2009 Symbiosis distance education Degree Pune India

The distance education or 'technology-mediated learning' in India, although regarded as alternative mode of education, has a very significant role to play. Distance learning institutes are a platform for continuing education for all those who had to take up jobs early. By making learning materials available at your home and reducing the cost of education, distance-learning courses in India are actually playing the very important role of democratizing education in the country. The application of high-end technologies and growing popularity of online education can in fact free distance education from all the ills that it suffers at the moment.

Distance Education Institutes in India: There are quite a good number of distances education institutes in India that offer various academic and professional courses. There is, at present, one National Open University- Indira Gandhi National Open University, IGNOU and thirteen state open universities. However, most states also have dual mode Universities that allow them to offer correspondence courses in India. The number of dual mode Universities recognized by the Distance Education Council (DEC), a statutory authority for promotion and coordination of the Open University and distance education system and for the determination of its standard, in different states are mentioned below-

Andhra Pradesh- 14, Arunachal Pradesh- 1, Assam- 2, Bihar- 4, Chattishgarh 1,Delhi- 3, Gujarat-1, Haryana-4, Himachal Pradesh- 1, Jammu & Kashmir- 2, Karnataka- 10, Kerala- 4, Madhya Pradesh- 8, Maharashtra- 13, Meghalaya- 1, Orissa- 5, Puducherry- 1, Punjab- 5, Rajasthan- 3, Sikkim- 1, Tamil Nadu- 18, Tripura- 1, Uttar Pradesh- 8, Uttarakhand- 2, West Bengal- 6.

Apart from these institutes, the Symbiosis Center for Distance Learning, Pune and IMT Distance and Open Learning Institute, Ghaziabad are also approved by the Distance Education Council of India.

Democratization of Education: Distance learning courses in India serve different purpose to different people. While the urban youth is attracted to the correspondence courses as they allow them to continue their jobs while pursuing education, millions of rural youth find it attractive, as they cannot afford to relocate themselves. Another factor that has made the distance learning courses popular is that the course fee of these courses are also much lesser than the regular courses. Thus, one can take up a MBA or Journalism and Miscommunication or any other professional course at quite a low cost. Thus, the distance learning courses have come as a boon for not only the urban youth of the country but also for large number of bright young people of the rural areas. For example of the 1.5 million enrolled students of the Indira Gandhi National Open University, many of them belong with the disadvantaged sections of the society. The National Institute of Open Schooling, by providing various academic and vocational courses have contributed a lot in integrating the physically handicapped and all those children who cannot afford to attend regular classes. Thus, the distance learning institutes in India, by making various need based programme available at doorsteps at affordable price, playing a very important role in the process of democratization of the education system in India.