Indira Gandhi National Open University known as IGNOU, is a Central University located at New Delhi, India. Named after former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, the university was established in 1985 with a budget of Rs 20 million, after the Parliament of India passed the Indira Gandhi National Open University Act, 1985 (IGNOU Act 1985). IGNOU is run by the central government of India, and with total active enrolment of over 4 million students, claims to be the largest university in the world.
IGNOU was founded to serve the Indian population by means of distance and open education, providing quality higher education opportunities to all segments of society. It also aims to encourage, coordinate and set standards for distance and open education in India, and to strengthen the human resources of India through education. Apart from teaching and research, extension and training form the mainstay of its academic activities. It also acts as a national resource centre, and serves to promote and maintain standards of distance education in India. IGNOU hosts the Secretariats of the SAARC Consortium on Open and Distance Learning (SACODiL) and the Global Mega Universities Network (GMUNET), initially supported by UNESCO.
IGNOU, the National Resource Centre for Open and Distance Learning (ODL), with international recognition and presence, shall provide seamless access to sustainable and learner-centric quality education, skill upgradation and training to all by using innovative technologies and methodologies and ensuring convergence of existing systems for massive human resource required for promoting integrated national development and global understanding.
To advance frontiers of knowledge and promote its dissemination through sustainable Open and Distance Learning systems, seamlessly accessible to all, including those hitherto unreached, from among whom the leaders and innovators of tomorrow will emerge, the University shall:
The Research Unit has been established at the Indira Gandhi National Open University vide notification dated 6 October 2008. Prior to that, research-related activities were looked after by the Academic Coordination Division. The Unit has been established with the following objectives:
IGNOU has been granted the authority to confer degrees by Clause of the IGNOU Act 1985. IGNOU is also recognised as a Central University by the University Grants Commission of India (UGC). The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) recognises IGNOU conferred degrees as on par with the degrees conferred by its members and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) recognises the Master of Computer Applications and Master of Business Administration program of IGNOU.
In 1993, IGNOU was designated by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) as its first Centre of Excellence for Distance Education empowered "to actively participate in Commonwealth co-operative endeavours to identify, nurture, and strengthen open learning institutions throughout the Commonwealth, particularly in the Third World.
IGNOU also operates as an accreditor for open university and distance education systems in India through the Distance Education Council (DEC). Authority to do so is granted under Clause 16 and Statute 28 of the IGNOU Act 1985.
Written By: - Mr Roshan Vasantrao Pawar | Student | Indira Gandhi National Open University Delhi | School of Social Work