Shillong, Aug 5: The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is initiating digital learning with digital format of study materials for students, and create around 5,000 digital learning centres (DLCs) under the control of the university’s regional directors.
IGNOU vice chancellor Dr Ravindra Kumar told reporters here on Saturday the university was working on the Digital India initiative as called by the Prime Minister and all study materials in the digital format would be created for learners to make them familiarise with it.
IGNOU has over 9 lakh students every year, which include around 70,000 students from the North East region. Meghalaya alone has an enrollment of 9,000 students.
Kumar said that the creation of communication network where target is to provide broadband facilities to 10 lakh villages, would boost the digital learning since digital materials will run on this broadband connectivity providing access to learners even in remote areas.
He informed that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the IGNOU and National e-Governance Division of the Ministry of Information Technology, which provided the entire e-Governance materials prepared by the Digital India and nation-wide internet network free of cost.
On connectivity problem in North East for implementing the digital learning, Kumar said that IGNOU has revived Gyandarshan and additional facility of Swayam prabha to address the problem. Swayam prabha is a group of 32 DTH channels that telecast high-quality educational programmes 24X7 using the GSAT-15 satellite, allowing students to access to classroom lectures on TV sets. The telecast on different subjects from different institutions is provided on 32 DTH channels.
On setting up of Digital Learning Centre, he said that in Meghalaya, at least one DLC in every block of the state would be created with a seating capacity of 50, which will work round the clock.
Kumar who came here to address the meeting of the North East Council of IGNOU Regional Centres (NECIRC) said that the Council which was constituted last year would take collective decision on various issues concerning IGNOU Regional Centres in the North East.
“The NECIRC is a decision making body for the regional centres, and whatever proposals come from the Council, will allocate funds according to plans and the Council should execute such plans and utilize the funds,” the IGNOU Vice Chancellor said.
Out of Rs 500 crore, which is the total allocation for IGNOU, 20 per cent would be given for the North East region
IGNOU would also like to create more study centres because they are the nodal points from where its programmes are delivered to students.
There are 200 study centres of IGNOU in the North East and the university wanted to see another 100 study centres, provided the initiatives come from the region.
The IGNOU also wanted that all regional centres should have permanent building, and left it to the NECIRC to take a call including land acquisition for building of infrastructure.