Open Letter October 2010

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Open Letter October 2010


  • cover:Layout 1 10/27/2010 6:24 PM Page 1

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    Universities can play a decisive role in the implementation of various global, national

    and regional mission-mode governmental projects -- which may not be directly

    connected with education -- leading to the conferment of a degree or any other

    qualification. Participation in such projects will give academics and students an

    opportunity for contextual and ground-level understanding of various short-term and long-

    term developmental needs of the society. Whether it be the UNs Millenium Development

    Goals, the Education For All and Training For All initiatives of the Government of India, the

    specific Plan targets of various State Governments, or the region-specific, neighbourhood

    community-oriented needs of grassroot-level local self-governments, the academia can

    complement and lend momentum to governmental activities.

    IGNOU, in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan Period (2007-2012), has embarked upon a large

    number of such partnerships with and through Central and State Governments, and other

    governmental agencies. Almost all the Schools of Studies, Institutes and a few Regional

    Centres of the University have effectively availed of these collaborations. Government

    departments have leveraged the nation-wide academic and

    infrastructural capabilities of IGNOU to conduct on-the-job training

    programmes and upgrade the qualifications of employees. In these

    partnerships, the projects are of the Ministries in the Central

    Government or State Governments; the implementation agencies are the

    different academic units or the Regional Centres of IGNOU. Grassroot-

    level interactions and dissemination of the public-funded projects are

    facilitated by the ICT and satellite-enabled network of IGNOU, ably

    managed by its 61 Regional Centres and over 3,000 Study Centres.

    In addition to IGNOUs participation in the nodal HRD Ministrys

    various developmental projects the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), National Literacy

    Mission, National Programme for Technology-Enabled Learning (NPTEL), and the National

    Mission of Education through ICT (NMEICT) -- IGNOU has undertaken major academic,

    capacity-building and skill-development interventions for other Ministries like Information

    Technology, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Health, Home Affairs, Social Justice and

    Empowerment, Labour, Defence, External Affairs, Commerce, Women and Child


    The IGNOU-Indian Army Community Colleges under the Gyan Deep project; the

    Telecentre Academy, Village Knowledge Centres and the IT Mass Literacy Programme of

    the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology; the Anti-human trafficking

    and the continuous training and quality-upgradation programmes sponsored by the

    Ministry of Home Affairs; the Distance and e-Learning programmes for Government

    Employees (DELPGE) for the DoPT under the Ministry of Personnel & Training; IGNOU

    Certification of Indigenous Art Practices (CIAP) at the Zonal Cultural Centres sponsored

    by the Ministry of Culture; the Modular Skill Development Scheme of the Ministry of

    Labour; the Pan-African Tele-education programme supported by the Ministry of External

    Affairs; Disability programmes sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and

    Empowerment; Training and Capacity Development programmes in Watershed

    Management sponsored by the Ministry of Rural Development; Health Ministry-sponsored

    programmes in Maternal and Child Health, AIDS Control and HIV Medicine; the Power

    Ministry-sponsored capacity-building activities in the area of Power Distribution

    Management; Organic farming training, Open and Distance Education Training in

    Agriculture, and the various State Government-sponsored programmes for in-service

    school teachers training are some of the recent flag-ship activities through Central and

    State Government collaborations.

    The participation of the IGNOU academics, researchers and external consultants in these

    developmental schemes of the Central and State Governments has also resulted in a vast

    variety of learning and training resources in the form of Self-Instructional Material, video and

    audio learning resources and other state-of-the-art multimedia material, almost doubling the

    educational and training modules repository of IGNOU in just three years. All this adds to the

    repository of knowledge a vivid example of the creation of educational assets.

    This Special Issue of OpenLetter features this added dimension of the activities of

    IGNOU to complement the developmental schemes of the Government for achieving

    inclusive growth.



    Fruitful Handshake

    Honour For Former VCs


    various collaborations

    with Government-run

    institutions are

    helping enhance

    skills and knowledge

    of learners, creating

    vast opportunities for

    Indias youth

    EYEING EUROPE .......03


    NEWS UPDATES..........14



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

    12 SPOTLIGHT: As part of its Silver Jubileecelebrations, IGNOU felicitates former

    Vice Chancellors and former Union

    Minister K.C. Pant, who piloted the

    IGNOU Bill in Parliament

    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: +91-11-29571000 (30 lines); +91-11-29535924-29

    Fax: +91-11-29535933;


    Managing Editor: Ravi Mohan

    Photos: Rajesh Sharma/Amlan Paliwal

    Advisory Council:

    Prof P.R. Ramanujam,

    Dr Latha Pillai

    Design and Production:

    IANS Publishing


    V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai

    2-3 Con - vc speak:Layout 1 10/27/2010 6:19 PM Page 1

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  • The Indira Gandhi National Open

    University (IGNOU) will open Study

    Centres in six European countries,

    including Germany and France, to

    offer personalised courses, Vice Chancellor

    Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai has announced.

    We will open our centre in Paris next

    month. Negotiation is going on with

    Germany. I hope we will start in Germany

    by the end of this year. Our target is to

    open five-six centres in Europe by July

    2011, Prof Pillai said.

    The Netherlands and Austria are other

    European countries where IGNOU is

    considering to open Study Centres. It

    already has a centre in London.

    Prof Pillai, who also heads the Union

    governments Distance Education Council,

    said IGNOU would also offer personalised

    programmes in Gandhian Studies and some

    Indian languages such as Sanskrit through

    its new Study Centres in Europe, besides

    regular programmes.

    We are in discussions with several

    institutes in the US, Australia and Europe

    to develop personalised programmes. It will

    be done keeping in mind the needs of

    partner institutes, he said, adding that

    IGNOUs low course fee was a hindrance in

    forging accords overseas.

    Our fee is quite low when you compare

    it with what is charged by universities in

    the developed countries. We are planning to

    restructure the fee for programmes offered

    outside India, Prof Pillai said.

    Student enrollments at the University

    have almost trebled in the last four years.

    We now have 3.2 million active

    enrollments. It was 1.1 million in 2006.

    This indicates increasing popularity of

    distance education, Prof Pillai remarked.

    The University targets to sustain over 25

    percent annual growth in enrollments in the

    coming years. IGNOU programmes are also

    becoming increasingly popular in Africa and

    the Gulf region that have large numbers of

    India expatriates.

    Many African universities have

    approached IGNOU for collaborations. We

    will help in designing courses and study

    materials for them, Prof Pillai said, adding

    that the University will also introduce e-

    books within six months to increase the

    popularity of its programmes among high-

    tech students.

    We will start with management and IT

    and gradually introduce it for all the

    programmes, he said.

    The University also plans to introduce

    video-conferencing facilities for its overseas

    Study Centres within a few months.

    35 countries covered

    56 overseas study centres

    42,000 students enrolled

    90 percent learners of Indian origin



    After UK, IGNOU eyes other European nationsGLOBAL PRESENCE

    IGNOUs move: Play chess, study it too

    IGNOU and NIIT have joined hands to

    launch a Certificate Programme on

    Chess as Mind Booster to enable the

    development of young minds through

    chess. The programme, launched under the

    Distance Education Programme Sarva

    Shiksha Abhiyan (DEP-SSA), was unveiled

    by World Chess Champion Viswanathan

    Anand at IGNOU Headquarters on

    September 23.