20 November, 2019

Portblair
Regional Centre

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History

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was established, by an Act of Parliament in 1985. The IGNOU has 3-tier structure:  HQ at New Delhi; Regional Centres at State Capitals; Study Centres at Colleges / Schools across the country / abroad. As Post-Tsunami development activity, the Regional Centre, Port Blair was started functioning from 27th March 2006 at JNRM Campus. In the beginning, it offered 33 - academic programmes (Courses) for 1341 students, with only one Study Centre in entire ANI.  Over this 13-years period, it reached the unreached population of remote/far away Islands too; that is, Campbell Bay (at South end) and Mayabunder (at North end). With significant reach, the Regional Centre has offered 100 varieties of academic programmes, to about 50,000 students, in the last 13-year period (2006-2019).

  • Role of Extended Arm of Regular Colleges: The IGNOU-Regional Centre has been playing a significant role of extended arm of Regular Colleges in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The UG students passing out from JNRM/ANCOL/MGGC/DBRAIT have been provided to continue their PG (or) specialization PG diplomas within Island (need not to go to main land for the higher education purpose). The wide range of academic programmes, with 100 varieties of UG/PG/PG Diploma/Diploma/Certificate courses has given extended opportunity for college pass-outs here. The quantum in terms of students and wide range of academic programmes, with varieties of subject specializations offered by IGNOU is significant in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It is comparable with the regular colleges (in Science/Commerce/Arts streams) of the region, in said period, in quantitative terms.
  • Facilitating Andaman & Nicobar Islands Administration: Recently provided 30-trained Nurses, (after completing Govt. of India sponsored BPCCHN course of IGNOU) to Health Department,  ANI Administration. Being a continuous process, another batch of 30-students is to be enrolled in July-2019 session. The IGNOU-Regional Centre-Port Blair is playing a significant role by providing qualified manpower to A & N Islands Administration.
  • Education to Jail Inmates: After opening a special Study Centre at Prothrapur Jail, IGNOU provided higher education to 42-jail inmates, at free –of-cost.  (Though the number is small, but it is highly significant).
  • Saturday Video-Class: Pro-active steps have been taken to balance the scarcity of academic resource persons at Andaman & Nicobar Islands. One such step is organizing ‘Saturday Video-Class’ at Regional Centre using 204 CDs, w.e.f. 11th November 2017. As an academic supplement, the IGNOU class at door step has also been provided through Gyandarshan #2: The Educational TV Channel of India-through Andaman Cable Network, as free-to-air 24x7 TV channel.
  • Enhanced Communication for Students: Timely informing the distance learners about: Sunday Class, Saturday Video-Class, Gyandarshan TV Class, Reminder to apply for exam/semester fee, instructions to collect study material from Warehouse, to attend academic seminars/activities in the region, placement guidance information etc. using bulk SMS service enhanced the student support services. The frequent SMS alerts using 50,000 SMS in a year or so has removed /reduced the isolation of distance learner from the University. Similarly, the use of individual e-mail communication, in bulk, reduced the communication gaps.
  •  Awareness through Radio & TV:  Reaching the population with seasonal topics, such as  - ‘Exam tips’ ‘Courses after +2 / UG’ ‘schedule of activities of IGNOU students (academic & payment related)’ etc. generated a significant impact in the region. Use of both primary channel (medium wave) and FM Radio of All India Radio-Port Blair, once in a quarter, created the mass awareness about educational opportunities in IGNOU. Similarly, though live phone-in programmes / recorded programmes, almost once in a month, though Doordarshan Kendra-Port Blair reached the maximum population of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The proposed Essay Writing Competition on ‘Distance Education Opportunities in A & N Islands for School Children (9-12th Standard)’ will further create the mass awareness among future /potential students of IGNOU. (Last date is 15th July 2019).
  • Mass Awareness through Print-Media: The frequent press-releases, published in local news papers (English/Hindi), created the awareness of IGNOU academic programmes among entire-population of A & N Islands. Almost weekly 3-4 press-releases, (150 in a year) reached unreached sectors of the Islands. The special publicity Articles (about 1000 words each) published in English dailies, reached the potential students / parents /school (or) college teachers etc. to guide their students for higher study in IGNOU. Regularly on an average, monthly 2-articels have been published, (28 articles in a year) throughout the year.
  • Self-sufficiency in Financial Management:  The fee collected from 4,500 plus students per year is sufficient to meet the running expenditure of Regional Centre activities.
  • Employment opportunity to Islanders:  Directly or indirectly, the IGNOU has been engaging over 150 teachers for academic services, 30- staff members for study centre management; thereby giving additional employment opportunity to Islanders.
  • Exam Centre for few students also: To facilitate the examinees, even for 25 students also, the RC is keeping the exam centres at Campbell Bay, Nancowrie, Car Nicobar, Hut Bay, Mayabunder.