Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) celebrated its 32nd Foundation Day on November 19, 2017. Kick-starting the celebrations, Prof. S. B. Arora, Vice Chancellor IGNOU paid floral tribute at the statute of Late PM Smt. Indira Gandhi situated at the main gate of the IGNOU headquarter in Maidan Garhi. The chief guest on the occasion was Former Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ravindra Kumar and Guest of Honour at the occasion was Shri Mukul Kanitkar, All India Organizing Secretary, Bharatiya Sikshan Mandal.
To mark the occasion, an exhibition showcasing University’s journey over the years highlighting the achievements was organized at the Baba Saheb Ambedkar convention center. The Vice Chancellor along with Shri Mukul Kanitkar and Prof. Ravindra Kumar inaugurated the exhibition. Foundation Day Lecture was delivered by Guest of Honour Shri Mukul Kanitkar on the topic of “Open and Distance Learning: Opportunities & Responsibilities”.
Dr. V. V. Reddy, Director Regional Services Division, welcoming the dignitaries at the dais highlighted the mega university’s achievements over the years. He particularly mentioned adoption of technology in better delivery of course material through digital and improvement in Student Support Services which now is called e-Support which ensures faster redressal of students’ queries. In his address, he also touched upon the growth in the network of the university from 13 Regional Centers to 56 to date with over 2900 study centers across the length & breadth of the country. In his welcome address, he also emphasized upon the rural outreach of the University through Common Service Centres (CSCs).
Prof. Ravindra Kumar in his address took an overview of the contribution of the University in open and distance education and shared as how the University has emerged as a premier institution during past three decades. Prof. Kumar opined that on the Foundation Day, it is the time to introspect & bring about changes in course structures, pedagogy and student support services itself. He further emphasized upon that to remain at the forefront of higher education, we need to embrace digital transformation. He proposed a nine-point agenda for development of curriculum, pedagogy and student services for the prospective digital learners of the university which includes:
Developing communication skills of the students, inculcating self learning capabilities, Imbibing Ethical Values and Responsibilities, flexibility, Instill Conceptual Skills, Respect Student’s Diversity and autonomy of students. which included apart from digitalization of processes, courses enhancing soft-skills and communication abilities of the learner to make him/her 21st century job-ready.
Shri Mukul kanitkar in his foundation day lecture recollected the rich past in terms of knowledge seeking society India always had. He highlighted the fact that in 1823, India was 100% literate as per the education survey done at that time. He further said that India was always at the forefront of open education where self-learning was the way of learning. He remarked that teaching is not possible, only learning is, as the teacher also learns in the process of imparting knowledge to learners. Education should be learning specific and not teaching oriented. Rot-learning does not lead to a society building. Highlighting IGNOU’s role in building capacity in terms of making India, the pioneer of knowledge, he urged upon the University fraternity to outreach across the length and breadth of the Country. He applauded the university’s efforts in democratizing education through digital intervention and providing self learning materials in different regional languages including Khasi language.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. S. B. Arora in his presidential speech lauded IGNOU’s role as democratizing the education and fulfilling its social responsibility of making higher education accessible to all. He emphasized that he takes pride in saying that university has 44% of female students and is truly inclusive providing education to disadvantaged section of the society.
Dr. Jitendra Srivasta proposed vote of thanks and expressed his gratitude to the chief guest, Prof Ravindra Kumar and Shri Mukul kanitkar, The Vice Chnacellor Prof. Ravindra Kumar and the extended IGNOU family.
The proceedings of the function were available to all the Regional Centres through live webcast.