The pillars of distance education in India

distance-education-cloudThe bright future of distance education in India seems to be bright and getting even better. With more professionals and students opting for distance mode to pursue the postgraduate degree on account of saving time and money, it helps to know about the best distance education centers of the country.

Ever since its introduction in the country , the e-learning has spawned an endless number of debates and discussions questioning its utility. Every aspirant who decides to take up distance education is faced with questions like does the degree holds relevance for employers or do other universities recognize a degree earned through distance learning. The truth is that the distances education is a specialized mode of learning, meant for those who owing to some reason, or other couldn’t climb the rope of regular classroom education. It does have less recognition than the regular form, but considering the advantages it offers, distance learning is more than just a compensation for its shortcomings.

Moreover, it is nothing but unfair to compare distance education on the same platform as all regular courses. Both have their own sets of benefits and limitations. While in traditional schools, you can interact with your tutor in person, and collaborate with your classmates in various community activities. Distance education offers you the ability to learn at your pace, place and comfort without spending huge sums of money. The concept of distance learning sometimes referred to correspondence learning which was introduced for students, who due to some concerns were not able to attend regular classes. Instead of leaving such candidates devoid of any opportunity to pursue higher education, distance education serves them by providing them with an option to pursuing higher education either from the comfort of their homes (online mode) or at weekends without having to leave their jobs.

Without digging the dirt of which option is better of the two, as it means starting a never ending debate, it would be fair to discuss the top education institutes that offer courses in open mode. It is a matter of great relief and pride that India has a lot of good distance education options, as it is a direct reflection of the evolution of our education system since the pre-independence era. The institutes discussed have been unanimously accepted as the best by experts. All of the above educational institutes are known for their excellence and expertise in delivering top quality education through distance mode. All of these colleges have created new benchmarks of success with their class leading teaching methodology and excellent facilities. Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi: Undoubtedly the most dominant authority in the field of distance education, the “People’s University” was established in 1985 by an act of parliament called IGNOU Act 1985. INR 20 Billion were poured into the making of this huge academic institution, and what resulted was the largest university in the world in terms of student intake, with a mind-boggling 3,500,000 students enrolling themselves for different courses. Apart from fulfilling its objective of providing education through distance and open mode, the university is especially dedicated towards the betterment of the underprivileged section of society, in its overall mission of strengthening the human resource of India through education. The university defines the standard of distance education in India and plays host to Secretariats of the SAARC Consortium on Open and Distance Learning. Serving approximately 3.5 million students globally, IGNOU has centers in 40 countries including most of the gulf countries like Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and others. The university functions through its 21 schools and a network of 59 regional centers, 2600 study centers, and 52 centers on foreign shores. Another statistic that would give a perspective of the institute’s importance is that nearly 20% of students who enroll for higher education in India do it through IGNOU. Amity School of Distance Learning, Amity University: ASoDL is a product of the foresightedness of its founders who predicted that the next generation of learning belonged to distance mode of education. The distance learning programs of ASODL are specifically designed for those who aspire to soar high in their professional lives but are blocked by a lack of time to join a regular classroom course. Whether it is the world-class education in management or short-term courses in niche subjects like Cyber Security, Amity’s range of courses is simply unmatched. The study material has been designed keeping in mind the strict time constraints that a professional worker experiences. It is self-explanatory and interactive in nature, requiring only a part of one’s leisure or weekend time to effectively learn the topic. The Amity School of Distance Learning enjoys the confidence of thousands of students and industry leaders owing to its excellent quality of course material, delivery methodology, student support service, and faculty. The institute has been ranked as number one in distance mode and offers a diverse array of courses right from Masters degree in Business Administration, Masters of Science, to one year PG Diploma Program in Materials Management, Financial Management, to Executive Program and Certificate Course in Carbon Finance. The fees of courses are one of the lowest and taking admission also requires no special entrance test or eligibility conditions. Sikkim Manipal University, Distance Education: A result of collaboration between Government of Sikkim and Manipal Education, this unique government-private initiative has been instrumental in providing high-quality education to students in this region. Established in 1995, the distance education school of SMU is approved by UGC and recognized by DEC (Distance Education Council). It is ranked as the third best distance education provider in the country. Author’s Bio: Saurabh Tyagi is an expert writer having an interest in diverse topics like education, technology, career, top part time MBA colleges, PGDM colleges, engineering colleges and Web 2.0. He is a social media enthusiast and a self-confessed gadget freak, who loves to follow the latest happenings in the tech world.