IGNOU aims to increase gross enrolment ratio

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IGNOU aims to increase gross enrolment ratio

University launches ‘Convergence of Conventional Education and Distance Learning’ scheme

Convergence seems to be Indira Gandhi National Open University’s (IGNOU) new mantra to take education to the remotest corners of the country.

Aimed at tapping the best of conventional education and distance learning, the university had recently launched a novel scheme.

Called the ‘Convergence of Conventional Education and Distance Learning’, the project is expected to increase the gross enrolment ratio of students.

Vice-Chancellor V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai elaborates:

Increasing role

“The nationwide scheme will also increase the role of technology-augmented education and promote satellite-based education. It will expand the reach of education along with social inclusiveness.”

Prof. Pillai says that the expansion of education globally and in India, in particular, has been tremendous.

These days it is not one single mode but multiple modes of education that are utilised, making use of Internet, information and communication technology, satellites and other different media.

Through a convergence of conventional and distance modes of education, we can enhance the reach as well as the quality of both the systems. This union stands to benefit both, he says.

The scheme

As per the scheme, students pursuing courses in colleges through the conventional system can simultaneously enrol for the same level degrees at Indira Gandhi National Open University.

For this purpose, a student needs to complete the first year of the course through the conventional system.

However, the second year can be pursued via the distance mode.

The credit transfer will be made possible through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between IGNOU and the university concerned.

Furthermore, IGNOU would identify some new programmes in collaboration with the interested university to offer degrees jointly to students. The programme will be jointly formulated and Indira Gandhi National Open University will supplement the face-to-face instruction offered by the conventional university with an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) component.

Programmes offered:

Institutions can offer undergraduate/ postgraduate programmes of IGNOU.

The scheme provides for the combined use of printed self-learning course material and face-to-face academic counselling enabled by technology for the benefit of the undergraduate/ postgraduate students of the respective college and adjoining institutions who may enrol for Certificate/ Diploma Programmes of IGNOU as a value-added programme.

The mode

The mode of programme transaction will be either face-to-face or ODL. In both cases, IGNOU will provide the course materials. The university will continue to hold discussions on the nature of convergence of conventional and distance modes of education; areas in which convergence is needed; strategies to be adopted towards desirable, effective, viable and cost-effective convergence; possible outcomes of convergence and utilisation by various stakeholders.


According to IGNOU, the targeted Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of the 16-21 age group in higher education during the XI Plan is 20, about double that of today.

Prof. Pillai says that this requires doubling of the physical faculties and human resource in higher education institutions, which is a rather difficult proposition by conventional expansion.

“We believe that open and distance learning is a tool for education — it does not have to be utilised only by the Open University system,” he says.

IGNOU is also looking at a mixed model that links face-to-face learning and distance learning systems. This is the state-of-the-art open system of education in the world now.

We are also looking at technology in science-related areas — at how virtual laboratories can be created for a practical mode of teaching.

This is when convergence will occur and forms the background of the joint activity of AICTE, UGC and ODL, he says.

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