Distance learning can enhance GER: IGNOU Regional Director Pandey
   Date :21-Jan-2020

Director Pandey_1 &n
By Ankita Garg :
Regional Director of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Dr Umesh Chandra Pandey is a man with many caps. Pandey is a researcher-cum-professor with keen interest in expanding distance education so that more and more students can get benefitted from distance education system. Dr Umesh Chandra Pandey tried to expand the wings of Distance Education System by going up for some innovative practices. He has initiated a number of new practices for enhancing the reach up to rural communities like mobile study center scheme, initiatives for slum dwellers, short term training programme, engagement with panchyat and training programme in collaboration with Government. A very few know that he has many degrees and he has also penned two books on ‘Sustainable Development Goal 5 and 10’ on ‘Gender Equality and Inequality within and among countries’.
Here are the excerpts of his interview.
Q: What are the core values which IGNOU strives for?
A: IGNOU strives for openness, flexibility, affordability, inclusiveness, lifelong learning and excellence.
These values are utmost important to meet the challenges of contemporary societies. Another major challenge we are witnessing is knowledge obsolescence.
Q: Do you think IGNOU is right option for our society?
A: IGNOU is the only university which can enhance the reach of education to all those segment of society, who cannot afford to come to classrooms. Rapid advancement of knowledge and its equally fast obsolescence has made it obligatory for the people to continue education even after they join jobs.
Q: What are the technologies enabled initiatives taken by IGNOU?
A: IGNOU is one of the biggest users of technology among all universities of India. We have been collaborating with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for a long time for providing educational support to our students.
Our Gyan Darshan channels are uplinked from university head quarters and being used for providing live interactive programmes to our students.
Several initiatives taken through EduSat, the educational satellite of India, have been well appreciated across the
IGNOU is also running a FM Radio network for providing interactive phone in programme for the students.
Q: How Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) can be improved?
A: For enhancing GER, distance learning is the most valuable because it has capacity to educate people without any limitations of seat.
The method optimally utilised existing infrastructure, both academic and physical. If the quality education is provided at the lower level with financial incentives of economically deprived people, the GER will be augmented.
Q: What is the major development in IGNOU?
A: IGNOU has ventured in to online education in a big way. We have launched three certificate programme which are on offer through online mode from January 2020 admission cycle includes CAL, CRUL and CTS.
Q: Is there any new programme which can give the students career options in management field after 10+2?
A: IGNOU’s school of management studies has launched work based bachelor of business administration (services management) programme in collaboration with MKCL from January, 2020 admission cycle. The programme will be on offer through ODL mode.
Q: Can student who is not enrolled with IGNOU allowed taking benefit of educational material developed by your university?
A: IGNOU’S educational materials, TV channels, radio programme etc are open for all. We have also developed an e-content app which provides easy access to IGNOU’s study materials. Anybody can download the app and access study materials from E-gyan Kosh freely.