Emerging Trends of Student Support Services in Indian Distance Education

Emerging Trends of Student Support Services in Indian Distance Education

Ramesh C. Sharma (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-870-3.ch015
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Even though the concept of distance education emerged in the West/Europe, it is evident that the impact of this concept in terms of emergence of distance education institutions, student enrolment, and utilization of a variety of media are quite predominant in the context of Indian subcontinent especially India. The chapter traces briefly the history and growth of distance education in India. Various facets of student support are discussed followed by how various modes of ICT are employed as a part of student support. This chapter also examines the best practices adopted and emerging trends of students support by open universities in India. It also examines the role ICT has played and the future trends the ICT would enable effective student support.
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At the advent of the independence era, just when the British left, the Indian Higher Education had 20 Universities and 590 colleges for its 350 million people. Seventy percent among the populace were illiterates and lived in villages. As the leaders of India found it to be a major challenge to provide education to the masses, several commissions and committees were set up from time to time to opine and resort to a suitable measure for providing education to the populace spread out over a wide geographical terrain of the sub-continent.

On the recommendations of an Expert Committee headed by Dr D S Kothari constituted by Central Advisory Board of Education, a Directorate of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education at University of Delhi in 1962 which paved the way for the first correspondence course.

On acclaiming this experiment in University of Delhi to be successful, the Punjabi University and the University of Rajasthan also followed suit in the year 1968. In 1969 Meerut and Mysore Universities also followed the foot prints.

In 1982, the first ever open university was established in India as Hyderabad as Andhra Pradesh Open University, which was renamed as Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Open University. This University had jurisdiction all over the State of Andhra Pradesh. Enjoying the success reaped by this Distance Education University, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was established in 1985 with national jurisdiction. In order to provide quality higher education other states in India also established their own open universities. The establishment of open universities in India is shown in Table 1:

Table 1.
S NoName of Open UniversityYear of Establishment
1Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad1982
2Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi1985
3Vardhman Mahaveer Open University, Kota, Rajasthan1987
4Nalanda Open University, Patna, Bihar1987
5Yashwantrao Chavan Maharastra Open University, Nasik, Maharastra1989
6Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh1991
7Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat1994
8Karnataka State Open University, Mysore, Karnataka1996
9Netaji Subhash Open University, Kolkata, West Bengal1997
10Uttar Pradesh RajRishi Tandon Open University, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh1998
11Tamil Nadu Open University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu2002
12Pandit Sundarlal Sharma Open University, Raipur,2005
13The Global Open University, Nagaland2006
14K K Handique Open University, Guwahati, Assam2007
15Uttranchal Open University, Dehradun, UttraKhand2007

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