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The Indira Gandhi National Open University was established by an Act of Parliament in 1985 to achieve the following objectives:

democratising higher education by taking it to the doorsteps of the learners

providing access to high quality education to all those who seek it irrespective of age, region or formal      qualifications

offering need-based academic programmes by giving professional and vocational orientation to the courses

promoting and developing distance education in India

setting and maintaining standards in distance education in the country as an apex body for the purpose.

Prominent Features

IGNOU has certain unique features such as :

national jurisdiction

flexible admission rules

individualized study: flexibility in terms of place, pace and duration of study

use of latest information and communication technologies

nationwide student support services network

cost-effective programmes

modular programmes

resource sharing, collaboration and networking with conventional Universities

socially and academically relevant programmes based on students needs analysis


Emergence of IGNOU as the largest Open University in the World.

Establishment of Distance Education Council (DEC) for coordination and determination of standards of      Distance Education Systems in the country (1992).

Recognition as Centre of Excellence in Distance Education by the Commonwealth of Learning (1993).

Establishment of Staff Training and Research Institute in Distance Education (STRIDE) with support from the     Commonwealth of Learning (COL).

Award of 100 Fellowships by COL as Rajiv Gandhi Fellowships to enable candidates from 19 countries in the     Commonwealth to pursue IGNOU Programmes.

Launching of an IGNOU-ISRO joint channel for organising a one-way video, two-way audio teleconferencing      (1993-94).

Taking IGNOU programmes to West Asian countries, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Seychelles in all to 26      countries.

Award of Excellence for Distance Education Materials by Commonwealth of Learning (1999).

Launch of a series of 24 hour Educational Channels ‘Gyan Darshan’. IGNOU is the nodal agency for these      channels and regular transmissions are done from the studios at EMPC, IGNOU.

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