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Distance learning in India

In today's competitive world, most people are out to get the highest or additional qualifications to enhance their career prospects.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 12:27 IST

In today's competitive world, most people are out to get the highest or additional qualifications to enhance their career prospects. At the same time, after a certain age or due to financial constraints, it also becomes imperative to get a job.

Open universities as well as the directorates/centres of distance education attached to recognised universities are the answer to the prayers of working people who wish to upgrade themselves. Distance education, or correspondence courses are of immense value to students who find themselves in locations which do not offer variety of educational opportunities.

Students who have not secured sufficiently high marks in order to get a seat in a full-time programme also use distance education to further their educational aspirations. Distance education is most crucial now as it is accepted that re-skilling and lifelong learning are the norm for people who wish to stay employable.

In 1962 distance education programmes were initiated in the country beginning with undergraduate courses but by 1970 postgraduate programmes had also begun. Distance education can be imparted through a wide range of media which goes far beyond postal communication to include terrestrial as well as satellite options.

With broadband applications, easy access and interactivity are also possible. The distance education system has been gaining widespread popularity over the years. By widening access to higher education, the distance mode provides an opportunity to all those who are unable to pursue higher education through the traditional system.

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was established in 1985 for introduction and promotion of Open University and distance education system with the objective of widening of access to higher education.

Open Universities
1. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068, India (www.ignou.ac.in)