Higher education aspirants have a host of choices through the national open university and 14 state open universities in the country (and even some institutions and organisations abroad). From BA, BCom and BCA to diplomas in divinity and Gurmat sangeet, and MA in Avesta Pehlvi, it’s not just the wide spectrum of courses, including technical and science subjects, that grabs your attention but even the choice in terms of medium of instruction — English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Punjabi…, which is a USP of state open universities.
The department of distance education of Punjabi University, Patiala, boasts of being the first in the country to conduct courses and exams in the Punjabi medium.
Other than open universities, there are a number of regular universities offering sought-after correspondence or distance-learning courses.
We profile some of the institutions offering open and distance-learning (ODL) courses, which are recognised by the Distance Education Council (DEC), New Delhi. We have focussed on undergraduate degrees only, though many of them offer certificate, diploma, postgraduate and PhDs as well. It must be mentioned here that there’s as yet no clarity on whether PhD programmes can be pursued through open learning — a committee is looking into the matter.
The full list of universities and institutions with recognition status can be found on the Ignou website.
Institutions offering bachelors’ courses with DEC recognition
* Madurai Kamaraj University
* Alagappa University
* Delhi University (SOL)
* BR Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad
* Andhra University, Vizag
* Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur
* Saurashtra University, Rajkot
* Kurukshetra University
* Maharshi Markandeshwar University, Ambala
* Tilak Maharashtra Viyapeeth, Pune
* Mumbai University
* Mahatma Gandhi University, Meghalaya
* Punjabi University, Patiala
* Bharthidasan Univ, Trichy
* Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Chennai
* Mother Teresa Women’s University, Kodaikanal
* UP Rajarshi Tandon Open University
* KK Handiqui State Open University
* Nalanda State Open University
* Pt Sunderlal Sharma Open University, Bilaspur
* Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad
* Karnataka State Open University
* MP Bhoj Open University
* Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nasik
* Vardhman Mahaveer Open University, Kota
* Tamil Nadu Open University
* Uttarakhand Open University, Haldwani
* Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata