Indira Gandhi National Open University
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Logo of IGNOU
|Motto||The People's University|
|Type||Public, Central University|
|Founder||Government Of India|
|Chancellor||President of India (Ram Nath Kovind)|
|Students||over 7 million|
Indira Gandhi National Open University known as IGNOU, is a Central University located at Maidan Garhi, New Delhi, India. Named after former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, the university was established in 1985 with a budget of ₹20 million, after the Parliament of India passed the Indira Gandhi National Open University Act, 1985 (IGNOU Act 1985). IGNOU is run by the central government of India, and with total active enrollment of over 4 million students, claims to be the largest university in the world.
IGNOU was founded to serve the Indian population by means of distance and open education, providing quality higher education opportunities to all segments of society. It also aims to encourage, coordinate and set standards for distance and open education in India, and to strengthen the human resources of India through education. Apart from teaching and research, extension and training form the mainstay of its academic activities. It also acts as a national resource centre, and serves to promote and maintain standards of distance education in India. IGNOU hosts the Secretariats of the SAARC Consortium on Open and Distance Learning (SACODiL) and the Global Mega Universities Network (GMUNET), initially supported by UNESCO.
IGNOU has started a decentralisation process by setting up FIVE zones; north, south, east, west and north-east. The first of the regional headquarters, catering to four southern states, Pondicherry , Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep , is being set up in the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. The Ministry of HRD has entrusted the responsibility of developing Draft Policy on Open and Distance Learning and Online Courses to IGNOU. IGNOU also partners up with other organizations to launch courses. IGNOU offers a BBA in Retail distance learning course in association with Retailers Association of India (RAI).
Recently, the university has implemented the CBCS method to the various bachelors degree courses including BA, BAVTM, BCOM, BSC and others. As per the new CBCS system, the examination will be conducted through semester system that was earlier conducted on an annual mode.
In 1970, the Ministry of Education and Social Welfare organised a seminar on 'Open University' in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the UGC and the Indian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO. After the seminar recommendation, an open university in India has been established on an experimental basis. Starting in 1974, the government of India appointed an eight-member working group on the open university, the leading role was given to G. Parthasarathi, the then Vice-Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The working group recommended establishing an open university by an act of parliament as early as possible. They recommended that the university should have jurisdiction over the entire country so that, once it is fully developed, any student even in the remotest corner of the country can have access to its instruction and degrees (Working Group Report, 1974).
The working group suggested several measures to be followed in instructional and management processes of the open university which included: admission procedure, age relaxation, preparation of reading materials, setting up of core group scholars in different fields, setting up of study centres, vehicle of curricular programmes, live contact with teachers and so on. On the basis of the recommendations of the working group, the Union Government prepared a draft bill for the establishment of a National Open University, but due to some reasons the progress was delayed.
|Timely publication of Results within 45 days of completion of exam|
In 1985, the Union Government made a policy statement for establishment of a national open university. A Committee was constituted by the Ministry of Education to chalk out the plan of action of the national Open University. On the basis of the report of the Committee, the Union Government introduced a Bill in the Parliament. In August 1985, both the Houses of the Parliament passed the Bill. Subsequently, the Indira Gandhi National Open University came into existence on 20 September 1985, named after the late prime minister.
In 1989, the first Convocation was held and more than 1,000 students graduated and were awarded their diplomas. IGNOU audio-video courses were first broadcast by radio and television in 1990 and IGNOU awarded degrees received full recognition by the University Grants Commission in 1992 as being equivalent to those of other universities in the country.
As of 2011[update] IGNOU has served over 3 million students in India and 40 other countries abroad. These are UAE, UK, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Ethiopia, Namibia, Kenya, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Fiji, France, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Liberia, West Indies, Samoa, Lesotho, Malawi, Switzerland, Nigeria, Mongolia and Zambia.
 IGNOU has 21 schools and a network of 67 regional centres, 2667 study centres, and 29 overseas centres (in 15 countries). Approximately 20% of all students enrolled in higher education in India are enrolled with IGNOU. IGNOU offers 226 academic programs comprising courses at certificate, diploma and degree levels. 
|School of Humanities||Prof. Neera Chaddha|
|School of Social Sciences||Dr. Rashmi Sinha|
|School of Sciences||Prof. Sujatha Varma|
|School of Education||Prof. Saroj Pandey|
|School of Continuing Education||Prof. Heena K Bijli|
|School of Engineering & Technology||Dr. Rakhi Sharma|
|School of Management Studies||Prof. Ravi Shankar|
|School of Health Sciences||Prof. T K Jena|
|School of Computer & Information Sciences||Dr. V. V. Subrahmanyam|
|School of Agriculture||Prof S K Yadav|
|School of Law||Prof K Elumalai|
|School of Journalism and New Media Studies||Dr. O P Debal|
|School of Gender & Development Studies||Prof Neelima Srivastava|
|School of Tourism Hospitality Service Management||Prof. Jitendra Kumar Shrivastava|
|School of Interdisciplinary & Trans-disciplinary Studies||Dr. Shubhangi Vaidya|
|School of Social Work||Prof. Gracious Thomas|
|School of Vocational Education and Training||Prof. Ashok Gaba|
|School of Extension & Development Studies||Prof. B K Patnaik|
|School of Foreign Languages||Prof. Nandini Sahu|
|School of Translation Studies and Training||Dr Jagdish Sharma|
|School of Performing & Visual Arts||Prof. Sunil Kumar|
The Indira Gandhi National Open University has the following eleven Divisions to take care of various administrative activities within the university.
|Academic and Coordination Division||Dr. Dev Kant|
|Administrative Division||Dr. V. B. Negi|
|Construction and Maintenance||Sudheer Reddy|
|Computer Division||Dr A Murli M Rao|
|International Division||Prof. B B Khanna|
|Finance and Accounts Division||Mr. J D Gangawar|
|Library and Documentation Division||Dr Seema Chandhok|
|Material Production and Distribution||Prof MSS Raju|
|Planning and Development Division||Dr. Pankaj Khare|
|Regional Services Division||Dr. M Shanmugham|
|Student Evaluation Division||Dr. V. B. Negi|
|Student Registration Division||Dr. H. K. Bose|
The Research Unit has been established at the Indira Gandhi National Open University vide notification dated 6 October 2008. Prior to that, research-related activities were looked after by the Academic Coordination Division. The Unit has been established with the following objectives:
- To conduct Research Council and Research Council's Standing Committee meetings for developing policies and frameworks for the conduct of research activities.
- To register and monitor all full-time and part-time MPhil and PhD candidates.
- To engage Research Teaching Assistants under IGNOU-DEC RTA Scheme for conduct of research and teaching.
- To conduct workshops/seminars on research methodology for full-time and part-time research candidates.
- To facilitate systemic/discipline based research in the University.
Institutes, Cells, Centres, Units
|NAME OF INSTITUTE/CENTRE/CELL/UNIT||DIRECTOR|
|Electronic Media Production Center||Mr Ravikanth|
|National Centre for Innovations in Distance Education||Dr O P Sharma|
|Center for online Education||Prof Uma Kanjilal|
|Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education||Prof Satyanarayan|
|National Council for Disability Studies||Dr Hemlata|
|Research Unit||Dr. Bijayalaxmi|
|Horticulture Cell||Dr. S.K. Yadav|
Accreditation & recognition
(IGNOU) has been granted the authority to confer degrees by Clause 5(1)(iii) of the IGNOU Act 1985. IGNOU is also recognised as a Central University by the University Grants Commission of India (UGC). The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) recognises IGNOU conferred degrees as on par with the degrees conferred by its members and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) recognises the Master of Computer Applications and Master of Business Administration program of IGNOU.
In 1993, IGNOU was designated by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) as its first Centre of Excellence for Distance Education empowered "to actively participate in Commonwealth co-operative endeavours to identify, nurture, and strengthen open learning institutions throughout the Commonwealth, particularly in the Third World ..".
IGNOU also operates as an accreditor for open university and distance education systems in India through the Distance Education Council (DEC). Authority to do so is granted under Clause 16 and Statute 28 of the IGNOU Act 1985.
Convocations in the past
|Convocation||Held On||Chief Guest||Designation||Honoris causa Awarded||Number of Degrees/ Diplomas/ Certificates/ Awarded|
|Ist||21 February 1989||Rajiv Gandhi||Prime Minister||Dr. Shridath S. Ramphal, Secretary General, COL||1171|
|IInd||27 April 1991||Dr. S. D. Sharma||Vice President||SANGRAM||3807|
|IIIrd||25 April 1992||Arjun Singh||Minister for Human Resource Development||4907|
|IVth||5 May 1993||R. Venkataraman||Former President of India||G. Ram Reddy, Former VC of IGNOU||4444|
|Vth||16 April 1994||James A Maraj||President of COL||James A Maraj, President of COL||7580|
|VIth||06.05.1995||Madhav Rao Scindia||Ministry for Human Resource Development||9246|
|VIIth||11.05.1996||Justice R.N. Mishra||Chairman, National Human Rights Commission||12301|
|VIIIth||08.03.1997||Madhu Dandavate||Deputy chairman, Planning Commission||16149|
|IXth||07.03.1998||Krishna Kanth||Vice President||25080|
|Xth||14 March 1999||Dr. Karan Singh||Member of Parliament||Mahasweta Devi, Eminent Writer & Social Worker||33119|
|XIth||04.03.2000||K. C. Pant||Deputy chairman Planning Commission||V. C. Kulandaiswamy, Former VC of IGNOU||53328|
|XIIth||3 March 2001||M. G. K. Menon||Eminent Scientist||62369|
|XIIIth||21 March 2002||Murali Manohar Joshi||Minister for Human Resource Development||78074|
|XIVth||22 February 2003||Sir John Daniel||Assistant Director General, UNESCO and Former VC of UKOU||
|XVth||21 February 2004||Dr. K. Kasturirangan||Former chairman, ISRO and Former Secretary Department of Space, Government of India, Member of Rajya Sabha||
|XVIth||05.03.2005||Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam||President of India||
|XVIIth||18 February 2006||Dr. Anil Kakodkar||Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India||
|XVIIIth||17 March 2007||Justice K. G. Balakrishnan||Chief Justice of India||
|XIXth||16 February 2008||Dr. Hamid Ansari||Vice- president, Republic of India||
|XXth||28 February 2009||R Natarajan||Former chairman AICTE
Former Director IIT Madras
|XXIst||15 March 2010||S K Joshi||Former Director General CSIR||Gen. Deepak Kapoor||135,000|
|XXVIst||12 April 2013||Shri.Pranab Mukherjee||
13th President of India (2012–2017)
|XXVIIst||16 April 2014||Shri.Ashok Thakur||
Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development
- List of universities in India
- Universities and colleges in India
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- University Grants Commission (India)
- "Profile of IGNOU - Preamble". Ignou.ac.in. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- "In 9 yrs, number of SC students at Ignou rose by 248%, STs by 172% - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
- "THE INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY ACT, 198" (PDF). Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- "Constant learning through distance education". Deccan Herald. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- IGNOU Website: Objectives Archived 23 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
- "About IGNOU". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- CORRESPONDENT, A. SPECIAL. "Success story". Frontline. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- "IGNOU - Announcements - Latest - New Education Policy: Survey on Open and Distance Learning and Online Courses". ignou.ac.in. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- "Retail through distance mode". The Times of India.
- IGNOU Website: Milestones Archived 23 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
- Newsbytes: IGNOU Launches First Virtual University in India, 6 July 1999 (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
- "Profile of IGNOU – Preamble". Ignou.ac.in. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- IGNOUHelp Website: – Overview of IGNOU
- IGNOU Website: – IGNOU At A Glance
- IGNOU Helpline: – IGNOU Courses
- UGC Website: Universities Directory – Indira Gandhi National Open University (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
- UGC: UGC Circular No. F1-52/2000 (CPP-II), 5 May 2004
- AIU: AIU Circular No. EV/B(449)/94/176915-177115,January 14, 1994
- AICTE: AICTE/Academic/MOU-DEC/2005, May 13, 2005 Archived 27 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- COL Website: IGNOU named "Centre of Excellence" Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, COMLEARN, October 1993 (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
- DEC Website: Statutory Authority Archived 3 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine