An Appraisal of ODL Interventions in Terrorism Affected Kashmir Valley: Possibilities, Constraints, and Learning Experiences

An Appraisal of ODL Interventions in Terrorism Affected Kashmir Valley: Possibilities, Constraints, and Learning Experiences

Nurul Hasan (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India) and Umesh Chandra Pandey (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2621-6.ch011
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The Open and Distance Learning system has been able to make a positive impact in the conflict-ridden communities of Kashmir valley in India. This part of the India has long been under the influence of armed militancy which drastically affected the access to higher education. The Open and Distance Learning systems started operating in this area with a modest beginning made by Directorate of Correspondence Courses but had a limited impact. IGNOU which is the largest provider of ODL Programmes in India started developing its network in Kashmir valley in 1999 with its unique approach based on collaboration and sharing of resources. The target groups dominantly composed of unemployed youth, school drop outs, working population, rural folks, women etc has traditionally been deprived of Higher education. This chapter describes the approach of IGNOU and its impact in such conflict-ridden societies which is worth replicating in similar socioeconomic setups across the developing world.
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Educational Scenario In Jammu And Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) is composed of three major geo-physical regions viz the Jammu, the Valley of Kashmir & the Ladakh. As per the data published by Department of Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing, Government of J& K, the region has 26.14% people living below poverty line where as in ladakh region this percentage is about 31.29%. The state of J&K is predominantly an agrarian state with 70% of the population deriving sources of livelihoods directly or indirectly from the agriculture. The share of agriculture and allied sectors in the Gross state Domestic Product (at 1999-2000 prices) is 20.59% for the year 2010-11.

A major segment of such population lives in poverty stricken conditions with high level of vulnerability to several natural hazards like flood, earthquakes, landslides etc. The state has unfavorable demographic situation and level of socioeconomic development. The state covers 6.76 percent area of the country inhabiting around 0.98 percent of its population as a result of which average population density is below national average. Presently the population density is 124 persons/Sq Kms. Though the valley of Kashmir is most thickly populated area of the state, it suffers from extreme backwardness primarily due to its peculiar physical features and traditional society. About 54 per cent of the population in the state is literate, as against the national literacy rate of 65.38 per cent. Despite the sincere concerns shown by the Government the J &K especially for the underprivileged sections, state continued to remain educationally backward. Furthermore the gaps between the literacy rates of male (65.75%) and female (41.82%) are alarming which shows the un-favorable socioeconomic position of females in the state.

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