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CONTENTS Sustainable Approach By 4 INFOCUS: launching several Programmes on Sustainable Development, IGNOU is helping fight one of the most pressing problems that our planet is facing today

IGNITE 2011 record 140 teams participated in 9 AIGNITE 2011, an inter-school quiz contest organised by IGNOU, at the Government Polytechnic College in Jammu on May 12.


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

FROMTHE VICE CHANCELLOR Community Colleges, Open and Distance Learning and the National Skills Mission


ne of the major initiatives that IGNOU introduced in the 11th Plan is the Community College Scheme for Skill Development. The National Knowledge Commission and the Planning Commission of India had recommended this Scheme and delineated the approaches for achieving enhanced levels of skilled and certified workforce. In the early 1990s, the University Grants Commission had sent a committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals to the USA to study the well-established community college system there. Following the recommendations, the Pondicherry Central University had started the first community college in the publicly funded university system. Pondicherry University is now augmenting the community colleges by appointing faculty and creating other facilities. In Tamil Nadu, state universities like Manonmaniam Sundanar University, Tirunelveli and very recently, all the state universities in Tamil Nadu have decided to start 10 community colleges each. The Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) has started Community College programmes at the Certificate and Diploma levels and the state has also a large number of community colleges supported by charity organisations, particularly by the missionary institutions. The recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission chaired by Mr. Sam Pitroda and the concrete suggestions by the Planning Commission during the 11th Plan on Community Colleges and the funding pattern recommended therein are in the process of implementation by the Central Government. The Community College System the world over is the most open and flexible pattern of post-secondary education, life-long learning and skill development. It provides a supplementary route to higher education through an appropriate mix of skills and academic knowledge. In the US, according to the latest statistics, 46 percent of the students go to the Universities through the two-year community colleges. Several of these Community Colleges are much bigger than some of the premier universities over there. Open education practices, flexi-time approach, technology-enabled teaching and learning, Online and distance learning, work-integrated learning, and very recently use of Open Education Resources (OER) are the most salient features of these community colleges. Open University of China (OUC) offers full-time, part-time and spare-time two-year and threeyear degree programmes in addition to various modular, certificate and diploma programmes. The two-year degrees (Associate Degrees) are analogous to the community colleges in the US, Canada and Australia, and to the advanced diploma programmes in the UK and European postsecondary education system. The 2010 Statistical Bulletin of the Open University of China indicates that the Associate Degree, which is in between the Certificate and the Bachelor Degree, is the largest qualification base in China. In 2010, 4,12,400 students from OUC received Associate Degrees in contrast to 6,914 Bachelor Degrees and 38,000 Certificates. More than 50 percent of the students enter into higher learning in the Universities through these two-year degree colleges in China. Open and Distance Learning (ODL), On-line Learning and Open Educational Resources (OER) constitute major delivery strategies as of today in the Community College System. The twoyear Associate Degree Community Colleges have more than 50 percent of their enrollment through Distance Education. Looking at these global trends in Open University and Distance Education Systems and considering the challenges of the National Skills Mission, chaired by the Prime Minister of India, IGNOU initiated the Community College Movement in the country in 2008, after countrywide consultations and drawing inputs from the National Knowledge Commission and the Planning Commission. In just three years, IGNOU has over two lakh students in about 600 community colleges pursuing vocational education, skill development and work-integrated learning, full-time, part-time and spare-time. The recent concerted efforts of the MHRD and the State Education Departments to evolve a National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) to connect skills and academic knowledge, the Planning Commission’s imperatives in the ensuing 12th Plan to integrate the Education and Skills Sectors, and the Community College initiative of IGNOU and other institutions would facilitate the enhancement of the certified level of unorganised workforce in India with simultaneous growth in the Gross Enrollment of Higher Education.

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V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai

MISSIONEDUCATION WEF to provide a global platform to policymakers, leaders, government organisations, civil society organisations, etc., to deliberate upon policies towards Education for All

World Education Summit in July


he Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd., in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), will host the World Education Summit (WES) 2011, from July 13-15 at the Ashoka hotel in New Delhi. The key objectives of the Summit are to promote innovations in the field of education, enrich global efforts towards inclusive education and implementation of education policies, assess learning in the 21st century, debate trends in school, higher and skill education across the globe, and address the role of teachers in meeting learners’ diverse needs. The ‘World Education Awards’ in the categories of School Education, Higher Education, Vocational and Skills Education, Government Initiatives and Private Initiatives will be presented at the event. These awards are instituted with the aim of acknowledging unique and innovative initiatives in the field of education globally. Nominations are invited from schools, higher education institutions, vocational training institutions, government organisations, nongovernmental organisations, private institutions and enterprises across the globe. WES has been envisaged as a global platform hinged on the participator y model, bringing together policymakers, education leaders, government functionaries, civil society organisations, international developmental agencies, industr y and academia for deliberations upon policies, tools and methods of learning towards education for all. To send your nominations, kindly visit (For details, visit For further information, contact Ms. Sheena Joseph ( or call at +91 8860651644).

Smt. Vibha Puri Das, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of HRD, Government of India, will also address the Summit.

(Clockwise from top left) Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India; Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for HRD; Dr. D. Purandeswari, MoS for HRD; Prof. Yashpal, former UGC Chairman; Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Member, Planning Commission; Goeffrey Conaghan, Commissioner of Victoria to India; Shri Thakur Singh Powdyel, Minister for Education, Bhutan; Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne, Secretary, Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka; Prasad Kariyawasam, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka; and VC Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai.


Mission Ganga Here are the broad objectives of IGNOU’s Appreciation programme on ‘Sustainable Management of Ganga: A Scientific Approach:’  Create awareness about the significance of the Ganges  Specify the source, origin and journey of the river  Identify/analyse issues related to public health, economy, livelihood security and demographic dimensions  Paraphrase scope of research & development  Summarise measures for capacity-building  Illustrate socio-cultural aspects and issues related to policies  Analyse the role of all stakeholders

A Sustainable Approach T INFOCUS

By launching several unique Programmes in the field of Sustainable Development, IGNOU is helping fight one of the most pressing problems that our planet is facing today


he narrow outlook of the accountant must give way to a wider vision of the recreational, educational and ecological value of totally undisturbed areas of wilderness,” said former Prime Minister of India Smt. Indira Gandhi, while launching Project Tiger in 1973. These words hold an unprecedented significance today, as India tries to strike a balance between consumption-driven economic growth and conservation of priceless biodiversity by achieving Sustainable Development. Climate change, trends of unsustainable use of natural resources, and ecosystem degradation are the most pressing problems that our planet is facing today. The Government has rigourously worked towards finding solutions to achieve sustainability

with various initiatives and schemes like the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), the Ganga Action Plan (GAP), the Forest Rights Act, the National Carbonaceous Aerosols Programme (NCAP), Mission Clean Ganga, Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI), Himalayan Snow and Glacier Monitoring Programme, National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), among others. Realising the criticality of the issue, IGNOU is not just complementing the efforts of the government, but also, in its own unique way, helping the country get closer to achieving the goal of Sustainable Development. This can be seconded with the fact that IGNOU is one of the very few universities in the world, and the first university in the

Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) More than 41.5 percent of IHR’s geographical area is under forest cover, representing one-third of the total forest cover in India. The Himalayas act as a ‘sink’ for carbon dioxide, an important ecosystem service. Vast areas under permanent snow cover and glaciers form a unique water reservoir. This feeds several perennial rivers that provide water for drinking, irrigation and hydropower to the plains.

CSD Programmes  Appreciation Programme on Sustainability Science  Leadership Programme on Nutrition Security & Sustainable Development  Appreciation Programme on Sustainable Management of Wetlands  Leadership Programme on Himalayan Ecosystems  Appreciation Programme on Sustainable Development of Ganga  PG Diploma in Sustainability Science

Programmes Under Development 01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06.

Jammu & Kashmir Himachal Pradesh Uarakhand Sikkim Arunachal Pradesh Nagaland

07. 08. 09. 10. 11. 12.

Manipur Mizoram Tripura Meghalaya Assam* West Bengal*

* Only the hill districts (Source: Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India)

 PG Certificate in Climate Change and Sustainable Development  PG Diploma in Environmental Impact Assessment (with SACON, Coimbatore)  Appreciation Programme on Biodiversity and Sustainable Development  Appreciation Programme on Population and Sustainable Development  Appreciation Programme on Gender and Sustainable Development

Other Programmes  Appreciation Course on Environment (School of Sciences)  Certificate in Environmental Studies (School of Social Sciences)  PG Diploma in Environment and Sustainable Development (School of Sciences)  PG Diploma in Environmental Law (School of Law)  PG Programme in Environmental Economics

Sustainable Development. This country, to start Sustainability was the rationale for starting Science as a discipline, under a the CSD in 2007. The Chair has university-level Chair for emerged as a model for all the Sustainable Development (CSD), Universities in the country. headed by renowned agricultural There is an urgent need to link scientist and father of the Green education with development,” Revolution, Prof M.S. says Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Swaminathan. Rajasekharan Pillai. “Sustainable Development is Through CSD, the University fundamental to the future of our is offering programmes that country. We need to actively provide a new momentum to think about sustainable use of “Unless there is the national movement for natural resources, energy, involvement from Sustainable Development. water for our future Nepal, Bhutan, The three programmes that generations to sustain. are running at present are Therefore, Sustainability China, state Science has to permeate governments of the Appreciation Programme on Sustainability Science every aspect of our Indian Himalayan (APSS), Leadership development programme,” region and Programme on Nutrition says Prof Swaminathan. Security and Sustainable “The country needs to Panchayati Raj Development (LPNSSD) and focus on nutrition, food institutions, there security and education, the will be no concrete Appreciation Programme on Sustainable Management of rest of the things will step towards Wetlands (APSMW). automatically fall into place. saving Himalayas.” “The major challenges UN had declared 2005-2014 — Dr. Karan Singh, MP that India faces in terms of as the decade of education for

Sustainable Development are a population growth rate that is far beyond the ‘carrying capacity’ of India’s natural resource base; copying the unsustainable lifestyle of the USA that has an Ecological Footprint (EFP) of about 25 gha (global hectares) per person; and an accelerated economic growth at the neglect of ecology. Although the Centre and the state governments are doing their part, there are no tangible actions and policies to enforce sustainable development,” says Prof P.C. Kesavan, Emeritus Professor, IGNOU, and Distinguished Fellow, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). “There are still some grey areas which need to be looked into, such as the lack of major and effective ways to promote family planning; conservation of resources; and enhancing public awareness on the imperative of sustainable development for a longer lease of survival of our future generations or an imminent collapse of our civilisation and survival. “The only bright spot in India’s endeavours towards sustainable development is found in the contributions of


the Indira Gandhi National Open University. CSD cuts across disciplines and schools to develop and promote Education for Sustainable Development in India,” Prof Kesavan adds. Jointly developed by IGNOU and the MSSRF, the Appreciation Programme on Sustainability Science primarily aims to build the capacity of policy makers, administrators, scientists and educators as well as the general public in the science and art of environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development, and subsequently help the participants to develop an Agenda 21 Plan of Action for their respective village/town/city. The Leadership Programme on Nutrition Security complements the Government’s programmes on Union MoS for HRD Dr. D. Purandeswari launching the CSD Programme on Ganga. improving nutrition security in the country and aims at reviewing the flora and fauna, are invaluable not only for says Prof Swaminathan. current situation in India, the the country, but for the entire world, the “Sustainability is a holistic complex causes of poor nutrition, University has developed programmes that subject that has taken and evidence of what works to aim to create scientific awareness among cognizance of social, improve nutrition. The the masses against environmental economical and ecological ‘Appreciation Programme “IGNOU, with its degradation of the two most revered natural issues, along with creating on Sustainable entities of India. awareness among Management of Wetlands’ ability to develop The Appreciation Programme on students and people. The provides awareness about necessary expertise Sustainable Management of Ganga – A subject has come up due the importance of within itself in Scientific Approach aims to inculcate to scarcity of natural wetlands, why they are new and emerging awareness and sensitise people about the resources, which seems to disappearing, restoration importance of the river in every context. be a key factor for the efforts and sustainable areas, can be a “Sustainability of the Ganga is something launch,” says Pro-Vice management. “What is leader in Sustainable that not even a single citizen is unaware of. Chancellor Dr Latha Pillai. needed to conserve the Development in the We are fortunate to contribute in the Acknowledging the fact environment is education, country, and possibly that the Ganges, with its government’s activity of the Ganga Action social motivation and the world” Plan,” says Prof Pillai. pure water, and the regulation. Regulation — Prof. P.C. Kesavan “The Appreciation Programme would help Himalayas with its natural alone will not do the job,”

Towards ‘Evergreen Revolution’


n the eve of the 62nd Republic Day, President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil made a call for the Second Green Revolution that maximises productivity. With this aim in mind, the School of Agriculture (SOA) is addressing the urgency to conserve traditional crops and wisdom in an era of climate change. Sustainable farming and agro-biodiversity form the core of this crucial need. According to Prof M.K. Salooja, Director, SOA and Associate Faculty, CSD, the term “Sustainability” has three dimensions: ecological, economic and social, and sustainable agriculture may be defined as any set of agronomic practices that are economically viable, environmentally safe, and socially acceptable. SOA offers five programmes that aim to intensify the sustainable agriculture approach. These are: Diploma in Watershed Management, Diploma and Awareness Programmes in Value Added Products from Fruits and Vegetables; Certificate in Organic Farming; Certificate in Water Harvesting and Management; and Certificate in Integrated Pest Management Technology in Potato Cultivation.


Pro-VC Dr. Latha Pillai during an MoU signing ceremony with the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON).

“This is an opportune time for planning and making a framework for the Second Green Revolution, more precisely on ‘Evergreen Revolution’ — a term coined by Prof M.S. Swaminathan, which means improvement of productivity without associated ecological or environmental harm,” says Prof Salooja.

Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, launching the PG Diploma in Sustainability Science at IGNOU.

develop major, inter-disciplinary activities of national relevance. This programme would strengthen the ongoing government supported research programmes, activities of NGOs, industry and professional societies and the implementing agencies,” remarks Dr Manju Sharma, former secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India. CSD has launched an online Leadership Programme on Himalayan Ecosystems (LPHECO), in collaboration with the School of Extension and Development Studies (SOEDS). The purpose of the programme is to build scientific knowledge to understand sustainable development of Himalayan region by following a holistic and multidisciplinary approach involving interlinking of ecology, economy and society. “Deforestation, population pressure and global warming are leading to disappearing glaciers and depleting ozone layer. Unless there is involvement from Nepal, Bhutan, China, state governments of the Indian Himalayan region and Panchayati Raj institutions, there will be no concrete step taken towards the conservation of the Himalayas,” says Dr Karan Singh, Member of Parliament. Dr Nehal A. Farooquee, Associate Professor, SOEDS, says, “The Himalayan Ecosystem Programme has been designed for policy planners, development agencies and all other government divisions working on development issues to tell them about different components of the Himalayan ecosystem.” “CSD also brings out a quarterly

SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE HOLDS THE KEY n order to address the issue of sustainability of our socio-cultural system, the Chair for Sustainable Development (CSD) has launched an Online Programme — ‘Post-Graduate Diploma in Sustainability Science.’ The programme was formally launched by Dr Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. The programme aims to provide a critical framework about the social, economical and


newsletter, which is helping in making people aware of Sustainable Development to a great extent,” adds Yanglem Sharatchandra Khuman, Senior Research Fellow, CSD. According to Prof Kesavan, IGNOU’s future plans in the area of sustainable development would be to educate people, particularly the youth, about the urgent need to transform the largely unsustainable development at present to a more sustainable one in the future; to develop an inter-disciplinary doctoral (Ph.D.) research in the new and enormously challenging field of Sustainability Science; to periodically update the curricula, course content of

ecological issues that affect sustainability. “With the launch, IGNOU has become one of the very few Universities in the world and the first in the country to start ‘Sustainability Science’ as a new discipline,” says VC Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai. Graduates from social and natural sciences streams, policy makers, scientists and educators, as well as general public interested in sustainable development are eligible to pursue this programme.

Sustainability Science, taking into account emerging guideposts and pitfalls. “IGNOU, with its resilience and innate capacity for reaching out to other specialist institutions and also developing necessary expertise within itself in entirely new and emerging areas, can be a leader in Sustainable Development in the country, and possibly the world,” adds Prof Kesavan.

Admissions to various programmes in the discipline of Sustainability Science are open. Details may be accessed at

DBT Project on Kuttanad Wetland Ecosystem sanctioned to CSD


he Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, has sanctioned a budget of `39,31,500 to the Chair for Sustainable Development (CSD), IGNOU, to execute a project on Bioresources of Kuttanad Wetland Ecosystem: Inventorisation, Characterisation and Conservation. The three-year proposed work will be initiated with a natural resource exploration, coupled with ecosystem assessment concentrating on the landstrip and lagoon network of Kuttanad wetland ecosystem in Kerala, to identify the potential floral elements for ecosystem restoration and livelihood enhancement through biotechnological interventions. Information booklets highlighting the importance of preserving the wetlands will be distributed among the local residents. Study classes at Panchayat levels will also be organised to create awareness among the population.

Union Environment Minister Shri Jairam Ramesh inaugurating CSD’s Appreciation Programme on Sustainable Management of Wetlands.

COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS (a) Chair for Sustainable Development, IGNOU; Dr. G. Achuthan Nair - Principal Investigator (b) Environmental Resources Research Centre (ERRC), Thiruvananthapuram; Dr. P.K. Shaji - Co-investigator (c) K.V.M. College of Engineering and Information Technology,

Alapuzha, Kerala; Dr. R. Pratap Chandran - Co-investigator Total Budget: `75 Lakh Budget Allocation to IGNOU: `39,31,500 Budget Allocation to ERRC: `13,16,000 Budget Allocation to K.V.M. College: `22,49,000



Madurai RC gets `2 cr grant to skill textile sector


he Union Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, has sanctioned `2 crore to IGNOU’s Madurai Regional Centre to launch skill development programmes exclusively for the textile sector. The fund will be utilised to establish skill development centres at the integrated textile parks at Vadipattiin near Madurai, Karur and Tirupur. “IGNOU has entered into an understanding with the Ministr y of Textiles to offer textile-related programmes

The University has and prepare a already launched skilled workforce MBA in Textile required for the Management in this textile sector,” said direction. Dr M. Shanmugham, Along with textileRegional Director, focussed initiatives, Madurai. attention would be Setting up of training centres Dr. M. Shanmugham given to apparel and fashion designing was an inbuilt activity of the integrated textile parks segments too. “We have lined established by the Textiles up several activities in with the Ministry, and IGNOU was given collaboration Sardar the task of introducing skill Coimbatore-based development programmes in Vallabhai Patel Institute of Management, an two modes — Face-to-Face Textile institution under the Ministr y and ODL, he added.

of Textiles, to create a skilled workforce,” he said. The training project will be implemented over a period of five years by conducting shortterm programmes for professionals in the textile sector as well as freshers. A consultative committee would soon be formed with experts from the industry and academia to guide training activity. The skill development centres in the integrated textile parks would be linked with the Community Colleges started by IGNOU.

Anti-human trafficking lessons for nodal officers


chool of Law (SOL), in partnership with Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Police Research and Development and the Centre for Social Research organised a nationallevel workshop for nodal officers, representing state governments and Union Territories, with a view to empower them via training and capacity-building about antihuman trafficking. The workshop, held at the IGNOU campus from May 12-14, deliberated on laws related to human trafficking, investigation techniques and dimensions, magnitude and vulnerabilities relating to human trafficking, along with issues relating to rescue, care and rehabilitation. “The Ministry of Home Affairs is implementing a scheme titled ‘Strengthening the Law Enforcement Response in India Against Trafficking in Persons Through Training and Capacity Building.’ The scheme has two components — establishing integrated Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) and Training of Trainers (TOTs). Under this scheme, MHA has proposed to establish 335 AHTUs within the country and impart training to 10,000 police officers through the TOTs component. The purpose of TOT, which entails/enables ‘cascade training’, is to pass knowledge and skills to colleagues who work at different ‘levels’ to ensure that there is ground level


The workshop to empower nodal officers in anti-human trafficking underway at the IGNOU Headquarters.

sensitisation and awareness,” said Dr. Praveen Kumari Singh, Director (SR), MHA. “State anti-human trafficking nodal officers are a very important linkage in effective functioning of AHTUs and in inter-state rescue operations and investigations. Keeping this in mind, IGNOU, along with the Ministry, has launched Certificate/Diploma/PG Diploma Programmes in Anti-Human Trafficking.

MHA has advised state governments and UT administrations to launch the Certificate programme at the state/UT level,” informed Prof K. Elumalai, Director, School of Law. The three-day workshop concluded to accelerate the process of sensitisation, awareness and training to a large number of law enforcement officials and other stakeholders like prosecutors, other government departments and NGOs, etc.


Army school wins IGNITE Jammu round


record 140 teams par ticipated in IGNITE 2011, a multi-city, inter-school quiz contest organised by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) at the Government Polytechnic College in Jammu on May 12. Maninder Singh and Ayushman Mukherjee of Army School, Kaluchak, lifted the trophy, while Faisal and Manjot of J.P. World School were the runners-up at the event, attended by teams representing various city schools. Some of the questions, posed by quizmaster Adittya Mobayi, were answered without much difficulty by the par ticipating teams, but some made the par ticipants think hard. The auditorium was full to capacity with students cheering their school teams. Addressing the students, Chief Guest K.K. Bhat, Regional Director of IGNOU’s Jammu Regional Centre, said the idea of such events is to ignite students’ interest in higher education and make them aware of the Open and Distance Learning System. The Quiz star ted with a written elimination round of 20 questions in

The winning team being felicitated by Chief Guest K.K. Bhat, Regional Director, RC Jammu, at IGNITE-2011 quiz competition in Jammu on May 12.

which all the students present in the hall were asked to par ticipate. Out of these, six teams were selected for the next and final round. All the teams had been asked

130 teams fight it out at Chandigarh quiz


ver 130 teams came all smiling at IGNITE 2011, a mutlicity, inter-school quiz contest organised by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), at the Chandigarh City Museum and Ar t Galler y in hear t of the city on May 10. Sar thak Gupta and Shreenath Khemka of Bhawan’s Vidyalaya won the contest while Gur tej Sohi and Varunveer Chauhan of DPS, Chandigarh, finished second in the event attended by over 130 teams repre- The winning team being felicitated at the IGNITE2011 quiz in Chandigarh on May 10. senting various city schools from the Tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali given to enhance teacher training in and Panchkula. schools. Addressing the students, Chief “IGNOU has a plethora of vocational Guest Dr Asha Sharma, Regional Direcand job-oriented programmes that cater tor of IGNOU’s Chandigarh Regional to students who are ready to join the Centre, said IGNOU is promoting school college,” she added. education where the stress is being

to give themselves a team name. The final contest comprised of six rounds of questions, including one round on music and another on visuals. A few questions were put to the audience and those who gave correct answers were also rewarded with prizes. The winners got a trophy for their school, individual trophies, book vouchers and a gift hamper each, while the runners-up got individual trophies, book vouchers and a gift hamper. A panel exhibition and a flash presentation were also organised to make the students aware of various programmes being offered by IGNOU. Jammu was the eighth city where IGNITE 2011 was organised. Before this, the quiz contest was held in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bangalore, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. IGNITE 2011 will be held in some other cities before the grand finale of the winning teams in Delhi. IGNOU is one of the largest universities in the world by enrollment with over three million students on its rolls. Star ting with two courses and 4,000 students in 1985, IGNOU has evolved into the world’s largest, most diverse and inclusive institution, offering over 450 programmes.



VC Prof. Pillai with distinguished guests at the workshop on ‘Reclaiming Research in Livestock Development through Policy Interventions.’

FACILITATING POLICY UPTAKE OF LIVESTOCK RESEARCH Professionals interact for meaningful policies based on proved research


he contribution of livestock to the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AgGDP) of India has increased from 18 percent in 1980s to 22 percent in 1990s and 27 percent during 2010, informed Dr K.D. Kokate, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the two-day National Workshop on ‘Reclaiming Research in Livestock Development through Policy Interventions’, held at the University campus in New Delhi on April 26-27. The workshop was organised by School of Extension and Development Studies (SOEDS), in collaboration with Rajiv Gandhi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (RAGACOVAS), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy (CRISP), with funding support from Department for International Development (DFID). “There is a need to figure out locationspecific, income generating technologies to attract and retain people, particularly youth, in agriculture. This workshop would serve a useful purpose in making suitable policies for the livestock development,” said Dr Kokate.


The resource-poor livestock keepers are not able to utilise the technologies/ practices developed by livestock research effectively, remarked Vice Chancellor Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai. “The factors contributing for ‘Livestock Revolution’ and

Dr. P.V.K. Sasidhar, Workshop Coordinator and Associate Professor, SOEDS, presenting a paper at one of the technical sessions.

increase in demand for livestock products are human population growth, increasing urbanisation, rising incomes, purchasing power parity and associated changing food preferences from vegetarian to foods of animal origin, and boosting trade in both inputs and outputs due to globalisation,” stressed Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr Latha Pillai. At the valedictory session, Chief Guest Dr V.V. Sadamate, Adviser (Agriculture), Planning Commission, said the recommendations of this workshop will benefit Planning Commission in a major way. Two technical sessions on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Marketing were held on the first day. The second day saw delegates brainstorming on Veterinary Education, Animal Production and Livelihood Sustainability. The moderators of the five sessions — Dr V. Rasheed Sulaiman, Director, CRISP, Hyderabad; Dr Ranjitha Puskur, ILRI, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Dr B. Ashok, IAS, ViceChancellor, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University; Dr Iain Wright, Regional Representative (Asia), ILRI; and Dr D.V. Rangnekar, Livestock Advisor, National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad — presented the recommendations derived from the workshop, which concluded with a vote of thanks from Dr P.V.K. Sasidhar of SOEDS.


‘Essays on Inclusive Development and Education’


GNOU will soon roll out a book carrying lectures delivered as part of its year-long silver jubilee celebrations that ended in November 2010. The book, titled ‘Bridging the Gap: Essays on Inclusive Development and Education,’ has been edited by Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr Latha Pillai and Dr Babu P. Remesh, Associate Professor, School of Inter-disciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies (SOITS). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

has also been signed with SAGE Publications India Private Limited for the same. “The volume will be published and distributed worldwide through SAGE Publications. The essays in the volume are organised around two broader themes — ‘Inclusion of the Excluded’ and ‘Education for the Marginalised,’ said VC Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai. The contributors to the volume include Dr Kiran

Bedi, P. Sainath, Dr U.R. Ananthamurthy and Nandita Das, among others. “The publishers shall, during the legal term of copyright, have the exclusive right to produce and publish the work in book form throughout the world,” said Registrar (Administration) U.S. Tolia. The ‘IGNOU Silver Jubilee Lecture’ series was organised between December 2009 and November 2010.

Tagore’s message:

Empower every Indian language


ise people have meanings/words in their minds and choose some language to vent their expressions, but there are other people called ‘rishis’ who go after language/rhythm/musical notes and find their thoughts hidden in them. That is what makes any writer great and Rabindranath Tagore was one of them. These were the thoughts of Prof U.R. Ananthamurthy, Chair Professor of IGNOU’s Tagore Chair for Indian Literature, while delivering the keynote address at the event marking the 150th birth anniversar y of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, in New Delhi on May 10. The programme was jointly hosted by the School of Humanities (SOH) and Tagore Chair for Indian Literature. VC Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai said Tagore had an enduring faith in the creative power of young minds. “He provided philosophical underpinnings and led a life of aesthetic simplicity,” he added. IGNOU paid homage to

Tagore by organising a play based on Tagore’s stor y ‘Samapti’, which was performed by students from the National School of Drama (NSD). Eminent guests like Prof Manoj Das, Prof Indranath Choudhury, Prayag Shukla and others discussed various aspects of Tagore’s personality in the light of his humanism. Prof Ananthamurthy said Tagore’s writings are much larger and his paintings are equally important. “In his (Tagore’s) paintings, he said certain things which he could not say in his writings. There were dark corners within him, which became very famous through paintings,” he added. Prof Das talked about the humanist aspect of Tagore’s writings and said, “His greatest characteristic was his sublime simplicity with which he wrote stories, legends, novels, songs, dance, dramas and essays, reflecting a spiritual aspect.” Prof Rita Rani Paliwal, Director, SOH, recalled the ecological issues that Tagore was concerned about.

Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy addressing the gathering at IGNOU.

“His (Tagore’s) greatest characteristic was his sublime simplicity with which he wrote stories, legends, novels, songs, dance, dramas and essays, reflecting a spiritual aspect.” — Prof. Manoj Das, Author

NSD students performing a play based on Tagore’s story ‘Samapti.’



IGNOU, Intel to empower teachers GNOU and Intel have joined hands for a national-level initiative to empower teachers with ‘21st Century’ skills via professional development programmes. According to the MoU signed on May 5, these programmes will be made available at the IGNOU-Institute for Competency Advancement of Teachers (i-CAT) centres. The pact was signed between U.S. Tolia, Registrar (Administration), IGNOU, and Anjan Ghosh, Director, Corporate Affairs Group, Asia Pacific, Intel, in the presence of Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai; Pro-VCs Dr Latha Pillai and Prof K.R. Srivathsan; Ashutosh Chadha, DirectorCorporate Affairs Group, Intel South Asia; and Dr Anita Priyadarshini, Project Director, Distance Education Programme-Sar va Shikhsa Abhiyan (DEP-SSA), among others. “Such collaborations would lead towards creating new models of teaching and learning and help upgrade the capabilities of current and future teachers. This pact is part of IGNOU’s concept of societal responsibility to build a knowledge-based egalitarian society and we hope this tie-up will help towards achieving the goal of National Skills Mission and lead India into a knowledge economy,” said Prof Pillai.


VC Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai and Ashutosh Chadha, Director-Corporate Affairs Group, Intel South Asia, with the MoU at IGNOU on May 5.

“Students and teachers must be prepared to think critically, creatively, collaborate, communicate effectively, navigate and learn successfully in an inter-connected, technological world. Empowering professional teachers to innovate allows them to find new ways to improve learning. This is a critical factor for achieving education transformation to support the

Grama Vaidyas certification begins

‘GUNIS,’ the Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) of Rajasthan during a meeting.

he Centre for Traditional Knowledge Systems (CTKS), IGNOU, has started working on the Accreditation and Certification of the Prior Learning of the Grama Vaidyas (Traditional Health Practitioners-THP) in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. The projects, supported by Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family



Welfare, are being implemented in collaboration with the domain knowledge partners — the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM), FRLHT, Bangalore; the Quality Council of India (QCI), New Delhi and the respective statelevel AYUSH Institutions. Expert groups will be constituted by IGNOU in consultation with domain knowledge partners I-AIM and QCI soon, informed Prof Debjani Roy, CTKS.

economic growth of India,” stressed Chadha. IGNOU will integrate relevant level curriculum in the professional development programmes to be conducted at the i-CAT centres. The University will identify the Key Resource Persons (KRPs) in each of i-CAT centres who will be responsible for conducting regular training programmes through these centres.

PHONE-IN EDUCATION FOR VARANASI JAIL INMATES IGNOU’s Varanasi Regional Centre recently organised a live phone-in programme for jail inmates of Central Jail at Shivpur. Nearly 50 prisoners, enrolled in Bachelor’s Preparatory Programme (BPP) in Commerce, participated in the live phone-in facility, courtesy Gyan Vani radio station, to get to know more about various IGNOU programmes. Dr Manorma Singh, Regional Director, Varanasi, presided over the event, saying that live phonein programmes will not only benefit jail inmates but other students as well. Now onwards, IGNOU will organise one such live phone-in programme every month at the Central Jail, she added. Jail officials were excited to see such an event taking place in the premises, and said that inmates were happy with such a unique IGNOU initiative.


10 CHAA students join Apollo n a first, 10 students Employment Status of Certificate in Hospital Administration enrolled in Certificate in Assistantship (CHAA) Programme (July 2009 & July 2010 Batch) Hospital Administration Assistantship (CHAA) programme, being run by the School of Vocational Education and Training (SOVET), have got employment at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi. One CHAA student has received an offer letter from New Delhi-based Metro Hospital. IGNOU had collaborated Not Employed Employed at Employed at Not Available Failed Passed with Apollo Hospitals for Metro Hospital, Apollo Hospital, New Delhi New Delhi this programme. “The main aim of this programme is professional training is required for the to prepare students for jobs such as ward effective work,” she added. secretar y, front office staff, patient care The Programme consists of two executive and other suppor tive roles,” courses — Personality and Skill informed Dr Rachna Agar wal, programme Development and Management of Health coordinator. Insurances. Each of these courses are “The need for such a programme arises subdivided into units or lessons. The from the nature of the socio-psychological duration of the Programme is six months needs and the expectations of patients followed by the Term-End Examination. from their attendants. Therefore, a


156 students receive degrees at Jabalpur RC abalpur Regional Centre organised the 22nd Convocation Ceremony at Xavier Institute, Mandla Road. Dr M.S. Negi, Director, Tropical Forest Research Institute, was the chief guest at the event. Over 156 students received certificates, diplomas and degrees at the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest advised students to have faith in their capabilities and do well in life. Earlier, Dr S.L. Raj, Director, Xavier Institute, inaugurated a career exhibition. Dr Masood Par veez, Regional Director, presented some key facts about the University from the University’s Annual Repor t.



Chief Guest Dr. M.S. Negi addressing the gathering at the 22nd Convocation Ceremony at Jabalpur RC.

IGNOU, FDDI launch footwear programmes GNOU has launched eight programmes in collaboration with the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI). The five undergraduate and three post-graduate programmes include fashion merchandising and retail management, footwear technology, creative designing, leather goods and accessories design, among others. “These programmes will open new avenues for students and will help in producing trained manpower for export-oriented industries working in the field of footwear, leather and other allied products,” said Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai. “Under this collaboration, FDDI will impart full-time training at their six campuses across India located at Noida, Fursatganj, Chennai,


Students at the FDDI campus in Noida.

Kolkata, Rohtak and Chindwara. IGNOU, along with collaborative partner FDDI, will maintain the quality of all these eight programmes so that the students, after getting rigorous and intensive teaching and training, will be an asset for the organisations where they will serve.” “IGNOU will be offering Degrees to the students in these collaborative programmes in niche area of Footwear Design, Leather Goods & Accessories Designing & Retail Management on successful completion of the programme,” the Vice Chancellor added. The programmes will be coordinated by Prof Subhasis Maji, School of Engineering & Technology (SOET).

IGNOU has partnered with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to launch MBA in Management Accounting and Finance Programme.




Learners’ Day in Jeddah

‘IGNOU courseware helped me crack IAS’

Karthik Gurunathan Iyer being felicitated at the Nagpur Regional Centre.

arthik Gurunathan Iyer, a student of Master’s in Political Science from IGNOU, has done the University proud by securing an All India 7th rank in the the Civil Services 2010 Examination. Karthik, who is registered under the Nagpur Regional Centre, cleared the prestigious exam in his first attempt, and thanks IGNOU for his success. “I thank IGNOU professors for preparing such a great and detailed set of notes. I am indebted to the painstaking efforts of the faculty for continually updating these notes and providing me with the right guidance,” he said. “IGNOU has helped me showcase that attending coaching sessions is not the only way to prepare for the UPSC exams. Good reading material coupled with hard-work and determination can also surely take you there,” he said. A felicitation ceremony was also organised for Karthik by the Nagpur Regional Centre. “Karthik has made all of us proud. His success story will definitely motivate others,” said Dr P. Sivaswaroop, Regional Director, RC Nagpur.


Learners during the 5th graduation ceremony at the IGNOU-Saudi Arabia centre in Jeddah.


ver 110 students received certificates, diplomas and degrees during the fifth graduation ceremony held at the IGNOU-Saudi Arabia centre. Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmad Kidwai and Bushnak Group’s Chairman Adil Bushnak were present as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour, respectively. Kidwai said IGNOU’s course material is top-of-the-shelf. “You will be surprised that IGNOU’s course material was referred to me during my Indian Administrative Services (IAS) preparations and I found that quite useful,” he remarked.

Riaz Mulla, general manager, Education Consulting & Guidance Services (ECGS), said IGNOU-Saudi Arabia became the official representative of the University in 2004 with 67 students. “Today, we have over 2,500 students. Since its inception, over 600 students have graduated from the centre. IGNOU-Saudi Arabia students have won nine gold medals so far, five of which were won by M.A. English students,” he added. ECGS Director Dr Shahnaz Patel thanked Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, International Division staff, and members of ECGS for their continuous cooperation.

NEWSSCAN On-campus admission

Paramedical Sciences IT Mass Literacy event



GNOU has announced admissions for 26 on-campus, full-time programmes commencing from July 2011 session. Programmes with entrance test, group discussion and interview on offer include M.Sc. (Chemistr y), M.Sc. (Life Science), MA (Journalism and Mass Communication), MA (Electronic Media Production and Management), M.Sc. (Actuarial Science), M.Sc. (Actuarial Economics), M.Sc. (Applied Quantitative Finance), M.Sc. (Environmental Economics), Master of Performing Arts- Hindustani Vocal Music, Master of Fine Arts-Painting, Master of Per forming Arts- Theatre Arts and MBA in Corporate Governance. The entrance exam will be held on June 19, 2011. For more details, visit


GNOU has announced admissions to its Degree/Diploma/PG and Certificate Programmes in Paramedical/Allied Health Sciences. Some of the programmes are M.Sc. in Clinical Trials, B.Sc. in Medical Laboratory Technology, B.Sc. in Medical Records & Health Information Technology, Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, Diploma in Optometry and PG Certificate in Medial Laws. All the Degree/Diplomas are face-toface Programmes, and all the PG Certificates are online programmes. The last date for submission of application forms is July 29. Forms and prospectus can obtained from the Regional Centres of IGNOU and also downloaded from the website,


GNOU, in association with the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT, Govt. of India, will organise a workshop on IT Mass Literacy Programme at its Headquarters on July 15. “The workshop is targeted at bringing together various experts associated with IT Education/Literacy from government organisations, educational institutions, civil society organisations, state resource centres, Panchayati Raj institutions, among others,” said Dr V.S.P. Srivastav, Head, Computer Division and Convener of the organising committee. The session is expected to provide an insight into evolving a definition for IT Literacy, campaign and programme and an approach to leveraging various projects/initiatives in the area.


Rajasthan to get 2nd Regional Centre in Jodhpur


n order to address the academic requirements of students from the distant areas in Rajasthan, IGNOU has announced to open a Regional Centre (RC) in Jodhpur. Vice Chancellor Prof V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai met Rajasthan Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot on April 19 and it was decided that another RC is required in Rajasthan, owing to the vast size of the state. Jodhpur will be the second RC of the University in Rajasthan. IGNOU already has a Regional Centre in Jaipur. During the interaction, Prof Pillai told Gehlot that the University is conducting joboriented courses for prisoners in Ajmer and Jaipur free of cost, and this facility would be introduced in Jodhpur in near future. With the opening of the Jodhpur RC, learners from the western region of the state will not have to travel all the way to Jaipur for their academic requirements. The Chief Minister suggested opening of

RCs in Bihar, Jharkhand


Rajasthan Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot and VC Prof. Pillai during the meeting.

more education centres in slum pockets to educate poor children. He also expressed interest towards launching a wide-scale training programme for Aanganwadi workers in the state through IGNOU and other international agencies.

GNOU has decided to establish two more Regional Centres in the country — Saharsa in Bihar and Deoghar in Jharkhand. According to the notification issued by Registrar U.S. Tolia, the Board of Management, at its 107th meeting held in April 2011, approved the proposal for the establishment of the two RCs. The RC at Saharsa will cover the districts of Khagariya, Saharsa, Supaul, Madhepura, Katihar, Arariya, Kishanganj and Purnia, while the districts to be covered under the RC in Deoghar are Godda, Deoghar, Sahibganj, Pakur, Dumka, Jamtara, Dhanbad, Bokaro and Giridih. At present, IGNOU is running 63 Regional Centres across the country.

Khurshid opens LSC at U.P. Madrassa


The Convocation Ceremony of army personnel enrolled in the Army-IGNOU Community College Scheme at Artillery Centre, Hyderabad, was held on April 12. Seen in the photo, Pro-VC Dr. Latha Pillai with the successful learners. Nearly 742 Armymen received Certificates, Diplomas and Associate Degrees under Project Gyan Deep. Brig. Prakash S. Nair, Commandant, Artillery Centre, Hyderabad, and Major General A.S. Deo, Major General, Artillery, Southern Command, were also present at the Convocation Ceremony.


on’ble Minister for Water Resources and Minority Affairs, Shri Salman Khurshid, inaugurated an IGNOU Learner Support Centre (LSC) at Madrassa Darul Uloom Habibia Rizvia at Sant Ravidas Nagar in Bhadohi Shri Salman district, Uttar Pradesh, Khurshid. on April 17. “The Cabinet minister has assured IGNOU to provide all possible support to this Learner Support Centre to help spread higher education in this area,” informed Dr Manorama Singh, Regional Director, Varanasi.

With an aim to provide skilled manpower to the BPO industry, the Haryana Government, in collaboration with IGNOU, has set up a Community College in Manesar that will offer five courses starting July 2011.




Samtawadi Sahitya Sammelan at Sangli


r Gail Omvedt, Chair Professor, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Chair on Social Change and Development, presided over Samtawadi Sahitya Sammelan held in Sangli, Maharashtra Dr. Gail Omvedt recently. The event discussed problems of women’s reservation, caste-religious conflicts, the values of the Samtawadi cultural movement and the Samtawadio tradition of Annabhau Sathe.

ICRTA felicitated at Krishi Mela in Agartala

10th Delhi Book Fair


August, 2004: IGNOU and Electronic Media Production Centre participate in the 10th Delhi Book Fair.

GNOU’s Centre for ODL in Research and Training in Agriculture (ICRTA) was felicitated at the Krishi Mela 2011, organised by the Department of Agriculture, Government of Tripura from March 17-21 in Agartala. The theme of the Mela was ‘Improved Agriculture for Sustainable Income.’ The ICRTA stall, which depicted different activities of the Centre and the School of Agriculture, received a momento, trophy and certificate as a special prize.

Paltan Group, a student association of IGNOU, presented a cultural play titled, ‘Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja,’ at the University campus in Maidan Garhi, on April 15. Seen in the photo, students during the stage performance.


Role Model: Baba N. Kalyani Babasaheb Neelkanth Kalyani is the Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Forge, which is part of the Kalyani Group and the world’s second-largest forgings manufacturer after ThyssenKrupp of Germany.


Music of Life Music in India consists of a variety of genres including folk, popular, pop, classical, western, among others. India’s classical music tradition has a history spanning millennia. Developed over several eras, it remains fundamental in our lives.

Malaria: Battle of the Merzoites Malaria is a mosquitoborne infectious disease caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. It is mostly seen Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas regions because they have significant amounts of rainfall.

September, 2004: EDUSAT, the dedicated satellite for education is launched . October, 2004: IGNOU signs MoU with Hero Honda Motors Limited (HHML) to initiate effort for development of trade-level human resources engaged in motor cycle services and repairing, by offering structured training for their skill development and subsequent certification.  IGNOU offers B.Ed programme in Urdu in collaboration with Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad. November, 2004: The Mizoram University accords recognition to IGNOU programmes as equivalent to other universities in the country for seeking employment under the state government through direct recruitment.



EDUSAT launched

Upcoming Events 1. June 2: -- Convocation of MES off-campus at Qatar. 2. June 4: -- MoU signing with Arab Parsi University at Lucknow.

MAY-JUNE 2011 State and Women There is a huge change in awareness about women’s rights among all sections of society. The developmental programmes and policies in India give emphasis to improving women’s social status. Women have made strides in recent decades.

Hygiene and Sanitation in Food Production and Service Hygiene is an essential part of healthy living today. Not just selecting the right kind of food, but also cooking and consuming it in a hygienic way is equally important in preventing infectious diseases.

Theatre of Manipur

Revolt of 1857: The Myth and Reality – I

Manipur is one of the very few states in the country where public can witness regular drama shows. The origin of Manipuri Theatre is a continuation of the traditional ways of performances and dance rituals to the modern era.

The 1857 revolt was the most severe outburst of anger and disappointment accumulated in the hearts of various sections of the Indian society ever since the British ruled in Bengal, following the Battle of Plassey and the Battle of Buxar.

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