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FROMthe vice chancellor


he Planning Commission, Government of India, has started the process of preparing an Approach to the 12th Five Year Plan. An open consultation, involving all stakeholders, is in progress. ‘Twelve Strategy Challenges’ have been identified to initiate these consultations. These Strategy Challenges, according to the Planning Commission, refer to some core areas that require new approaches to produce the targeted results. The strategy challenges tentatively proposed by the Planning Commission are: Enhancing the Capacity for Growth, Enhancing the Skills and Faster Generation of Employment, Managing the Environment, Markets for Efficiency and Inclusion, Decentralisation, Empowerment and Information, Technology and Innovation, Securing the Energy Future, Accelerated Development of Transport Infrastructure, Rural Transformation and Sustained Growth of Agriculture, Managing Urbanisation, Improved Access to Quality Education, and Better Preventive and Curative Health Care. We will all be participating pro-actively in this dialogue initiated by the Planning Commission for a better understanding of the critical issues, to be addressed in the 12th Plan to accelerate faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth. We are in the last year of the 11th Plan, which could be aptly described as an Education Plan, considering the thrust given to educational expansion and consolidation at all levels. In terms of qualitative and quantitative growth and in strategic policy interventions, education, science and technology sectors have been in the forefront during these four years of the 11th Plan. The Education Sector Reform Agenda, which was set in motion in the last two years, has started showing results. A cursory look at the ‘Twelve Strategy Challenges’ would indicate the significant roles of education, skill and employability in all the other sectors as well. Improved Access to Quality Education, Technology and Innovation and Enhancing the Skills and Faster Generation of Employment are the areas of very vigorous interventions happening in the higher education institutions now. A critical overview of the strategies adopted in 11th Plan focussing on the inputs and outcomes, institution-wise and sector-wise, would greatly facilitate the future planning processes. The completed four-year period of the 11th Plan has witnessed unprecedented growth and consolidation in the activities of the Indira Gandhi National Open University. Establishing 11 new Schools of Studies and the National Centre for Disability Studies, getting the best faculty, experienced consultants, full-time Research and Teaching Assistants (RTAs) and developing relevant new programmes for these Schools were significant achievements during this period. We could attract the best faculty and very bright and young researchers for these new disciplines, which were created through rigorous consultations with renowned experts in these socially relevant fields. The recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission, Planning Commission and Parliamentary Committee on Higher Education gave the necessary inputs for these activities. Vocational Education and Training, Extension and Development, Gender and Development, Inter-disciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies, Translation Studies and Training, Social Work, Foreign Languages, Journalism and New Media Studies, Performing and Visual Arts, Corporate Education, Training and Consultancy, Traditional Knowledge Systems, Convergence of Open and Distance Learning Technologies with the Conventional Systems of Education, Community College Skill Development Programme and its linking with higher education were the areas we could give a firm foundation during these four years. The new projects and schemes like the fulltime Research and Teaching Assistantships (RTA), Sustainable Development, e-Gyankosh & Flexilearn@ignou, Vertically-Integrated flexible, full-time engineering programmes, ‘Gyan Deep’ and ‘Akashdeep’ for the Indian Army and Air Force, respectively, and Rural Capacity-building through ODL and strengthening of Local Governance proved to be sustainable and value-adding. This period has also been very fruitful for the University in its national and international networking for effective and optimal utilisation of intellectual capabilities and infrastructural facilities for providing knowledge and skills to a vast number of people in a financially sustainable way. The University has also maintained its exacting standards as the premier national resource centre for Open and Distance Learning and seamless provider of quality education, at par with other international institutions of higher learning. The University has also been unwavering in its commitment on access to education and equity in opportunities to women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the rural population, remote areas, tribal regions, the differently-abled and the socially and economically weaker sections of the society. The student enrollment in IGNOU has doubled in the past four years — from 1.5 million to over three million, prompting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to declare it the largest, most diverse and inclusive institution of higher learning in the world in 2010. The cover story in this issue of OpenLetter attempts to delineate this growth story of IGNOU, which is one of social commitment with prudence. This success is attributable to the pro-active participation of the teaching and non-teaching staff and the entire academic and administrative authorities of the University and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). Partnering the Government in its various plan schemes and aligning and streamlining teaching and training activities with national priorities delineated by the Planning Commission in the 11th Plan helped the University to grow in the right perspective. We envision such a collaborative path in approaching the 12th Plan for Inclusive Education, Training and Capacity-Building at all levels. With Best Wishes for a happy and productive New Year.

T The Growth Story INFOCUS: The four-year 4 period of the 11th Plan has witnessed impressive growth, consolidation and progress in the Education and Social Sector activities of the Indira Gandhi National Open University

Empowering Airmen ‘Akashdeep’, a partnership 10 SPOTLIGHT: between IGNOU and the Indian Air Force, is designed to enable all serving airmen to obtain Bachelor’s degree in any stream within eight-13 years of service

LAW PRACTICUM......03 REGIONAL UPDATES..15 NEW TIE-UPS.............09 GYAN DARSHAN........16 NEWS UPDATES........12 MILESTONES.............16

IGNOU OPEN LETTER is Printed by Printek Grafix, 148-D, Pocket-F, GTB Enclave, Delhi-110093 and Published by Ravi Mohan, Chief Public Relations Officer, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi. New Delhi 110068. Ph: +91-11-29571000 (30 lines); +91-11-29535924-29 Fax: +91-11-29535933; E-mail: Managing Editor: Ravi Mohan Photos: Rajesh Sharma/Amlan Paliwal Advisory Council: Prof P.R. Ramanujam, Dr Latha Pillai Design and Production: IANS Publishing


V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai


From left, Prof Srikrishna Deva Rao, Academic Registrar, NLU; Prof Martin Geer, William S. Boyd School of Law; VC Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai; Prof N.R. Madhava Menon, Founder Director, NLU; and Prof K. Elumalai, Director, SOL, at the inauguration of the programme.

Deciphering human rights trends Law students from India and US interact on Human Rights Law themes at the winter programme chool of Law (SOL), in partnership with the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, United States, organised an International & Comparative Human Rights Law Practicum at IGNOU from December 20, 2010 to January 06, 2011. An American Bar Association approved programme, the two-week event aimed at exposing law students to comparative and international human rights law themes through enriched classroom and field experiences. A close interaction on these issues took place between a diverse group of 15 and 14 students from the U.S. and India, respectively. The participants were addressed by luminaries like Prof N.R. Madhava Menon, a legal educationist, Dr P.M. Nair (IPS), Additional Director General of Police (CRPF), Dr M. Gandhi, Director, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, and Ravi Nair, Director, South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre. The programme was organised under the overall supervision of Prof K. Elumalai, Director, School of Law, and Prof Martin Geer, William S. Boyd School of Law. During the course of the programme, participants visited 13 institutions to get a feel of the functioning of these institutions by interacting with the officials concerned. They also visited nine


The group of students who participated in the human rights law practicum.

institutions in small groups for intense field study for two-three days. Based on these visits, they prepared a research paper for presentation. “This unique Human Rights Practicum Programme had initially thrown several challenges. As the days progressed, the participants were able to learn the legal status of various human rights issues, prevalent in respective countries, by mutual exchange moderated by experts. “They not only interacted with renowned experts on critical dimensions of human rights issues but also visited selected national-level institutions engaged in tackling human rights

issues,” informed Prof Elumalai. Some of the institutions visited include the Institute of Social Sciences, International Committee of Red Cross, Delhi Legal Services Authority, National Human Rights Commission, Tihar Prison, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, National Law University, among others. “At the end, the participants, particularly from the U.S., said that this programme was a life-time experience,” added Prof Elumalai. The participants were presented with a Certificate of Participation at a special valedictory function on January 5, 2011.n



The Growth Story INfocus The four-year period of the 11th Plan has witnessed impressive growth, consolidation and progress in the Education and Social Sector activities of IGNOU

he four-year period beginning 2006-07 has been one of impressive growth and progress for the Indira Gandhi National Open University – The People’s University – catapulting it to the biggest among its peer institutions across the globe with over three million students. The University has also maintained its exacting standards as the premier national resource centre for open and distant learning and seamless provider of quality education, at par with other national and international institutions of higher learning.









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The University has also been unwavering in its commitment on access to education and equity in oppor tunities to women, members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the rural population, remote areas, tribal regions, the differently-abled and the socially- and economically-weaker sections of society.

University unfailingly reported an excess of receipts over expenditure Student enrollment has doubled in four years from 1.5 million to over 3 million UNESCO declared IGNOU as the largest institution of higher learning in the world in 2010 Fees from students virtually doubled in four years from `158.52 crore to `312 crore Share of non-plan administrative expenses to total expenditure fell from 28.24 to 17.14 percent University ably managed higher payout on salaries on account of Sixth Pay Commission Bulk of University’s expansion came about from internal accruals Largest number of Government-supported schemes in the Social and Rural Development Sectors.

The bulk of IGNOU’s expansion has come about from internal accruals, notably the modest tuition fee that the University charges its students. This has been possible because student enrollment has doubled in the past four years from about 1.5 million to over three million, prompting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to declare it the largest, most diverse and inclusive institution of higher learning in the world in 2010. This is in marked contrast to the general trend for higher educational institutions in India, which continue to depend heavily on grant income even for operational expenditure, not to mention new growth initiatives. The achievement is all the more notewor thy, considering that be it in 2006-07 or the three full financial years thereafter for which accounts have been audited, the University has unfailingly repor ted a surplus — or an excess of receipts over expenditure.

The bulk of IGNOU’s expansion has come about from internal accruals, notably the modest tuition fee that the University charges its students. IGNOU was also one of the first Universities in the country to implement the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. The non-plan expenditure toward staff welfare also shot up from `9.23 crore to `57.02 crore. These expenses are toward contributions for the new pension scheme, bonus, pension, gratuity, leave encashment, leave salary, honorarium, etc.


Increasing the knowledge pool, now available to a vast number of people under our Flexilearn scheme, which allows access to free and open courses of the University. “This is a personal learning space where free learning resources are integrated with learning management system for anyone who wants to learn, whatever their educational needs and experience. It is a huge resource,” says Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai. Many of these programmes are being executed through innovative alliances and collaborations with top-notch institutions – both in the private and public sectors. This has helped the University to utilise under-used facilities such as state-of-

the-art labs as well as the services of top academics. This networking has helped the University to form collaborations with – and avail the expertise and facilities of – such institutions as the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, the National Museum, the Rehabilitation Council of India, Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the Indian Council of Medical Research, Institute of Rail Transport and the Apparel Export Promotion Council, to name just a few. “The University’s contribution to increasing the nation’s Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) is as

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? the year 2006-07. “All this clearly he primar y reason why the University shows that IGNOU has been able to generate sufficient money internally to has repor ted excess of income over fund its programmes and expansion, not expenditure is that the fee generated just in India but also across from students has vir tually the globe,” notes Prof V.N. doubled during the period Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice under review – from `158.52 Chancellor. crore to `312 crore. He made a special mention Accordingly, the bulk of the of inter ventions such as the increase in total receipts – programmes being conceived from `286.54 crore in 2006-07 and run for the armed forces, to `448.55 crore in 2009-10 – such as Gyan Deep has come from for the Army and student fees, which “IGNOU has been able to Akashdeep for the Air now contribute a generate sufficient money Force. A similar tiehealthy 88 percent internally to fund its up is soon to be of internal revenue programmes and expansion, formalised for generation, against not just within the country, personnel of the 82 percent in 2006but also across the globe. Indian Navy. These 07. As a percentage The facilities to students, tie-ups alone have of total receipts, teachers and the generated a revenue student fee non-teaching staff have also contributes 69.76 been considerably stepped up.” of almost `14 crore. percent against On the expenditure — Prof V.N.R. Pillai, Vice Chancellor 55.32 percent in side, too, audited

data reveals that money has been spent on some extremely productive purposes, such as financing the ‘Gyan Vani’ and ‘Gyan Darshan’ programmes, intended to widen the University’s outreach to ever y nook and corner of the countr y. Against a mere `41 lakh spent on these two programmes in 2006-07, the expenditure was higher at `8.75 crore in 2009-10. The outreach, accordingly, also expanded. ‘Gyan Darshan’ is a 24-hour educational TV channel in collaboration with other institutions of higher learning, while ‘Gyan Vani’ is a large cooperative network of FM radio stations, exclusively devoted to education. Effor ts are now on for twoway tele-conferencing, interactive radio counselling, and for relaying educational programmes through local FM radio stations. This apar t, expenditure also increased on account of expanding

n the past four years, IGNOU has not only doubled its student strength, but has also contributed significantly to the nation’s knowledge pool. It has, at the same time, ensured that its faculty is provided with the best of facilities to pursue research and remain at the vanguard of the academic community. The period between 2006-07 and 2009-10 saw student strength rise from 1.5 million to over 3 million and the number of programmes on offer go up from 129 to 486 – almost a four-fold increase! This has helped the University to dramatically expand the nation’s knowledge repository. More importantly, all the course materials are




creating faculty facilities jobs for researchers and academics,” notes Prof significant as it is undeniable. It is also doing its Pillai, adding: “It is important to note that we are best to help the National Skills Mission achieve not only adding to the nation’s knowledge its goals,” says Prof Pillai. economy – but also to the economy at large.” IGNOU has, in this period, striven to become Faculty is, in fact, actively encouraged to a more academically vibrant space – one that publish papers, make presentations and invests in academics, ensures they enjoy participate in as many conferences and significant career growth, and also creates an environment that is encouraging of research, the seminars pertaining to their areas of interest. This is reflected in the amount the University publication of papers and participation in spent on travel and other expenses for faculty seminars and conferences. This was not just participating in seminars and conferences. Four limited to existing faculty, but to consultants and years ago, the amount spent under this head researchers as well. was `43.38 lakh. Today is has doubled to The strength of faculty – both part-time and `86.15 lakh. full-time – rose in this period from 352 to 425. It is as part of the University’s efforts to create a And of these, almost a fourth enjoyed vibrant academic environment and to ensure that promotions. The number of part-time consultants eminent academics and other personalities are involved stood at 25 four years back. Today the number with it that IGNOU has created as many as 15 new has risen to 66. The Research and Training Chairs in the past four Assistant (RTA) years. And these chairs scheme was non“IGNOU has been at the have brought eminent existent four years vanguard of creating jobs for personalities like writer ago. Today, their number stands at researchers and academics. U.R. Ananthamurthy 452 and University’s We are not only adding to the (Tagore Chair), agricultural scientist M.S. outgo on their nation’s knowledge Swaminathan (Chair for account is about economy – but also to the Sustainable `1.8 crore annually. Development), and Dr. K. “The University economy at large.” Kasturirangan (ISRO has thus been at — Prof V.N.R. Pillai, Chair for Satellite the vanguard of Vice Chancellor Education). creating meaningful

the regional outreach of the University – SOUND FINANCIALS, HEALTHY REVENUES comprising a wide network of Regional Centres, Sub-Regional f revenue expenditure alone is Centres and Study Centres across considered — which gives a fair idea of the countr y. an institution’s financial health, This is another stated especially those with social mandate of the University. The commitment – the operations of expenses incurred on these the University continued to centres more than doubled generate a surplus – which from `56.72 crore to `118.09 stood at `69.25 crore during crore. 2009-10. “The number of Regional The University, as did other Centres during this period autonomous institutions has gone up from 59 to 62, “The increase in across the countr y, also bore while the number of Study a major additional burden on the number of Centres has risen from 1,468 account of outgo toward RCs and SCs to well over 3,000 – more during this period salaries and wages. than doubling. This has been has helped IGNOU The payment of arrears due of great help to students, to the generous award by the reach out to and has helped the University Sixth Pay Commission also places where to reach out to places where added to the outgo. Payments conventional conventional education is toward salaries and wages – education is unable to reach,” notes due to both higher payout and unable to reach.” Pro-Vice Chancellor recruitment – went up from — Dr. Latha Pillai, Dr Latha Pillai. `35.68 crore to `86.12 crore. Pro-Vice Chancellor


IGNOU study material being dispatched.

Counting the Corpus cursory look at the audited accounts may give an impression that the University’s corpus had “reduced” from `215.60 crore as on March 31, 2008 to `208.34 crore the next year and further to `187 crore a year later. But the fact is the University’s invested funds have actually increased. This is how: During end-March 2010, longterm investments in Government bonds worth `56.80 crore attained maturity, out of which `40 crore pertained to the corpus fund, and the rest toward heads such as pension fund and security deposit. Therefore, the invested amount against the corpus showed a lower figure of, `187 – that is reduced by `40 crore of matured government bonds. The matured amount was re-invested in the following month – April. Accordingly, the corpus reflected the true picture in that month, showing an amount of `237 crore – that is `187 crore, plus the matured invested amount of `40 crore. The same was true in 2009, when the corpus, it appeared, got reduced from `215.60 crore in the previous year to `208.34 crore. But that was not the case, as detailed above. Therefore, there was no question of any decline in the corpus.



IGNOU has striven to invest in conferences and seminars to create a more vibrant academic space. Seen in the photo, renowned agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan speaking at the Sixth Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning in Kochi.

much higher expenditure toward As a result, the percentage`9.31 crore to `57.83 crore – an almost terminal benefits, compared with earlier expenditure under this head, which was six-fold increase. As a percentage of years. Total Quality Management hovering around 18 percent till a few expenditure this was a jump from 4.03 years ago, ballooned to nearly 25 percent. remains the highest priority in all areas percent to 12.94 percent of of operation of the University. “IGNOU was one of the first expenditure. Expenditure on staff welfare rose from Universities in the countr y to implement Against this backdrop, there has also the recommendations of the Sixth Pay been a concer ted effor t on the par t of Commission, including clearing the the University to cur tail expenditure. arrears,” Prof Pillai points out. This is the reason why the share of nonAdded to that, the non-plan plan administrative expenses to total expenditure toward staff welfare – due expenditure has fallen significantly from to the reasons aforesaid – also shot up 28.24 percent in 2006-07 to 17.14 from `9.23 crore to `57.02 crore. These percent in 2009-10. New strategies are also being evolved expenses are toward contributions for to mobilise resources so that the the new pension scheme, bonus, University can continue to work on its pension, gratuity, leave encashment, leave salar y, honorarium and other mandate without any financial impediment. welfare schemes. In addition, maximising non-monetary “This expenditure is also a necessar y inputs and achieving cost-effectiveness in par t of the University’s effor t to keep its operations and economy in spending also staff and faculty satisfied and maintain remain the guiding principle of the high productivity levels,” says University. Prof Pillai, adding that a Nonetheless, the Vice concer ted effor t has been made Chancellor has constituted a to ensure that senior faculty In the past four years, the number of Committee under the members have independent Study Centres has risen from 1,468 to chairmanship of Pro-Vice rooms and personal assistants. Chancellor Prof P.R. Ramanujam over 3,000. The expenditure on account on how to cur tail expenditure All of them have also been issued laptops to increase of expanding the regional outreach of fur ther. The suggestions and efficiency and productivity. the University has more than doubled recommendations made by the With increased salaries, the Committee will be pursued in from `56.72 crore to `118.09 crore. University also had to incur a right earnest, Prof Pillai says.n



Preparing future stock specialists here’s good news for students aspiring to enter the stock market. IGNOU and the Bombay Stock Exchange Training Institute (BTI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a two-year, full-time MBA programme specialising in Financial Markets. “The programme being offered is a full-time degree programme, specially designed to suit the requirements of students who are planning to make a career in financial markets,” said Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai at the BSE building on Dalal Street, Mumbai, on Januar y 7. “We plan to cover vital concepts related to exchanges, which will help students spearhead the financial industry,” Prof Pillai added. According to Ambarish Datta, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, BTI, “The programme structure is more dynamic than anything that currently exists and will cover various modules such as corporate governance, risk management and so on. It’s like NASA teaching space technology. We will be able to give students a ringside view of how the market works.” The admission process has already started and the intake in the first batch


Sudhakar Rao, Chairman, BTI, exchanging the MoU with VC Prof Pillai in Mumbai on January 7.

Broader Perspective part from the MBA Programme in Financial Markets, IGNOU and BTI have agreed to execute this MoU through a broader understanding and offer joint programmes in various fields, including information technology, management, finance, retail, education technology and services, BPO, etc. The following key areas have been identified: n PGDM n BBA n Certificate Programmes


will be between 60 to 100 seats. Classes, which will commence from May 2011, will be held at the Dalal Street building. The fee for the programme is approximately `2 lakh. The objectives of the programme are to enhance employability of learners globally; to bridge the gap between the programmes currently available and the programmes required by the market for enhancing employability; and to have joint programmes to address current and emerging needs of the market, informed the Vice Chancellor.n

Manage a rural telecentre, courtesy IGNOU GNOU has joined hands with the Foundation to design and deliver a Certificate programme in Telecentre/Village Knowledge Centre Management (CTVM). The primary objective of the collaboration is capacity-building of rural youths in the country to manage telecentres effectively. Telecentre is a place where villagers can use computers, Internet and other digital technologies to develop information and communication skills and provide knowledge to their community for better livelihood.Those who have completed their 10+2 or are managers of telecentres run by organisations across the nation and potential village level entrepreneurs are eligible to apply. The duration of the programme is six months and can be extended to two years. The fee for the programme is `4,000. The Government plans to set up nearly


The Government plans to set up 2,50,000 telecentres across the country by 2012.

2,50,000 telecentres at every village panchayat in the country by 2012. The programme aims to train telecentre operators/managers to manage their telecentres effectively, improve the skills and knowledge base of existing telecentre managers,

create opportunities for the village community through trained telecentre managers, help bring public and private sector services to villages and help generate self-employed opportunities as village knowledge centre managers. After the completion of the programme, students can secure jobs in Common Services Centres of Government of India, Village Knowledge Centres, eChoupals, Drishtee, TARAhaat, etc. Application forms, along with the prospectus, can be obtained in person by paying `200 in cash or through post by sending a demand draft of `250, payable at New Delhi, to The Director, Centre for Extension Education (CEE), Room No. 1, First Floor, DEC Building, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068. Forms can also be downloaded from


Air Officer-In-charge (Personnel) Air Marshal K.J. Mathews (left) exchanging the MoU for ‘Akashdeep’ Project with VC Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai in the presence of Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, in New Delhi on December 20.

Empowering Airmen SPOTLIGHT ‘Akashdeep’, a partnership between IGNOU and the Indian Air Force, is designed to enable all serving airmen to obtain Bachelor’s degree in any stream within eight to 13 years of service

fter successfully launching ‘Gyan Deep’ — an Army-IGNOU Community College Scheme — to empower jawans, IGNOU has now brought the Indian Air Force (IAF) under its ambit. IGNOU and the IAF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Air Force Auditorium in New Delhi on December 20 for enabling nearly 100,000 in-ser vice airmen to earn Bachelor’s degree in streams like ar ts, science, business and music etc., within eight to 13 years of their ser vice. “Two great events have occurred in the recent past. Sachin Tendulkar has completed his 50th test century and the IAF has signed an MoU with IGNOU for recognising service training for higher



education of airmen and NCs(E). This shall encourage the younger generation to join the IAF,” said Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik. Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai said the move would get “a large pool of qualified officers to join the People’s University. This collaboration will provide a large number of people to undergo a systematic training and will work equivalent to a few universities put together.” “There’s a lot of educational infrastructure and opportunities available outside the formal education boundary and IAF is one such entity,” Prof Pillai added. “Although the training imparted to the airmen at various institutes prepares them for the air operational tasks and job-

related duties, they suffer on the formal education front owing to their professional commitments. This, however, will not be the case now,” said Air Officer In-Charge (Personnel) Air Marshal K.J. Mathews. The IGNOU-IAF ‘Akashdeep’ Project will register the existing airmen training institutes as Community Colleges, which will maintain a high degree of autonomy. The Joint Basic Phase Training (JBPT), Module-I and Module-II will help the airmen earn credit points, which would be transferred to IGNOU to help them earn Certificates, Diplomas and Associate Degrees in arts, science, commerce, business administration, hotel management, hospitality services, medical services, para-medical services, office management, automobile trade performing skill, music and instrumental music. The Associate Degree of community colleges, as explained by Air Marshal Mathews, consists of a minimum of two years which can be completed in four semesters of study, comprising 64 credits in all. The first semester, called the basic foundation course with the JBPT phase comprising 16 credits, is a compulsory subject for one to be eligible for a certificate course. For those airmen who have not completed Air Force officers at the MoU signing ceremony. their Class 12 studies, JBPT will be counted as the bridge PROGRAMME AT A GLANCE course to bring them at par with the 10+2 he Associate Degree, consisting of qualification. a minimum of two years, can be The second semester is completed in four semesters, comprising the applied professional 64 credits in all. l First Semester: Consists of the Basic course in the chosen Foundation Course (comprising 16 programme comprising 16 “With this move, credits) and is a compulsory subject credits with a compulsory the knowledge for one to be eligible for a certificate subject where Module-I and experience programme. training stands as their Second Semester: Consists of the l gained by the eligibility to gain a diploma Applied Professional Course in the IAF officers will (minimum one year). chosen programme (comprising 16 credits) with a compulsory subject, The third semester be recognised in l Fourth Semester: Includes qualification where JBPT Module-I training stands as includes qualifications attained towards knowledge civilian the the eligibility to gain a diploma attained through the upgradation through compulsory (minimum one year). environment.” knowledge upgradation internship project and project work l Third Semester: Includes qualifications — Air Marshal K.J. course in Module-II. And obtained during Onattained through the knowledge Mathews, Air Officer lastly, the four th the-Job Training (OJT). upgradation course in JBPT Module-II. In-Charge (Personnel) semester includes qualification attained towards knowledge IGNOU-Air Force initiative as “a modest an Associate Degree. The 64 credits upgradation through compulsor y attempt to make education for the men obtained on successful completion of internship project who guard our borders, borderless.” the Associate Degree will become and project work obtained during OnThe Community College Scheme of transferable towards the completion of the-Job-Training (OJT). IGNOU will soon be extended to the 96 credits in all, to obtain a Bachelor’s “Module-II and OJT together will Indian Navy for the benefit of the Degree,” added Air Marshall Mathews. constitute third and four th semester and servicemen, she added.n Pro-VC Latha Pillai described the would make them eligible for award of





‘Promote disappearing art forms’ resenting your creative art and talent before others involves some sort of a compromise. But, we at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), don’t want that,” said Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai. He was speaking at the three-day ‘Orientation Programme of the Gurus’, jointly organised by the Centre for Traditional Knowledge Systems, Educational Development of North East


Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. They also demonstrated their respective traditional art forms at the event. While addressing the Gurus, Prof Pillai highlighted the Certificate Programme in Indigenous Art Practices (CIAP), a certification under the Guru-Shishya Parampara Scheme, which aims to establish support mechanism for the art forms that are fast disappearing, and provide livelihood options for the certified Shishyas.

Focus on serving teachers GNOU, in a move to upgrade the skills of in-service teachers along with potential teachers, has started two new Post-Graduate Diploma Programmes — Post-Graduate Diploma in Education Management and Administration (PGDEMA) and Post-Graduate Diploma in School Leadership and Management (PGDSLM). For details, please visit


PG in pharmaceutical sales GNOU has launched a PG Diploma in Pharmaceutical Sales Management (PGDPSM). Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. has sponsored its 3,000 employees to enroll in PGDPSM and Certificate in Communication and IT Skills (CCITSK). For details, please visit


Gurus from the North-Eastern states at the orientation programme.

Region Unit (EDNERU) and the School of Performing and Visual Arts (SOPVA), from January 17-19. Various Gurus from Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh were felicitated during the function, organised under the ‘GuruShishya Parampara Scheme’ of the North East Zonal Cultural Centre (NEZCC),

“We pay respect to each and every art form of this country and believe that universities should promote such art forms. The well-known art forms have advocated for themselves but it’s necessary to promote them in the prevalent areas. There may be several universities offering such a programme but IGNOU is different in its approach,” Prof Pillai added.n

Urdu, Arabic Programmes wing to the significance of Urdu and Arabic in Indian history and heritage, IGNOU has launched two new programmes — BA (Elective) Programme in Urdu and Certificate Programme in Arabic. For details, visit


NEWSscan Economics in F2F mode MBA cut-off announced Promoting Hindi GNOU’s School of Social Sciences (SOSS) has taken several measures to make its Research Degree Programme in Economics more comprehensive and distinguished. One such measure is the introduction of Face-to-Face lectures for the Ph.D./M.Phil. Programme in Economics. Students aspiring to do their research work in Economics will be able to attend a regular lecture to comprehend the technical nature of the compulsory and optional courses prescribed as Pre-Ph.D course work. For the Face-to-Face mode, IGNOU has collaborated with research institutions like National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (New Delhi), Madras School of Economics (Chennai), Institute for Human Development (New Delhi), etc.n


GNOU has announced the cut-off percentage for admission to its Management programmes for the January 2011 and July 2011 academic sessions. The cut-off for CAT/MAT/State-level Entrance Exams stands at 40 percent. The University has also announced that the result of any examination body, which does not reflect the score in terms of percentage and/or percentile will not be considered for admission. In such cases, candidates will have to appear for OPENMAT, to be conducted by IGNOU on February 13, 2011. However, candidates who have successfully cleared management exams such as CAT, MAT and state-level exams need not appear in OPENMAT.n



hrowing light on the importance of the languages spoken in the country, VC Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai has stressed on the promotion and restoration of Hindi and other Indian languages. “IGNOU believes in conserving Indian languages. Keeping in mind the government policies about the conservation of Indian languages, we have ensured that most of our courses are published in Hindi as well,” Prof Pillai said in the forthcoming in-house Hindi publication ‘Deepshikha’. “We have set a benchmark for others to follow. This has been possible only because there has been a sudden spurt in the number of programmes offered by the University,” Prof Pillai added.n


NEWSupdates ERP for Human Resource Management System GNOU has initiated the process to integrate all its business processes in back-office automation by implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The project, started in August 2007, would be completed by January 2013. “The modules of the Human Resource Ravi Mendiratta. Management System (HRMS) are well integrated with finance and other modules. The processes of Establishment section, like maintaining personal and job details, absence and leave management of employees, medical, LTC, etc. are now automated and are being done online. Payroll module is also operational,” said R. Thyagarajan, ERP nodal officer for Administration Division. “The ERP system has brought together all the HR and accounting activities in a single database,” said Ravi Mendiratta, Sr. Software Engineer, Computer Division.n


IGNOU stall at the 16th Delhi Book Fair.

IGNOU shines at Delhi Book Fair he sale of IGNOU course material has reached new heights with books worth `2.5 crore being sold yearly on an average. “Our books attract such a huge demand despite the fact that the course material is available free of cost in the E-Gyankosh section at,” informed Manjula Verma, Registrar, Material Production and Distribution Division (MPDD) at the 16th Delhi Book Fair organised at Pragati Maidan in the Capital from December 25 to January 2. The IGNOU stall offered study material for academic programmes like management, computer education, B.Ed, M.Ed, political science, medical, nursing, tourism studies, engineering, environment, rural development, hospitality management, etc. The course material is extremely popular among the civil services aspirants, added Verma. “I am preparing for my IAS examination and was keen to get hold of some IGNOU books relevant to my chosen subjects like political science,” said Devesh Kumar, who bought the study material from IGNOU’s stall at Hall No. 9.



“The sales figure at the 16th Delhi Book Fair reached `3.3 lakh in just five days, surpassing the sales mark of the 15th Delhi Book Fair,” Verma added. IGNOU had an edge over the other publication houses participating in the book fair since its course material is not available otherwise in the open market. Thus, the book fair provided students a golden opportunity to explore various programmes offered by IGNOU, and that too at a discounted rate of 10 percent. “Apart from selling the study material, we also gave publicity material to students visiting our stall to make them aware of several IGNOU programmes.” “The marketing cell of the University conducts exhibitions in the Capital and participates in career fairs to help students get a feel of various vocational IGNOU programmes,” Verma added. The University has been participating in the Delhi Book Fair since the last 15 years. The overwhelming response it gets can be seen from the sales figures, which touched `6 lakh in the 15th Delhi Book Fair and `6.4 lakh in the 19th World Book Fair.■

NUMBERS SPEAK The number of live transactions done in some of the most popular modules of HRMS so far are as follows: Medical: n Total number of OPD requests raised through ODLSOFT: 19,170 n Total number of IPD requests raised through ODLSOFT: 711 Leave Management: n Number of leaves applied through ODLSOFT: 14,372 Leave Travel Concession (LTC): n Number of LTC requests that are raised through ODLSOFT: 350 Loans & Advance: n Number of loans and advance requests raised through ODLSOFT: 56

IGNOU and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, recently conducted a ‘Digital Drishti Workshop’ on basic computing and Internet surfing for visually-impaired students. IGNOU OPEN LETTER | JANUARY 15, 2011 13


A tribute to poets Shamsher, Ashk ‘per fectionist’ Hindi poet, Shamsher Bahadur Singh was never satisfied with his work, and this approach is reflected in his unforgettable poetr y. The influences of modern western poetr y and Urdu poetr y deepened his sensibility towards integrating the ar ts of music, painting and sculpture with the ar t of poetr y. Another poet of his era, Upendranath Ashk, is known for acting as a bridge among Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu languages. In a tribute to their outstanding contribution to the Hindi literature in their birth centenary year, School of Humanities (SOH) organised a one-day National Seminar at IGNOU on January 19. Inaugurated by Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, the seminar was attended by distinguished Hindi critics Prof Namwar Singh, Nityanand Tiwari, Vishwanath Tripathi, Dr Manager Pandey, Neelabh, Harimohan Sharma and Rajendra Singh Toki. “Regarded as a torchbearer of legendary poet Munshi Premchand’s tradition, Ashk inspired youth to write sensitively and responsibly on topics close to the masses,” said Dr Tripathi in his opening remarks. “He worked as a bridge among Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu languages. It’s disturbing to know that owing to the drought of translatory work


Distinguished Hindi critics Nityanand Tiwari and Prof Namwar Singh, Pro-VC Prof Parvin Sinclair, SOH Director Prof Rita Rani Paliwal and others at the one-day National Seminar at IGNOU.

among the Indian languages today, people are less aware of Ashk’s brilliance,” added Dr Pandey. Remembering his first meeting with Shamsher Singh in 1942, Prof Singh said that the poet was a ‘perfectionist’ who never got tired of rewriting his own poems, thus producing some of the best works. Prof Tiwari, a well-known thinker, said Shamsher was one of the pioneers of ‘New Poetry’ in Hindi. “It is never easy,

even for me, to enter his house of poems as you may not get to the core of his poetry. Despite this, readers have a distinct fascination towards his poems,” he added. Prof Sharma touched upon many unknown aspects of Shamsher’s work, while Neelabh went emotional while remembering Ashk. SOH Director Prof Rita Rani Paliwal welcomed the guests at both sessions.n

TOPhonours AIFACS award for SOPVA faculty

Yadav, Sunaina awarded at Lalitya National Art Camp

akshaman Prasad, Asst. Professor in Painting, School of Performing and Visual Arts (SOPVA), has been honoured by the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) for his creation Prof Lakshaman ‘Contemporary Youth Prasad (inset); Condition’. Urban Art his artwork. Commission Chief K.T. Ravindran presented a certificate and a cash prize to Prof Prasad at the 83rd Annual All India Art Exhibition 2011, in New Delhi on January 3.n




aurav Yadav and Sunaina, students of Master of Fine Arts-Painting from School of Performing and Visual Arts were honoured for their creations by Space Designers, Nagpur, at its first ‘Lalitya National Art Camp 2010’ on October 3. Gaurav received the first cash prize (Rs 10,000), Sunaina received the consolation prize (Rs 1,500).n

(Left) Gaurav’s award-winning painting; (right) Sunaina’s creation.


Graduation ceremony

62nd RC opens in Malabar nion Defence Minister A.K. Antony inaugurated the 62nd Regional Centre of IGNOU in Malabar (Kerala) on Januar y 4. Speaking on the occasion, Antony expressed hope that the Centre would help meet IGNOU’s educational goals. A joint effort was required from all, irrespective of party affiliation, for bringing development in Kerala, he said. The function was presided over by Minister of State for Home, Mullappally Ramachandran. The Centre will be the 62nd Regional Centre of the University and the third in Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony inaugurating the Malabar Regional Kerala, after Thiruvananthapuram and Centre in Kerala on January 4. Kochi. With the opening of the Centre, students from Malabar region, including Kasargod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad district could approach the Malabar RC for their course requirements. With the launch of the Centre, four Study Centres and 28 local support centres functioning in Malabar will come under its super vision.n

U Prof Pushplata Tripathi in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

rof Pushplata Tripathi, Registrar, SED, addressed IGNOU learners at the second graduation ceremony of St. Mar y’s University College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recently. A total number of 192 students were awarded degrees in streams like MBA, MARD, M.Com, MEC, MSO, MPA and MLIS. His Excellency Bhagwant S. Bishnoi, Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia, was the Guest of Honour at the event.n


Training programme on carpentry GNOU Institute for Vocational Education and Training (IIVET), in collaboration with Rustomjee Academy for Global Career, Mumbai, organised a vocational training programme on Carpentry (Shuttering) in the construction industry, in Shillong. The one-month training programme, which star ted on December 6, 2010, provided the par ticipants an option of extending the training to six months. The par ticipants who decided to continue after the completion of the programme, have been put in a sixmonth on-the-job training, with a salar y of `4,000-5,000. They can further become supervisors and earn up to `8,000 a month. Rustomjee Academy for Global Career has joined hands with IIVET in its endeavour towards Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives.n

r Gangadhar Sahoo, first Regional Director of Regional Centre Bhubaneswar, passed away on January 2. Dr Sahoo served as RD Bhubaneswar from Dr Gangadhar December 5, 1986 to Sahoo. October 13, 1991. During this period, RC Bhubaneswar had three states under its jurisdiction – Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal. A reputed officer in the Department of Education, Govt. of Orissa, Dr Sahoo served as the Principal of two autonomous government colleges of Orissa prior to joining IGNOU. Dr Sahoo’s contribution and support to IGNOU has been immense. The University community deeply mourns his demise and conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.




Dr Sahoo passes away

A participant at a training session.

IGNOU has collaborated with HLL Lifecare Ltd. to offer two clinical engineering and management programmes. The programmes will be conducted jointly by HLL and IGNOU.




‘Learners’ satisfaction our goal’ elcoming 2011 with new hopes and dreams for IGNOU, Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai sent his New Year message across to learners and University officials on January 5. “In the 25 years of its existence, IGNOU has bridged the gap between teachers and students through quality teaching, education and capacity-building via the ODL pedagogy. The excellent quality of self-learning study material enables the learners to prepare easily,” Prof Pillai said.n

August 2003: IGNOU signs Memorandum of Collaboration with Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI). September 2003: IGNOU launches PostGraduate Diploma Programme in Library Automation and Networking. Learners during the New Year celebrations at IGNOU campus on January 5.

Dr B.S. Sudhindra joins as RSD Director

Prof Debjani Roy takes charge of CTKS

Dr Rausaria retires from service

r B.S. Sudhindra has taken over as Director, Regional Services Division Dr B.S. (RSD) at IGNOU. He Sudhindra has been associated with the University since June 1989 as Regional Director at the Headquarters, Pune, Jammu and Bangalore. Dr Sudhindra holds a Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).n

rof Debjani Roy has been assigned the charge of the newly estabProf Roy lished Centre for Traditional Knowledge Systems (CTKS) at IGNOU. Prior to joining CTKS, Prof Roy served as Officer on Special Duty, IGNOU Institute for Vocational Education and Training (IIVET), Shillong.n

r R.R. Rausaria, Director, Distance Education Council (DEC), has retired from service. Earlier, Dr Rausaria worked as Registrar (I/c) in the Material Production and Distribution Division (MPDD). Dr Ram Chandra, Regional Director, RC Delhi-1, retired from IGNOU on December 31, 2010. He joined IGNOU in 1997 as Joint Director, RSD. n



Prof. G. Ram Reddy Memorial Lecture July 2003: Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), delivers the annual Prof. G. Ram Reddy Memorial Lecture.



Sanskrit Net




lHuman Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi inaugurates Sanskrit Net under Bhasha Mandakini on Gyan Darshan. lAgriculture Minister Rajnath Singh visits IGNOU and addresses various KVK officials via tele-conferencing.

Upcoming Events 1. Orientation Programme for Training of Trainees - Education of Children with Disabilities — February 11, Chennai 2. Inauguration of Chaitanya Community College — February 18, Kottayam College, Kerala

JAN-FEB 2011

A Battle for Survival, Fisheries Science

Great Mathematician Sri Ramanujan

Ways of Hope: Plastic Surgery

Ek Mulaqat Wasifuddin Dagar se

Mangroves of the Sunderbans

Fisheries science is the academic discipline of managing and understanding fisheries. It is a multidisciplinary science, which can be the focus of an undergraduate, master’s or Ph.D. programme.

Srinivasa Iyengar Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician and autodidact who made substantial contributions to the discipline of mathematics. He has left behind 4,000 original theorems, despite his lack of formal education.

Plastic Surgery is a medical speciality concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. It also includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns.

Faiyaz Wasifuddin Dagar is an Indian classical singer of the dhrupad genre. Since the death of his father Nasir Faiyazuddin Dagar, Wasifuddin has been singing solo. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010.

The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. The forest lies in the vast delta on the Bay of Bengal formed by the super confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers.

Colony That Never Sleeps - Termites

IGNOU’S Convergence Scheme

Termites, a group of eusocial insects, divide labour among gender lines, produce overlapping generations, take care of young collectively and mostly feed on dead plant material. Termites live in colonies that comprise of several million individuals.

A Convergence between the conventional University system and Open & Distance Learning system through optimal utilisation of physical infrastructure, intellectual and knowledge resources in institutions is the unique feature of this scheme.

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Open Letter January 2011  

Open Letter January 2011

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