Indira Gandhi National Open University

This article is about open university in New Delhi, India. For other uses see Indira Gandhi University
Indira Gandhi National Open University
इंदिरा गाँधी राष्ट्रीय मुक्त विश्वविद्यालय

Logo of IGNOU
Motto The People's University
Type Public, Central University
Established 1985
Chancellor President of India (Pranab Mukherjee)
Vice-Chancellor Nageshwar Rao (I/C)
Registrar Sudhir Budakoti
Students over 4 million[1]
Location Maidan Garhi, Delhi, India

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (Hindi: इंदिरा गाँधी राष्ट्रीय मुक्त विश्वविद्यालय), known as IGNOU, is a distance learning national university located in IGNOU road, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi, India. Named after former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, the university was established in 1985 with a budget of 20 Million, when the Parliament of India passed the Indira Gandhi National Open University Act, 1985 (IGNOU Act 1985).[2] IGNOU is run by the central government of India.[3]

IGNOU, the largest university in the world with over 4 million students,[1] was founded to impart education by means of distance and open education, provide higher education opportunities particularly to the disadvantaged segments of society, encourage, coordinate and set standards for distance and open education in India and strengthen the human resources of India through education.[4] 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.[5] 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 has started a decentralisation process by setting up five zones, viz, north, south, east, west and north east. The first of the regional headquarters, catering to four southern states, Pondicherry, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep, is being set up in the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.. The Ministry of HRD has entrusted the responsibility of developing Draft Policy on Open and Distance Learning and Online Courses to IGNOU.[6]


In 1970 the Ministry of education and Social Welfare in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the UGC and the Indian National Commission for cooperation with UNESCO, organised a seminar on 'Open University'. The seminar recommended the establishment of an open university in India on an experimental basis. The government of India appointed an eight-member working group on open university in 1974. The leading role was given to G. Parthasarathi, the then Vice-Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The working group recommended establishing an open university by an act of parliament as early as possible. The university should have jurisdiction over the entire country so that, when it is fully developed, any student even in the remotest corner of the country can have access to its instruction and degrees (Working Group Report, 1974).

The working group suggested several measures to be followed in instructional and management processes of the open university which include: admission procedure, age relaxation, preparation of reading materials, setting up of core group scholars in different fields, setting up of study centres, vehicle of curricular programmes, live contact with teachers, and so on. On the basis of the recommendations of the working group, the Union Government prepared a draft bill for the establishment of a National Open University, but due to some reasons the progress was delayed.

Vice Chancellors
  • Prof. G. Ram Reddy, 1985–1990
  • Prof. V C Kulandaiswamy, 1990–1995
  • Prof. Ram G Takwale, 1995–1998
  • Prof. A W Khan, 1998–2001
  • Prof. H P Dikshit, 2001–2006
  • Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, 2006–2011
  • Prof. M Aslam, 2011–12
  • Prof. Gopinath Pradhan, 2012–2013
  • Prof. M. Aslam, 2013–Present
The front gate of the university campus in New Delhi
Timely publication of Results within 45 days of completion of exam
  • Dec’2010 Date of publication of result : 03-Feb-2011
  • June’2011 Date of publication of result : 04-Aug-2011
  • Dec’2011 Date of publication of result : 03-Feb-2012
  • June’2012 Date of publication of result : 06-Aug-2012
  • Dec’2012 Date of publication of result : 04-Feb-2013
  • June’2013 Date of publication of result : 08-Aug-2013
  • Dec’2013 Date of publication of result : 03-Mar-2014

In 1985, the Union Government made a policy statement for establishment of a national open university. A Committee was constituted by the Ministry of Education to chalk out the plan of action of the national Open University. On the basis of the report of the Committee, the Union Government introduced a Bill in the Parliament. In August 1985, both the Houses of the Parliament passed the Bill. Subsequently, the National Open University came into existence on 20 September 1985. It was named after late prime minister Indira Gandhi. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (established by the Act of Parliament) is responsible for introducing and promoting distance education at the university level, and for coordinating, determining and maintaining standards in such systems functioning in the country.

In 1989, the first Convocation was held and more than 1,000 students graduated and were awarded their diplomas. IGNOU audio-video courses were first broadcast by radio and television in 1990 and IGNOU awarded degrees received full recognition by the University Grants Commission in 1992 as being equivalent to those of other universities in the country.[8]

In 1999, IGNOU launched the first virtual campus in India,[9] beginning with the delivery of Computer and Information Sciences courses via the Internet.


As of 2011 IGNOU served over 3 million students in India, the headquarters, and 40 other countries abroad.[10] These are UAE, UK, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Ethiopia, Namibia, Kenya, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Fiji, France, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Liberia, West Indies, Samoa, Lesotho, Malawi, Switzerland, Nigeria, Mongolia, Zambia.

It has 21 schools and a network of 67 regional centres, 2667 study centres, and 29 overseas centres(15 countries). Approximately 20% of all students enrolled in higher education in India are enrolled with IGNOU.[11] IGNOU offers 226 academic programs comprising courses at certificate, diploma and degree levels.

School of Humanities Prof. Sunaina Kumar
School of Social Sciences Prof. D Gopal
School of Sciences Prof. Vijayshree
School of Education Prof. N K Dash
School of Continuing Education Prof. Deeksha Kapoor
School of Engineering & Technology Prof. P Srinivas Kumar
School of Management Studies Prof. (Mrs.) Srilatha
School of Health Sciences Prof. Pity Kaul
School of Computer & Information Sciences Dr P V Suresh
School of Agriculture Prof S K Yadav
School of Law Prof K Elumalai
School of Journalism and New Media Studies Prof. Shambhu Nath singh
School of Gender & Development Studies Prof Anu Aneja
School of Tourism Hospitality Service Management Prof. Ravindra Kumar
School of Interdisciplinary & Trans-disciplinary Studies Prof Nandini Sinha Kapoor
School of Social Work Prof. Gracious Thomas
School of Vocational Education and Training Prof. Prof A K Gaba
School of Extension & Development Studies Dr Nehal A Farooquee
School of Foreign Languages
School of Translation Studies and Training Dr Rajendra Prasad Pandey
School of Performing & Visual Arts Dr Govindaraju Bharadwaja


The Indira Gandhi National Open University has the following Eleven Divisions to take care of various activities.

Academic and Coordination Division Prof. Deval Singhroy
Administrative Division Sh Sudhir Budakoti
Construction and Maintenance Sudheer Reddy
Computer Division Dr V S P Srivastav
International Division Dr Silima Nanda
Finance and Accounts Division Ms Vidya Sonal
Library and Documentation Division Dr Jaideep Sharma
Material Production and Distribution Prof Pardeep Sahni
Planning and Development Division Prof. T U Fulzelle
Regional Services Division Dr. V Venugopal Reddy
Student Evaluation Division Dr. Srikant Mohapatra
Student Registration Division Sh S K Sharma

Research Unit

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:

Institutes, Cells, Centres, Units

Electronic Media Production Center Dr Iftekhar Ahmed
National Centre for Innovations in Distance Education Dr Jyotsana Dikshit
Inter-University Consortium For Technology-Enabled Flexible Education & Development Prof Gayitri Kansal
Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education Prof C R K Murthy
National Council for Disability Studies Dr S K Prasad
Research Unit Prof M S Nathawat
Horticulture Cell Dr. S.K. Yadav

Accreditation & recognition

(IGNOU) is granted the authority to confer degrees by Clause 5(1)(iii) of the IGNOU Act 1985. IGNOU is also recognised as a Central University by the University Grants Commission of India (UGC).[12] The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) recognises IGNOU conferred degrees as on par with the degrees conferred by its members[13][14] and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) recognises the Master of Computer Applications and Master of Business Administration program of IGNOU.[15]

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 ..".[16] The notable alumni of IGNOU are Deepika Padukone, Sudipta Chakraborty, Celina Jaitly, Arjun Munda, Prateek Kr. Bhowmick, Biswatosh Sengupta & Rajesh Rajan.[17]

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.[18]

Convocations in the past

Convocation Held On Chief Guest Designation Honoris causa Awarded Number of Degrees/ Diplomas/ Certificates/ Awarded
Ist 21 February 1989 Rajiv Gandhi Prime Minister Dr. Shridath S. Ramphal, Secretary General, COL 1171
IInd 27 April 1991 Dr. S. D. Sharma Vice President SANGRAM 3807
IIIrd 25 April 1992 Arjun Singh Minister for Human Resource Development 4907
IVth 5 May 1993 R. Venkataraman Former President of India G. Ram Reddy, Former VC of IGNOU 4444
Vth 16 April 1994 James A Maraj President of COL James A Maraj, President of COL 7580
VIth 06.05.199 Madhav Rao Scindia Ministry for Human Resource Development 9246
VIIth 11.05.1996 Justice R.N. Mishra Chairman, National Human Rights Commission 12301
VIIIth 08.03.1997 Madhu Dandavate Deputy chairman, Planning Commission 16149
IXth 07.03.1998 Krishna Kanth Vice President 25080
Xth 14 March 1999 Dr. Karan Singh Member of Parliament Mahasweta Devi, Eminent Writer & Social Worker 33119
XIth 04.03.2000 K. C. Pant Deputy chairman Planning Commission V. C. Kulandaiswamy, Former VC of IGNOU 53328
XIIth 3 March 2001 M. G. K. Menon Eminent Scientist 62369
XIIIth 21 March 2002 Murali Manohar Joshi Minister for Human Resource Development 78074
XIVth 22 February 2003 Sir John Daniel Assistant Director General, UNESCO and Former VC of UKOU
  • Sir John Daniel
  • Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Chairman, ISRO
XVth 21 February 2004 Dr. K. Kasturirangan Former chairman, ISRO and Former Secretary Department of Space, Government of India, Member of Rajya Sabha
  • Field Marshal S. H. F. J. Manekshaw
  • Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa
XVIth 05.03.2005 Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam President of India
  • Kamal Idris, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organisation(WIPO), Geneva
  • Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO
XVIIth 18 February 2006 Dr. Anil Kakodkar Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India
  • N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman, Infosys
XVIIIth 17 March 2007 Justice K. G. Balakrishnan Chief Justice of India
  • M. S. Swaminathan, Renowned Agricultural Scientist
XIXth 16 February 2008 Dr. Hamid Ansari Vice- president, Republic of India
  • C. N. R. Rao
  • Dr. Anil Kakodkar
  • M.S.Valiathan
  • Pandit Shiv Kumar
  • Rahman Rahi
  • Indira Goswami
XXth 28 February 2009 R Natarajan Former chairman AICTE
Former Director IIT Madras
XXIst 15 March 2010 S K Joshi Former Director General CSIR Gen. Deepak Kapoor 135,000
XXVIst 12 April 2013 Shri.Pranab Mukherjee

13th President of India (2012–Present)


See also


  1. 1 2 "Profile of IGNOU - Preamble". Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  2. "THE INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY ACT, 198" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  3. "Constant learning through distance education". Deccan Herald. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  4. IGNOU Website: Objectives (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
  5. "About IGNOU". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  6. "IGNOU - Announcements - Latest - New Education Policy: Survey on Open and Distance Learning and Online Courses". Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  7. "Open and distance learning in India" (PDF). Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  8. IGNOU Website: Milestones (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
  9. Newsbytes: IGNOU Launches First Virtual University in India, 6 July 1999 (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
  10. "Profile of IGNOU – Preamble". Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  11. IGNOU Website: – IGNOU At A Glance
  12. UGC Website: Universities Directory – Indira Gandhi National Open University (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
  13. UGC: UGC Circular No. F1-52/2000 (CPP-II), 5 May 2004
  14. AIU: AIU Circular No. EV/B(449)/94/176915-177115,January 14, 1994
  15. AICTE: AICTE/Academic/MOU-DEC/2005, May 13, 2005
  16. COL Website: IGNOU named "Centre of Excellence", COMLEARN, October 1993 (URL last accessed on 29 April 2007)
  17. Nov 5, 2016
  18. DEC Website: Statutory Authority

External links

Coordinates: 28°29′40″N 77°12′16″E / 28.4945°N 77.2045°E / 28.4945; 77.2045

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