OPEN TO ALL

IGNOU | ES­TAB­LISHED IN 1985

India Today - - STATES - —Rahul Noronha

A NEW BE­GIN­NING

If there are sec­ond chances in life, the Indira Gandhi Na­tional Open Univer­sity (IGNOU) pro­vides them in the field of higher ed­u­ca­tion. In the mid-1980s, then prime min­is­ter Ra­jiv Gandhi had en­vis­aged an open univer­sity, one with­out walls. The PM req­ui­si­tioned the ser­vices of ed­u­ca­tion­ist G. Rama Reddy who had im­mense ex­pe­ri­ence with cor­re­spon­dence cour­ses in Andhra Pradesh in the 1960s. The pro­fes­sor be­came the founder vice-chan­cel­lor of IGNOU when the univer­sity was set up through an Act of Par­lia­ment in 1985. IGNOU had mod­est be­gin­nings with two di­ploma cour­ses and 4,528 stu­dents in 1987. To­day, it has 3 mil­lion stu­dents, 21 schools of stud­ies, 67 re­gional cen­tres, 2,667 learner sup­port cen­tres and 29 over­seas part­ner in­sti­tu­tions. The open univer­sity also of­fers 228 cer­tifi­cate, di­ploma, de­gree, post­grad­u­ate and doc­toral pro­grammes. It has 810 fac­ulty mem­bers, be­sides the 33,212 aca­demic counsellors from var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions. The open univer­sity con­cept has spawned 14 other such state-level uni­ver­si­ties now.

QUAL­ITY IS KEY

IGNOU can per­haps claim credit for be­ing the world’s largest univer­sity with its en­rol­ment numbers. And even though the univer­sity has its doors open to all, the mod­est pass per­cent­ages show that it doesn’t com­pro­mise on qual­ity.

CHANDRADEEP KU­MAR

TEACH IN­DIA Stu­dents at the IGNOU cam­pus in Maidan­garhi, Delhi

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