An institute for sign language, first of its kind in the country, will be opened on the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) campus in Delhi.
This was announced by V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU, at the 23rd convocation ceremony at the IGNOU's regional centre here on Saturday.
Mr. Pillai said the institute was aimed at training teachers for aurally challenged students and to develop sign language as a separate stream. It would be supported by the Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment.
He said the university had changed its statute three months back making it a statutory obligation right from the Vice-Chancellor down to teachers and coordinators to ensure that results were declared within 45 days after the examinations and degrees were awarded in convocations within 90 days.
Earlier there was a single convocation though there were two semesters and about 1.2 lakh students passed out in each semester leaving the students with a wait for about 15 months to get their degree.
Mr. Pillai said that IGNOU's pan-African e-network had been declared as India Africa Virtual University by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Addis Ababa a few days ago.
He said the university had contributed to inclusive education in a broader perspective.
There were 600 community colleges under IGNOU across the country looking at what type skills and knowledge were required for the community and how this could be provided by the community itself.
The convocation ceremony saw 1,983 students from three regional centres of IGNOU at Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Vadakara receiving their degrees from Mr. Pillai. While 587 students graduated, 347 received diplomas, 538 received master degrees, and another 511 got post-graduate diplomas. Besides, 17 students received advanced diploma in aviation conducted by IGNOU at the Cochin International Airport Limited's aviation academy.
Arjun Kumar won the gold medal in Diploma in Management in Industrial Safety and Health. Viswanathan received the gold medal for the best community college under IGNOU for which his Mithranikethan Peoples College, Vellanadu, was selected.
K. Jayakumar, Additional Chief Secretary; P.R.R. Nair, Director, IGNOU Centre for Corporate Education and Consultancy; K.S. Divakaran Nair, Director, Kochi Regional Centre of IGNOU; and N.V. Sreedharan, Deputy Registrar, were present at the function.