Kerala

IGNOU regional centre in capital soon

IGNOU Vice Chancellor Nageshwar Rao unveiling a plaque to mark the launch of the construction of the regional centre building in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.  

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the country’s largest distance education provider, will soon have a regional centre in Thiruvananthapuram. Foundation stone for the building that will house the centre was laid on Sunday.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice Chancellor Nageshwar Rao said IGNOU had reached out to a large number of learners through online programmes in recent times.

Social networking platforms were also being utilised to disseminate learning content.

Online programmes

Following the University Grants Commission (UGC) decision to exempt the university from its stringent regulations on online programmes, IGNOU had launched 16 online programmes with national and international reach. While there had been good response for these programmes, the university had also been playing a significant role through SWAYAM, a massive open online course platform, and SWAYAM PRABHA, a group of 34 channels devoted to telecasting educational programmes, he said.

“During the COVID-19 lock down, Gyan Darshan (a State-owned television channel telecasting from Doordarsham) and four SWAYAM PRABHA channels allotted to the IGNOU could reach out to several learners in their homes. We have also been tapping the social networking platforms such as Facebook to provide study content at a fast pace,” he said.

Prof. Rao added that the IGNOU introduced a set of new courses including nine undergraduate Honours and four postgraduate programmes last year as part of expanding its bouquet of programmes.

The university, which was accredited A++ grading by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in its first cycle of accreditation three months ago, has been building a robust international brand of late.

Its global acceptance had come to the fore recently when the government of Guyana approached the IGNOU to provide scholarships for 20,000 learners in the Caribbean country.

Guyana tie-up

The programme was promised by Mohamed Irfaan Ali, president of Guyana, in his party’s manifesto in the run-up to the country’s general elections last year, Prof. Rao said.

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, who laid the foundation stone virtually, said the Centre was committed to providing all technical support to IGNOU’s regional centres. The growth of these centres was crucial for the implementation of the National Education Policy, he added.

Envisaged to be developed with a built-up area of 2264.60 sq.m, the two-storeyed permanent campus of the Thiruvananthapuram regional centre will come up at Muttathara.

An amount of ₹17.48 crore has been sanctioned for the project that is expected to be completed by March next year. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has been awarded the project.

IGNOU Pro-Vice Chancellor Satyakam, Registrar V.B. Negi, Finance Officer Jitendra Dev Gangwar, CPWD chief engineer Sandeep Mehta, and regional director B. Sukumar also spoke.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 11:21:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ignou-regional-centre-in-capital-soon/article34298107.ece

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