Open Learning

IGNOU Goa Study Centre at Damodar College: Caters to the civilians and defense personnel alike

Established in 1973, Vidya Vikas Mandal’s Shree Damodar
College of Commerce and Economics enjoys pride of place as a premier
institution of higher education. Located in Tansor, Margao, the College campus
is ensconced in a peaceful environment, endowed with natural beauty. Spacious
classrooms, a richly stocked library, well equipped computer laboratories, a
multipurpose hall for indoor games and a canteen are among the facilities that
the staff and students put to optimum benefit. In 1999, the College was
assessed by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council – NAAC – and was
accredited with three star status.

In recognition of the pioneering work done
by the Vidya Vikas Mandal, IGNOU set up its Regional Study Centre (RSC) at
Shree Damodar College in the year 1987. This Centre offers distance education
programs in Undergraduate as well as Post-Graduate level. Interface with
industry and formally organized campus interviews have helped IGNOU learners in
finding good placements. Multinational Corporations like G. E. International,
Hewlett & Packard Ltd. and E-Funds have placed a large number of learners
through campus recruitment.

Dr. I. Bhanu Murthy is presently heading the IGNOU study
centre (0801) at Damodar College, Panjim. While talking to India Education
Review, he tracked the history of the study centre by mentioning that it was
opened way back in 1987 and since then it has been running very well along with
Damodar College. The centre caters to the civilians as well as to the defense
personnel alike. Language at times becomes a barrier for Sailors who pursue
courses from Damodar College study centre, therefore Dr. Murthy makes every
effort to evolve and simplify the course content for these learners at every

Dr. Murthy said that IGNOU study centre is open to
everybody. “The prime job of the centre is to solve all the problems and be at
the disposal of the learners”, he added. He feels that centre as an institute
is not an independent body but rather an outlet to distance education. The
counselors and the institute have been attending the queries of the learners by
giving them all support including the internet facility. Updating the
assignment marks is being done by the study centre and so now the hassles and
delay in delivering results are easily avoided.

He accepts that the study material is undoubtedly one of the
best and is referred by the college lecturers for teaching the conventional
stream learners. The Coordinator holds the view that decentralization of study
material distribution has minimized the delays and also produced satisfactory
results. Moreover with the advent of computer technology the study material is
now easily available on the internet.

The study centre has a rich library which can also be availed
by IGNOU learners apart from the scheduled counseling sessions. Dr. Murthy
informed that courses at the centre are received well by the learners, such as
the recently introduced course in Cyber Law. According to the data available
with the study centre, the course in Cyber Law has gained a huge number of
enrolments from the LLB learners in the region which is in a way becoming more
and more popular in the legal sector.

Dr. Murthy points out that “formal education has always been
a part of our system but inspite of that, statistics show that around 60 to 70
per cent people are not able to go for higher education”. “In that case
university like IGNOU help people to register online and then pursue their
desired courses”, he added. The rise in enrolment shows that the people do want
to continue their education and IGNOU is just like a saving grace for these
learners. In past the centre has also produced Gold Medalists for the
University which is a matter of pride for the study centre.

Dr. Murthy then addressed IGNOU learners by saying that
“Usually counseling is not the teaching session rather it is doubt
clarification interaction between the learners and the counselors”. Therefore,
he makes sure that in order to guide and counsel the learners the counselor
uses multimedia technologies to help them understand the solutions to their
problems in a quicker way. The teaching at the centre is mainly through lecture
method and proper counseling is, therefore, given to the learners until their
doubts are clarified.

On being asked about the future plans and projects, Dr. I.
Bhanu Murthy said that “the IGNOU Study Centre at Damodar College does not hold
the decisive power rather only executes what is being asked by the Regional
Centre and the HQs”. Therefore, he feels that the onus is upon the decision
making bodies to initiate development and bring about a massive change in the
complete system.           

by Ezra John


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