The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), established by an Act of Parliament in 1985, has continuously striven to build an inclusive knowledge society through inclusive education. It has tried to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) by offering high-quality teaching through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode.The University began by offering two academic programmes in 1987, i.e., Diploma in Management and Diploma in Distance Education, with a strength of 4,528 students.Today, it serves the educational aspirations of over 3 million students in India and other countries through 21 Schools of Studies and a network of 67 regional centres, around 2,667 learner support centres and 29 overseas partner institutions. The University offers about 228 certificate, diploma, degree and doctoral programmes, with a strength of nearly 810 faculty members and 574 academic staff at the headquarters and regional centres and about 33,212 academic counsellors from conventional institutions of higher learning, professional organisations, and industry among others.The mandate of the University is to Provide access to higher education to all segments of the society;Offer high-quality, innovative and need-based programmes at different levels, to all those who require them;Reach out to the disadvantaged by offering programmes in all parts of the country at affordable costs; andPromote, coordinate and regulate the standards of education offered through open and distance learning in the country
IGNOU, the National Resource Centre for Open and Distance Learning (ODL), with international recognition and presence, shall provide seamless access to sustainable and learner-centric quality education, skill upgradation and training to all by using innovative technologies and methodologies and ensuring convergence of existing systems for massive human resource required for promoting integrated national development and global understanding.
To advance frontiers of knowledge and promote its dissemination through sustainable Open and Distance Learning systems, seamlessly accessible to all, including those hitherto unreached, from among whom the leaders and innovators of tomorrow will emerge, the University shall:
Strengthen the development of the National Resource Centre as a proactive role model for high-quality and learner-centric Open and Distance Learning system;
Share professional capabilities and resources to improve standards of distance education in the country;
Periodically assess and accredit institutions of Open and Distance Learning to promote centres of excellence in the country;
Develop networks, using emerging technologies and methods, with global reach for effective programme delivery;
Provide an intelligent and flexible system of education to meet the challenges of access and equity, and work towards development of a knowledge society;
Forge convergence of all systems and work for seamless education across national boundaries to develop global collaboration and partnership;
Take education to the hitherto unreached and promote community participation for local development through life-coping skills;
Provide specific need-based education and training opportunities for continuous professional development and skill upgradation to in-service professionals; and
Strive towards continuous development of methods and strategies for research and development for generation of knowledge in frontier areas, including Open and Distance Learning.