NEW DELHI: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will soon launch four new Direct-To-Home channels for interactive and multimedia learning in an effort to increase its reach to a wider number of students.
The varsity is in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) for the channels, likely to be inaugurated by August 15.
"HRD ministry has given the responsibility to IGNOU for running four DTH channels," the varsity said in a statement.
Along with the new channels, the university is restoring two channels of 'Gyan Darshan' which went off-air in October 2014 after they failed to pay dues.
"We have also restored two other TV channels and will be on the air soon. For that, we are constantly in touch with HRD, Prasar Bharti and I&B Ministry," an IGNOU official said.
A meeting scheduled next week will "make the picture clearer" but the administration was hopeful that all channels will be inaugurated by Independence Day, he added.
IGNOU, catering to over three lakh students through its bi-annual sessions, also offers Gyanvani FM channels to help students directly interact with its teachers.
The over 3,000 Learner Support Centres of the 31-year-old varsity are spread across India, including in the remote regions of Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.
These centres operate in 9 foreign languages and caters to a large number of NRIs and Indian Diaspora students, according to an official statement.
The varsity has also started its largest education portal 'Gyankosh' after a gap of two years.
This year, more than 1,22,000 students have applied for admission to the university and the last date for admission with a late fee is August 31.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) on Monday relaunched its educational broadcast channel Gyan Darshan, which it said will be a major step forward in implementing education through electronic media.
The Gyan Darshan channel was launched through webcasting along with its Electronic Media Production Centre (EMPC) page on Facebook.
“We are digital and open university now. There is no distance between us and our learners,” Ignou’s vice-chancellor Prof Ravindra Kumar said while launching the webcast.
The Gyan Darshan programmes can be accessed at www.ignouonline.ac.in/gyandarshan. It will make the university’s programmes available on the mobile phones as well.
Gyan Darshan ran successfully until June 2, 2014, as a must-carry channel for educational programmes but was shut down by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to facilitate its migration from INSAT 3C to GSAT-10.
“We will use this platform as a promotional tool for our country’s cultural awareness and empowerment on a variety of themes on issues and challenges related to societal development, cultural heritage, environment etc,” Prof Kapil Kumar, director of EMPC, said when asked about the kind of programmes that will be telecast.
He added that “This channel will also serve the Indian diasporas world over, not only to promote Indian culture but also enlightening them with contemporary achievements of India. Similarly, the EMPC FB page will be providing regular updates on Indian education and will be a major source of feedback from the learners from all over the world,” he added.
He said the facility will be of extreme use to the personnel of the country’s armed forces, who can continue their education even while guarding the borders.
These initiatives from the EMPC will also enable Ignou’s various study centres in West Asia and African countries to enhance the learning processes of the foreign students.
Ignou’s vice-chancellor also said they are in the process of opening more foreign centres and exploring the possibilities for partner institutions.
The university has already started Gyan Vani interactive radio counselling programmes through both broadcasts as well as webcasting.