward to pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociologyfrom IGNOU. Gurung echoed her views.The course material was extensive innature. The gold medal is a result of myhard work and I thank the University forhelping me reach this far.The University also organised anexhibition representing all 21 Schools ofStudy. The highlights of the exhibitionwere stalls from various NGOs/partnerinstitutions. IGNOUs Tihar Jail StudyCentres stall displayed products made bythe prisoners, attracting many buyers.To ensure hassle-free commuting, theUniversity had arranged for mini buses tocarry thousands of students and visitorsfrom pick-up points in the city. The goldmedallists were provided lunch andsnacks during the Convocation, and thatended with a group photo with ViceChancellor Prof Pillai.IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 2010 5The University hasevolved into the worldslargest, most diverse andinclusive institution inits Silver Jubilee year...It will further work toimplement the objectivesof the National Skill Development Mission.A section of the audience.1,33,628 students received Degrees, Diplomas and Certificatesfrom the University.18,000 learners present at 43 RegionalCentres. 6,000learners received Degrees and Diplomas inperson at the Delhicampus. 66 learnersreceived Gold Medals fortopping their respectivefields of study.IN FIGURESIGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 20106The most important challengebefore the IGNOU faculty is thatsociety accepts and recognisesthe degrees awarded by thisUniversity to be of same value andstandard as from a good conventionaluniversity, Prof Shri Krishna Joshi,former Director General, Council ofScientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),said during his Convocation Address atthe gala Convocation event on March 15. In a speech that highlighted thecontribution that distance eduation, andIGNOU in particular, was making to thehigher education requirements of thecountry, Prof Joshi made it a point tomention the need to maintain qualitystandards. It is a common perception insociety that those who have pursuedopen distance learning are much inferiorin quality of training compared to thosewho have studied at conventionaluniversities. This puts a heavyresponsibility on IGNOU to develop qualitybenchmarks for Open and DistanceLearning (ODL). It may be desirable if the quality assessment of ODL is done bya reputed external agency, the scientistsaid. He further suggested that IGNOUshould open a centre dedicated to checkthe quality of distance learning.A Padma Bhushan awardee, Prof Joshidescribed in great detail the impact ofIGNOU on higher education, and its largerimplications for the growth of thecountry. While Andhra Pradesh OpenUniversity was the first Open University inthe country, it was IGNOU, started in1985 with 4,000 students, that had laidthe strong foundations of ODL in India, hesaid. Today, the University, with over 25lakh students, accounted for 15 percentof enrollments in higher education in thecountry, Prof Joshi pointed out. Talking about IGNOUs contribution toaccess to education, he said, at themoment, only 13 percent of thepopulation in the 18-23 age group wasenrolled in higher education, as against83 percent in the United States. For Indiato advance economically, this figureneeded to go up to 20 percent, he said,adding that while more conventionaluniversities were definitely desirable inthis scenario, ODL could play acomplementary role. Also, while settingConvocationAddressEven as IGNOUtakes education to the masses, the countrys premier Open and Distance Learning University shouldnever lose sight of quality, saysChief Guest Prof S.K. Joshi in his addressFor access, equityIGNOU hasshown that ODL can cater togroups from rural and tribal areas. The entry of these marginalisedgroups into themainstream willnot only help our economic growthbut also makethis growth inclusive. up conventional universities would becostly, and would also entail a longgestation period, ODL does not requirehuge physical infrastructure and thestudents do not have to commute to thecampus. Learners are allowed to accesseducation at their own place, at their ownlevel and at their own pace, he stressed. In the same vein, he touched upon theequity factor. Higher education in ourcountry suffers from a variety ofinequalities. There are inequalitiesbetween social groups, inequalities basedon gender, inequalities between urbanand rural groups. The representation ofSCs, STs and OBCs in higher education isless than their proportion in population. ODL takes higher education to theless privileged sections of society at areasonable cost. IGNOUs experience hasshown that ODL can cater to groups fromrural and tribal areas, SC/ST students,minorities, women, jail inmates andpeople in low-literacy areas. The entry ofthese marginalised groups into theworkforce of our country will not onlyhelp our economic growth, but also makethis growth inclusive, he said. There were some areas of concern hetouched upon, and urged IGNOU to payheed to these. Skilling of young India wasthe first pressing need that he discussed. Citing data that is now commonlyexamined and discussed in almost everydevelopment discourse that thecountry has 54 crore people below 21years of age and that by 2020 India willhave a surplus of 4.5 crore workers, asagainst a deficit of 4 crore workers indeveloped countries he said that thechallenge was to identify skills whichwould make our young populationemployable. This presents a challengefor IGNOU also. The University has to findout which skill-sets would preparestudents for jobs and then devisemodules of courses which will train themfor those skills properly. He listed the programmes that theUniversity had already started to thiseffect PG Diploma courses inintellectual property rights, clinicalcardiology, ophthalmology, hospitality,disaster management, nautical sciences,airport infrastructural and foodprocessing, among others. Environmental awareness was anotherthrust area that Prof Joshi spoke about.He said, We see here an opportunity forIGNOU, with its global presence, toconsider a post-graduate course insustainability science. Such a coursewould need multidisciplinary cooperation,because sustainability scienceincorporates concepts and developmentsfrom both natural sciences, engineeringand health sciences. Congratulating the gold medallists,Prof Joshi reminded them of theresponsibility that lay ahead. Yoursuccess will convey to them (thecountrymen) that ODL has succeeded inequipping you to face the future.IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 2010 7Prof S.K. Joshi delivering the ConvocationAddress at IGNOUs Convention Centre on March 15.0200004000060000800001000001200001400001 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12Eleventh (2000)Eleventh (2000)Thirteenth (2002)Fourteenth (2003)Fifteenth (2004)Sixteenth (2005)Seventeenth (2006)Eighteenth (2007)Nineteenth (2008)Twentieth (2009)Twenty-First (2010)Impressive Growth1,33,628 learners got Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates.14000012000010000080000600004000020000066 GEMSGOLD MEDALLISTS Saira Banu MAH, Bangalore Gagan Gurung, MARD, International, NepalM Sai Ram, MBADOM, BhubaneswarAijaz Ahmad Shalla, MPBANK, SrinagarAnjali Kumari Singh, MCA, PatnaHomera Ansari, MCOM, LucknowShomnath Dutta, MEC, SiliguriShahmida Mohammed, MEG, International, JeddahK Arunasri MHA, Delhi-1Archana Gupta, MHD, LucknowMeera K, MPA, ChennaiAntony George Karikunnel, MPS, CochinDhundup Dolma, MSO, International, NepalMs Shikha Gupta, MTM, Delhi-2Sivakumar V. K., BA, CochinAfrin Khatoon, BCA, RanchiJyoti Saini, BCOM, Khanna (Punjab)Pasupuleti Sujatha, BED, HyderabadKesarkar Sonali Deepak, BHM, Delhi-1Prasanta Kumar Meher, BLS, ShillongNisha, BSC, Delhi-1Anu Priya Bali, BSCN, Delhi-1Vijayan M., BSW, CochinPawan Kumar, BTCM, Delhi-1Syed Sadiq Hasan Abidi, BTS, PuneRanjith Hari, PGDAPP, BangaloreNagalakshmi V.S., PGDCA, ChennaiDr. Mansi Kaushik, PGDCC, Delhi-2Dr. Manoj Kumar Dash, PGDDE, Delhi-1Sameer Babu M., PGDDE, CochinRaina R. Nair, PGDDM, CochinDeepali Ramkrishna Yeole, PGDDM, PuneSonal, PGDESD, PatnaSharmistha Niranjan Shaha, PGDFM, PuneAslam Anvarali Lalani, PGDGM, HyderabadDr. Pallavi Panchu, PGDHHM, BangaloreRuchi Adhikari, PGDHRM, AhmedabadMegha Kawatra, PGDIBO, Delhi-2Rahul Suresh More, PGDIM, PuneManish Kumar Choudhary, PGDIM, AligarhVikas Kumar, PGDIM, AligarhAnkita, PGDIPR, Delhi-1Seema, PGDLAN, Delhi-1R Solai Raj, PGDM (ISHE), BhopalNikita Jain, PGDMM, BhopalJigneshkumar Vinubhai Patel, PGDOM, AhmedabadDilip Singh Panwar, PGDRD, Delhi-2Sanjeeda Parveen, PGDRP, PatnaPriya Tyagi, PGDSLM, AhmedabadBrij Nandan, PGDT, Delhi-2Shashi Bhushan Nayak, PGJMC, BhubaneswarRajakumaran M, ADCIM, ChennaiSubhranil Saha, DAFE, KolkataShipra Gupta, DCE, Delhi-2Rajnarayanan, DCIM, BangaloreSantosh Kumar Singh, DCLE, DehradunVenkateswarlu Athili, DDT, HyderabadRajalakshmi, DECE, Chennai Dinesh Singh, DEME, BangaloreS. Raghavan, DIM, BangaloreSurjit, DIR, Delhi-1Vijayanaik C, DNA, BangalorePhairembam Roshni Devi, DNHE, DehradunPrabin Kumar Pradhan, DPE, RanchiHarish Chander, DTS, Delhi-2Neha Ashokkumar Dubey, DVAPFV, AhmedabadCertificates: 42347 Ph.Ds: 5 Masters: 17608Bachelors: 36968Diplomas: 367005329862369780748193174603712987517411169910134613716913362812 IGNOU OPEN LETTER | FEBRUARY 15, 201021ST CONVOCATIONBEACONSOF LIGHTn Dhundup Dolma of Nepal, with work experience in a restaurant and a PGDiploma in Human Resource Management, has not only won the GoldMedal for Sociology but also the Prof Ram Reddy Memorial Gold Medal forthe highest marks in any Masters Degree Programme in Social Sciences.n Vijayan M. of Kochi was pursuing chemistry but dropped out in the finalyear, to take up health services. This 42-year-old health inspector receivedthe Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam award for his Bachelors in Social Work.n Shahmida Mohammed, a graduate in Physics from Kerala, a mother of aone-year-old daughter, and teaching kindergarten students at Delhi PublicSchool (DPS) in Jeddah, won a Gold Medal for M.A. in English Programme.Sounds strange? Well, Open and Distance Learning (ODL) hasbroken umpteen barriers and notions about who should bestudying what, when, and till which level. Old limitations likelinking education to age, geographical proximity and availabilityof student for brick-and-mortar classes Monday to Friday arepass, and the information-communication technology bonanzafrom IGNOU is quenching the thirst for knowledge, excellence and careerprogression of thousands of learners in India, as well as abroad. And in theprocess, producing some surprise winners.Shahmida Mohammed praises the study material, as well as the teachingquality. The classes that we had with Savita Rahman (earlier topper fromJeddah and now a brand ambassador for IGNOU, Saudi Arabia) were reallyhelpful, she adds. Dhundup found the course quite exhaustive and ideal for civil servicespreparation her immediate target. Gagan Gurung of Nepal, associated with Save the Children, a non-profitorganisation, and who topped the Master of Art programme in RuralDevelopment, finds the Universitys strict evaluation criteria impressive.Homera Ansari, an M.Com. topper from Varanasi and a lecturer in computerapplications, feels that the self-study regime was at the core of her success. When Dinesh Singh, an Armyman working with the Engineers Corps, marchedto the podium to receive his medal for topping the Diploma in Electrical andMechanical Engineering, there was instantaneous applause from the audience.Life changes after such a course, he says. Santosh Kumar Singh, a fellowArmyman who won the Gold Medal in Diploma in Civil Engineering, has thesame feeling. How will life change after the course? Besides better promotionprospects, their way of working will change, the duo reply.Mohammed is keen to do a Ph.D. Dhundup and Ansari plan to take updoctoral studies. For Aijaz Ahmad Shalla of Srinagar, who won a Gold Medalfor MBA in Banking (Finance), IGNOU happened just at the right time. They,and several others, are the Universitys true beacons of light.These meritorious learners prove that ODL is not only an alternative tothe conventional education system,but also actually complements itIGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 20108TALENT ABROAD(From left) Gagan Gurung from Nepal receiving the Gold Medal for topping the Master of Art Programme in Rural Development.; Shahmida Mohammed from Jeddah received a Gold Medal for being the Best Student in M.A. in English Programme; and Dolma from Nepal also received a Gold Medal for topping the Masters in Sociology.HALL OF FAME(From left) Dhundup Dolma from Nepal receiving Prof Ram Reddy Memorial Gold Medal award for highest marks inany Masters Degree Programme in Social Sciences; Vijayan M. from Kochi receiving the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam cashaward for the Best Student in Bachelors in Social Work Programme; and Anjali Kumari Singh, receiving the CEMCAcash award for the Best Female Student in any Degree Programme Pertaining to Technology.AT THE FRONTLINES(From Left) Armyman Dinesh Singh receiving a Gold Medal for topping the Diploma in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Programme and fellow Armyman Santosh Kumar Singh receiving a Gold Medal for the Diploma in Civil Engineering. At right is Aijaz Ahmad Shalla of Srinagar, who won a Gold Medal for MBA in Banking (Finance).IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 2010 921ST CONVOCATIONODL GuardiansThe battery of IGNOU academics across the country has one thing in common: an inclusive vision of providing each and everylearner the best available ODL educationIGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 201010From left, Dr Pema E. Samdup of the School of Humanties and Dr Rekha Sharma Sen, Reader, Schoolof Continuing Education (Centre) receive the Gold Medals for Best Research Paper.Dr Rakhi Sharma (left), Dr Rekha Sharma Sen (thirdfrom left) and a team member receive Gold Medals forExperimentation in Open and Distance Learning.Riaz Mulla (left) ofEducationalConsultant andGuidance Services,Jeddah, receives theaward for BestOverseas PartnerInstitution.Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai felicitates Chief Guest Prof S.K. Joshi.IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 201011Prof S.K. Joshi presents the Best Regional Centre award to Dr. Vardhini Bhattacharjee, Regional Director, Guwahati.Dr. S.K. Tripathy, Regional Director, Bhubaneswar, receiving the award for Best Regional Centre in the plains.Dr. B.P.R.Narasimharao,Deputy Director, Centre for CorporateEducation, Training& Consultancy,receiving the GoldMedal for BestResearch Paper.INTERACTIVE EXHIBITIONYou might not get to meet them ona regular basis, but the Directorsof various schools of IGNOU werepresent at the stalls of their schoolson March 15, answering studentsqueries about career progression. Itwas not just about handing over ofinformation brochures, but actually acareer counselling opportunity forthose who cared to walk in. Whatbetter opportunity to interact withthe whole faculty of a school, seatedacross the table, answering yourquestions! Each school be it Journalismand Media Studies, Gender Studies orTranslation Studies displayed itscourses, and ensured full facultypresence. Perhaps taking a clue frominternational trends, there were floralarrangements, and candies too. Andyes, who can forget the rich displayof pottery items by the School ofEngineering and Technology! After all, theres technology in everyaspect of life!Not just the schools, but someRegional Centres too participated,and were there to field questions. Thevarious divisions and centres werealso present in full force. Also ondisplay were products made bystudents at various centres, andunder special initiatives. The North-eastern centre had on display jute-and cane-based projects, includingfootwear, and one counter displayedhandicrafts work produced by inmates of Tihar jail.IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 201012WOMENSdayEthnic art from the tribal heartlandof the country is trying to strike achord between modernism and tradition. Similarly, it isexperimenting with contemporary issues to adapt to a growing market and changing patron bases.The process is slow but artists are allowing contemporary issues likefeminism, eco-awareness, culturalinvasion and urbanism to creep into theirwork because of the growing demand and new socio-economic dynamics, saidDr. Vimal Thorat, Reader, ComparativeLiterature (with special reference to DalitWriting in Hindi and Marathi).Thorat was the convener of aworkshop-cum-exhibition titled Art of the Marginalised Communities: Bhils andGonds, on the IGNOU campus fromFebruary 15 to 17. Bhuri Bai identifies herself with TitkiMata, a tribal forest deity, who protectsthe forests of Jhabua district in MadhyaPradesh. The petite Bhil artist from Pitol-Motabawri village is known for herdrawings of the flora and fauna of theregion. I associate myself with the deitybecause women are the protectors ofnature. I draw nature, social mores andBhil gods and goddesses in the centuries-old Bhil style which is steeped in ethnicanimism and spirituality, says the womanwith blue tattoos adorning her face.I was the first tribal artist to paintwith a brush on canvas andpaper with water, oil andacrylic colours. But Icannot let go of ethnictraditions, Bai says. She switched to paperfrom the mud walls of hertribal home 25 years agoat Bharat Bhavan in Bhopalunder the tutelage ofJagdish Swaminathan, whoset up the art centreRoopanker, in BharatBhavan, in 1981. Nandkusia Shyam, aGond artist from Patangarhvillage along the Narmadariver in Madhya Pradesh,also strikes a balancebetween traditional Gondart and contemporary issues. I love to paint animals in thetraditional Gond style, but my art oftenspeaks of changing tribal life, saysShyam, a resident artist at Bharat Bhavanin Bhopal. The Gond community, whichlives in close proximity to nature, paintsits gods, goddesses, forests, animals andways of life as a means of creativeexpression and documentation. Tribal art is emerging from years ofinsulation, felt the reticent artist. It hasa market abroad and fetches good prices.But the government must encourage tribalartists, he adds.With an aim to bridge the digital dividebetween rural and urban India, IGNOU andSrei Sahaj e-Village Limited, a subsidiaryof Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd., have offeredfive programmes. These programmes, launched by Union Ministerfor Communications and Information Technology A. Raja at the Universitys campus on February 22,will provide skill-development vocational courses atan affordable cost to nearly 10 crore rural youth.An estimated 10 crore rural youth stand tobenefit through the Sahaj-IGNOU partnership,Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai said. By the end of 2010, the varsity promised tomake this on-line skill education available at 27,255common service centres, already existing in thestates of Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa,Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Prof Pillai said: This is the first time in thecountry that online education through distancemode will reach the remotest corners of the country,empowering the rural poor. The IGNOU-Sahajpartnership will make advanced computer educationavailable to the villagers at their doorsteps. The courses are Diploma in Advanced Computers,Certificate Programme in HTML, CertificateProgramme in Java Script, Certificate Programme inSQL and Certificate Programme in Flash.When tribal art meets modernismComputer literacy for 10 crore rural youthA work of art by Bhuri Bai from Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh.Union Communication Minister A. Raja.Artistes are allowing contemporaryissues likefeminism,cultural invasion andurbanism to creep into their work because of new socio-economic dynamics. Prof. Vimal Thorat, ConvenerIGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 201013NEWSupdatesfactoids International Centre for Academics (ICA), the first IGNOUCentre in Nepal, produced two Gold Medallists this year Dhundup Dolma (MSO) and Gagan Gurung (MARD).The absence of organised translationactivity in literature and academiahas led to cultural and intellectualdistancing in Indian society,believes eminent historian Mushirul Hasan. This distancing has led to greaterregionalisation and, in some cases,appropriation of languages. The unity indiversity is lost. On a personal note, it hasled to a gulf between my students and me,Hasan, a former Jamia Millia IslamiaUniversity Vice Chancellor, said on March 6.The academic, who has authored morethan a dozen books and 200 papers, wasspeaking at the inaugural session of a two-day National Seminar on Translationand Inter-Cultural Communication,organised by IGNOUs School of TranslationStudies and Training at the Lalit KalaAkademi in the Capital.While adopting a standard two- andthree-language formula in eduction,literature and society, we have not paidattention to building the country acrosscultural, linguistic and intellectual divides.We need translations to connect to theworld and to our own society, Hasan said. We have had a lot of tokenism butshow me someone who is seriously tryingto popularise works in languages. There is a saying in Islam My belovedslanguage is Turkish, but I dont understandTurkish, Hasan said, stressing the needfor quality translation. Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillaisaid the Universitys translation schoolwas committed to inter-languagetranslation. It offers Post-GraduateDiplomas in Inter-languages and has anM.A. Programme in Translation Studies. Translation is important in transmittingculture from one generation to another and from different cultures and language. Alanguage is enriched by its interaction withother languages and cultures. Moreover, welive in a global village, Prof Pillai said.Former director of the Sahitya Akademiand Nehru Centre in London, IndranathChoudhury, said credence should be givento different languages spoken across thecountry. Centrality is a dangerous thingfor a country like India because it tends tohomogenise culture which in India isextremely diverse. Diversity is the essenceof our life. Hence, I would like to describeEnglish and Hindi as filter languages whichcan be used for better communication,Choudhury added.Historian Mushirul Hasan at the NationalSeminar on Translation in New Delhi.Translations work as a bridgeNEWSscanDynamics of Rural LabourAbook titledDynamics of RuralLabour by Dr. Babu P. Remesh, Reader, School ofInterdisciplinary andTransdisciplinaryStudies, was publishedrecently by ConceptPublishing Company,New Delhi. The bookmakes a critical study of the dynamics ofthe rural labour market in Kerala through acase study of tappers in the small holdingsector of natural rubber plantations.Dialysis Medicine courseIGNOU will introducea Post-doctoralCertificate Programmein Dialysis Medicinefrom the July 2010session. The post-doctoral course is ayear-long programmeand is being offeredthrough the Open andDistance Learningmode. It is expected to fulfill the need oftrained health manpower in the field of dialysis at the district level, said Pro-Vice Chancellor D.K. Chaudhary.DEC cautions universitiesVice Chancellor Prof V.N. RajasekharanPillai, also the Chairman of DistanceEducation Council (DEC), has cautionedopen universities and institutions fromgiving misleading advertisements innewspapers, stating that theirprogrammes must be recognised by the DEC. It is mandatory for allInstitutions, Centres and Directoratesoffering programmes through the distanceeducation mode to get their Degrees,Diplomas and Certificate programmesapproved by the DEC. The institutionsviolating these norms would be liable tobe de-recognised by the DEC, he added.Dr Babu P. Rameshwith his book.Pro-VC Dr. D.K.Chaudhary.IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 201014The country has not witnessed anypolice reforms in the past 60 yearsand there is a dearth of research onpolicing in the country. The key here is toopen the gates of knowledge for a vastpool of policemen so that they can servethe community better, said MagsaysayAward winner and former DelhiSupercop Dr Kiran Bedi.Urging IGNOU to play a proactive rolein the field of police research, Dr Bedi,former Deputy Commissioner of DelhiPolice and a veteran humanist, said: Whoresearches policing, does the researchbecome public? No data is available onthe police, states have no resources andno budget to undertake this type ofresearch. IGNOU can play a major role inthe field of police research.Dr Bedi was delivering the third SilverJubilee Lecture, titled Welfare, PreventivePolicing and Helping the Helpless, at theConvention Centre on February 25.It was the high-profile Tihar Jail in NewDelhi where the first IGNOU centre for jailinmates was opened in July 1994, owingto the efforts of then Inspector-General(Prisons) Bedi. Today, the University hasgiven the project a major impetus bydeclaring that the education it offers tojail inmates will, henceforth, be free. Dr Bedi urged IGNOU to also ensurefree and compulsory computer educationto the constables who constitute 75percent of the countrys police workforce.She advocated the inclusion of twoprogrammes on Domestic Violence andDrug Abuse Treatment in the Universitysscheme of things for the future.IGNOU will soon start HR training for police force to strengthen their humanresource capabilities and professionalknowledge, said Pro-VC Latha Pillai.NEWSupdatesLet IGNOU begin research on police reformsICDL proposes Digital Library NetworkIn an effort to make learning aseamless process, library scientistsfrom universities and repositoriesacross the globe have proposed thelaunch of Digital Library Networking aninitiative that will ensure free access todigitised information and knowledge. The decision came at the ThirdInternational Conference of DigitalLibraries 2010 (ICDL 2010), jointlyconvened by IGNOU and The Energy andResources Institute (TERI), which wasattended by over 700 delegates, includingheads of the top 65 libraries of the world.An expert committee chaired by DrKalpana Dasgupta, chief of the CentralSecretariat Library of India, urgedparticipating governments to work fast toenact a Digital Library Act and develop aDigital Library Policy in each country. The committee urged member-states toset up panels to discuss issues involvingDigital Library Networking. Among otherinitiatives, it sought open access to allgovernment publications, global access toinformation under common licensing, andstronger ICT infrastructure.The committee said digital librariesmust be created through inter-governmental and private-publicpartnership to ensure open, distance andtechnology-enabled e-learning. Suchlibraries also help in the development of anational economy and a knowledge-basedsociety, as also reach out to unreachedstudents through seamless, borderlessand open modes. Once a new Act is in place and anational policy evolved, digital librarieswill enable students in any part of theworld to access information in thespecified repository in a different countrywithout any obstacle or regulatorycontrol, fulfilling the long-felt demand forthe democratisation of education.The Plenary Session on Digital LibraryPolicy and Standards was chaired byIGNOU Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof ParvinSinclair. The Valedictory Address was made byJawahar Sarkar, Secretary, Ministry ofCulture. Special addresses were made byArmoogum Parssuramen, Director,UNESCO, and Prof Arcot Rajasekar of theUniversity of North Carolina. The vote ofthanks were given by Sudhir K. Arora,chief librarian at IGNOU, and Debal C. Kar of TERI.From left, Jens Thorhauge, Director General, Danish Agency for Libraries and Media, Denmark; Pro-Vice Chancellor Parvin Sinclair and Dr Kalpana Dasgupta, Chief of CentralSecretariat Library of India, at the ICDL 2010 in New Delhi.Dr Kiran Bedi.ICDL 2010 Recommendationsn Enact a Digital LibraryAct, as recommendedin ICDL 2006n Evolve a National Digital Library Policy, as recommended inICDL 2006n Build national capacity,capability through pub-lic-private partnershipn Harness digital library technologies fore-learning and ODLIGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 2010 15REGIONALroundupIGNOU and Academy ofTrauma (Guwahati)organised a two-dayworkshop on TraumaManagement inDisasters at A.C. Duttaauditorium, CottonCollege, Guwahati, onDecember 11-12. The workshop wasinaugurated by Dr Indra KumarBhattacharyya, Principal, Cotton College.He expressed the need to make the youngergeneration aware of the natural and man-made disasters and their consequences interms of life and property losses.Dr Vardhini Bhattacharjee, RegionalDirector, delivered the welcome address atthe event attended by 98 participantsfrom various institutions. She presented abrief outline of variousinitiatives undertaken bythe Regional Centre toempower youth andwomen in the region. Dr D.S. Bhattacharyya,OSD, Institute forProfessionalCompetencyAdvancement ofTeachers (IIPCAT), was the Guest ofHonour. Referring to the problems ofinsurgency in North-East, he saidManagement of Trauma in Post-disasterSituations is a relevant programme whichcan help reduce causalities. Dr UtpalKumar Tamuli, Secretary, Academy ofTrauma, said the Academy is propagatingthe basic life-support skills to tackle theinjured at the site of the disaster.IGNOU is setting up the MahatmaGandhi Institute of Education andDevelopment (MGIDE) in Nagalandwhere it will offer an on-campusMasters Degree in Social Work,beginning July this year.The MGIDE is being set up incollaboration with Nagaland GandhiAshram (NGA) in Chuchuyimlang,Nagaland. The campus is coming up on20 acres of land donated by the VillageCouncil of Chuchuyimlang. The proposed campus will consist ofthe School of Social Work, School ofAgricultural Development, School ofTeachers Training, Community College,Cultural Resource and Training Centre,and Naga Arts and Crafts and StudyCentre with a Gandhi museum. A Face-to-Face post-graduateprogramme, the MSW is expected to belaunched from the July 2010 session,"said Vice Chancellor Prof V.N.Rajasekharan Pillai. The programme envisages an inter-disciplinary approach to education anddevelopment. It will include ICT-enabledlearning and full- fledged library andregular faculty support from IGNOUsEducational Development of the NorthEast Region Unit (EDNERU).Workshop on trauma managementMSW for Nagaland learnersSTUDENTScornerMy school of thought, its beyond schools.My universe, its beyond universities.My world, its everywhere.I study, I am.I am an IGNOU student.Newton, I made you OBSERVE gravity.Faraday, I made you DISCOVERelectricity.Einstein, I made you IMAGINErelativity.Darwin, I made you EXPLOREdiversity.They all are my avatars.I study, I am.I am an IGNOU student.Books, you feed my THOUGHTS.Exams, you sharpen my SKILLS.Society, you foster my HOPES.Nature, you nurture my NATURE.They all are my friends.I study, I am.I am an IGNOU student.Arjuna, your life redefines SUCCESS.Ekalavya, your life redefines LIMITS.Bapu, your life redefines SIMPLICITY.Lincoln, your life redefines FAILURE.They all are my role models.I study, I am.I am an IGNOU student. By Vinod Kaliyath, a learner whohas earned a Certificate in theTeaching of English (CTE),B.A.(English), a Diploma in CreativeWriting in English (DCE) and aCertificate in Guidance from IGNOUPeoples UniversityLt Col Vias Gulati successfullycompleted his MBA (HR) fromIGNOU. For him, This is the onlydistance learning universitywhich has not diluted itsstandards and values in amarket-driven highereducation scenario.I appreciate the Uni-versitys vision of ThePeoples University in anenvironment where most of the univer-sities are beyond the reach of a com-mon man, adds Lt Col Gulati.Lt Col ViasGulati.The workshop in progress.Empowered,enlightened!The Nagaland Gandhi Ashram building.factoids His Holiness the Dalai Lama will deliver thethird annual Mother Teresa Memorial Lecture titled Mother and Compassion at theIGNOU Convention Centre on April 16.Prof elumalai invited to advise Agriculture ministry Professor K.Elumalai ofthe School ofLaw (SOL) was in the team of expertsrecently invited by theAgricultureMinistry todiscuss the proposed amendments toMulti-State Cooperative Societies Act2002. Union Agriculture Minister SharadPawar presided over the meeting held atKrishi Bhawan, New Delhi, recently. Noted economist Dr Y.K. Alagh wasalso present at the meeting.Prof. Elumalai, who has been selectedto lead the UNDP Action Group Forum onStrengthening Cooperative Acts forFinancial Inclusion and Micro-finance,made valuable suggestions for bringingqualitative changes in the CooperativeSocieties Act 2002 and submitted hisviews and suggestions in writing to theMinistry. The Ministry informed Prof Elumalaithat his services may be further availedat the stage of drafting the concession for studentsOn-campus students will getconcessional fares for train travelanywhere in the country, Vice ChancellorV.N. Rajasekharan Pillai announced onFebruary 24. The Railway Board hasagreed to give travel concession withimmediate effect to students enrolled inFace-to-Face programmes and will placethem on par with their counterparts ofother central universities, said ProfPillai. The move will positively impactenrollment in the next admission session.IGNOU OPEN LETTER | MARCH 15, 201016MILESTONESONcampusHIGHLIGHTS8th convocation march, 1997: ignoU organises its 8thconvocation at its new Delhi campus and 16regional centres via teleconferencing. Profmadhu Dandavate, vice chairman, Universitygrants commission (Ugc), is the chief guest.nearly 16,150 learners are awardedcertificates, Diplomas and Degrees in variousprogrammes while 22 learners receive goldmedals for their academic achievements.ignoU enters seychellesmay, 1997: An agreement for a Distanceeducation Project in the island nation ofseychelles, in collaboration with the rajiv gandhiFoundation, is signed.second g. ram reddy memorial LectureJuly, 1997: Dr Wichit srisa-an, founding rectorof suranaree University of technology, thailand,delivers the second g. ram reddy memorialLecture titled making Distance educationBorderless. the lecture was aired live via workshop for professionalsoctober, 1997: A three-day global workshop ontraining of Professionals through Distanceeducation: issues of technology and networkingis organised at ignoU under the auspices of thesouth Asia Forum for Distance education forDevelopment. senior distance educators fromsix south Asian nations participate.Borderless educationFRIDAYMarch 1908:00: NITTTR: 16mmmotion film projector16:00: IGNOU-SOCIS:BIT/ADIT -106 VE : Infor-mation System Security 20:00: UGC/CEC: PSYCHOLOGY: Counseling InterviewModule I, Hypnotherapy 1, Understanding Depression16:00: Introduction toDrug ChemistrySUNDAYMarch 2105:30: UGC/CEC: Music, Arts & Culture:Bagh Cloth Printing: A Living Legend09:30: UGC/CEC: Career Watch: Disha AirlinesGround Staff, CareerUpdate Web Technology21:00: PHE-06, Applications of the First Law of ThermodynamicsTUESDAYMarch 2312:00: Bhasha Mandakini (Sanskrit):Sanskrit LanguageTeaching-82, Nyaya18:30: NIOS: 1. Profit & Loss2. Banking System (Hindi)21:00: IGNOU-SOCE: The Process involvedin Palliative Care forthe HIV/AIDS Infected21:30: IGNOU: Practical Music - Part-1THURSDAYMarch 2508:00: NITTTR: CHD-228: Melody of rhythm 09:30: UGC/CEC: Language/Literature:Panineeya Astadhyay-eeki Adhyyan VI, Chitra Kavita SATURDAYMarch 2808:30: IGNOU-SOCE:Emergence of Profes-sional Social Work11:00: UGC/CEC: Career Watch: Conference Organizers:Young Entrepreneurs,Modelling as a CareerWEDNESDAYMarch 3109:30: CEC/UGC: Botany/Agriculture:Role of Algae in Bio-prospecting II Mushrooms22:30: Growth And Development of MutualFunds in India[Not to beMissedWatch a special programmeon Women Empowermentat 21.00 p.m. on Wednesday(March 31). The passage of thehistoric Womens ReservationBill in the Rajya Sabha, theUpper House of Parliament, is an inspirational trendsetterfor womens empowerment.]Prof K. ElumalaiForthcoming eventsn march 23: induction of B.ed. learners, Udaipur. n march 22-27: national Workshop on self-Learning materials Development: Alternativemodels of course Development in thechang-ingscenario of oDL. At convention centre.n march 28: Learners conference of northZone. venue: convention centre. topic: consolidation of Learner support services. n march 28: induction of B.ed. learners inJaisalmer, rajasthan.n march 29: silver Jubilee Lecture by Profnamvar singh. At convention centre. 3 p.m. n march 22-April 16: refresher Programme on Distance education at inter-Universityconsortium, main campus.n April 7: silver Jubilee Lecture by Law ministerveerappa moily. At convention centre. 3 p.m.