IGNOU Educational Programs - Common Aspects and Features

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was established in September 1985 by an Act of Parliament with a view to democratize education so that it covers large segments of population, vocations and professions . The primary emphasis is on innovation, flexibility and cost effectiveness. Thus it is a university with a difference.

Main Objectives of IGNOU

  1. Democratizing higher education by taking it to the doorsteps of the learners
  2. Providing access to high quality education to all those who seek it irrespective of age, region, religion and gender
  3. Offering need-based academic programmes by giving professional and vocational orientation to the courses
  4. Promoting and developing distance education in India
  5. Setting and maintaining standards in distance education in the country as an apex body

Unique Features of IGNOU

  1. International jurisdiction
  2. Flexible admission rules
  3. Individualized study: flexibility in terms of place, pace and duration of study
  4. Use of latest information and communication technologies
  5. Nationwide student support services network
  6. Cost-effective programmes
  7. Modular approach to programmes
  8. Resource sharing, collaboration and networking with conventional Universities, Open Universities and other Institutions / Organizations
  9. Socially and academically relevant programmes based on students need analysis
  10. Convergence of open & conventional education systems

Important Achievements of IGNOU

  1. Emergence of IGNOU as the largest Open University in the World
  2. Recognition as Centre of Excellence in Distance Education by the Commonwealth of Learning (1993)
  3. Award of Excellence for Distance Education Materials by Commonwealth of Learning (1999)
  4. Launch of a series of 24 hour Educational Channels ‘Gyan Darshan’. IGNOU is the nodal agency for these channels and regular transmissions are done from the studio at EMPC, IGNOU
  5. Student enrollment has doubled in four years from 1.5 million to around 3 million
  6. UNESCO declared IGNOU as the largest institution of higher learning in the world in 2010
  7. On spot delivery of study material to students
  8. Largest network of learning support system
  9. Declaration of Term-end result within 45 days

The Schools of Studies in IGNOU

With a view to develop interdisciplinary studies, the University operates through its Schools of Studies. Each School is headed by a Director who arranges to plan, supervise, develop and organise its academic programmes and courses in coordination with the School faculty and staff and different academic, administrative and service wings of the University. The emphasis is on providing a wide choice of courses at different levels.

The following Schools of Studies currently are in operation:

  1. School of Humanities (SOH)
  2. School of Social Sciences (SOSS)
  3. School of Sciences (SOS)
  4. School of Education (SOE)
  5. School of Continuing Education (SOCE)
  6. School of Engineering & Technology (SOET)
  7. School of Management Studies (SOMS)
  8. School of Health Sciences (SOHS)
  9. School of Computer & Information Sciences (SOCIS)
  10. School of Agriculture (SOA)
  11. School of Law (SOL)
  12. School of Journalism & New Media Studies (SOJNMS)
  13. School of Gender and Development Studies (SOGDS)
  14. School of Tourism and Hospitality Service Management (SOTHSM)
  15. School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies (SOITS)
  16. School of Social Work (SOSW)
  17. School of Vocational Education and Training (SOVET)
  18. School of Extension and Development Studies (SOEDS)
  19. School of Foreign Languages (SOFL)
  20. School of Translation Studies and Training (SOTST)
  21. School of Performing & Visual Arts (SOPVA)

Academic Programmes in IGNOU

The University offers both short-term and long-term programmes leading to Certificates, Diplomas, Advance Diploma, Associates Degree and Degrees, which are conventional as well as innovative. Most of these programmes have been developed after an initial survey of the demand for such Programmes. They are launched with a view to fulfill the learners' needs for:

  1. Certification
  2. Improvement of skills
  3. Acquisition of professional qualifications
  4. Continuing education and professional development at work place
  5. Self-enrichment
  6. Diversification and updation of knowledge
  7. Empowerment

Course Preparation in IGNOU

Learning material is specially prepared by teams of experts drawn from different Universities and specialized Institutions in the area spread throughout the country as well as in-house faculty. The material are scrutinized by the content experts, supervised by the instructors / unit designers and edited by the language experts at IGNOU before these are finally send for printing. Similarly, audio and video cassettes are produced in consultation with the course writers, in-house faculty and producers. The material is previewed and reviewed by the faculty as well as outside experts and edited / modified, wherever necessary, before they are finally dispatched to the students, Study Centres and Telecast through Gyan Darshan.

IGNOU Follows The Credit System

The University follows the ‘Credit System’ for most of its programmes. Each credit in our system is equivalent to 30 hours of student study comprising all learning activities (i.e. reading and comprehending the print material, listening to audio, watching video, attending counseling sessions, teleconference and writing assignment responses). Thus, a 4-credit course involves 120 hours of study. This helps the learner to know the academic effort he/she has to put in, to successfully complete a course. Completion of an academic programme (Degree or Diploma) requires successful completion of the assignments, practicals' projects and the term-end examination of each course in a programme.

Support Services in IGNOU

In order to provide individualized support to its learners, the University has a large number of Study Centres, spread throughout the country. These Study Centres are co-ordinated by 67 Regional Centres and Recognised Regional Centres. At the Study Centres, the learners interact with the Academic Counselors and other learners, refer to books in the Library, watch/listen to video/audio programmes and interact with the Coordinator on administrative and academic matters. The list of Regional Centres is given in this Prospectus. Support services are also provided through Work Centres, Programme Study Centres, Skill Development Centres and Special Study Centres.

IGNOU's Programme Delivery

The methodology of instruction in this University is different from that of the conventional Universities. The Open University system is more learner-oriented and the learner is an active participant in the pedagogical (teaching and learning) process. Most of the instructions are imparted through distance education methodology as per the requirement.

The University follows a multimedia approach for instruction, which comprises:

  1. Self Instructional Written Material: The printed study material (written in self-instructional style) for both theory and practical components of the programmes is supplied to the learners in batches of blocks for every course (on an average 1 block per credit). A block which comes in the form of a booklet usually comprises 3 to 5 units.
  2. Audio-Visual Material Aids: The learning package contains audio and video CDs which have been produced by the University for better clarification and enhancement of understanding of the course material given to the learners. A video programme is normally of 25-30 minutes duration. The video cassettes are screened at the study centres during specific sessions which are duly notified for the benefit of the learners.
    The video programmes are telecast on National Network of Doordarshan and Gyan Darshan. All Gyan Vani stations are broadcasting curriculum based audio programmes. In addition, some selected stations of All India Radio are also broadcasting the audio programmes. Learners can confirm the dates for the programmes from their study centres. The information is also provided through the university website.
  3. Counseling Sessions: Normally counseling sessions are held as per schedule drawn by the Study Centres. These are mostly held outside the regular working hours of the host institutions where the study centres are located.
  4. Teleconferences: Live teleconferencing sessions are conducted via satellite through interactive Gyan Darshan Channel as well as simulcasted on ‘Edusat’ channel from the University studios at EMPC, the schedule of which is made available at the study centres.
  5. Practicals/Project Work: Some Programmes have practical/project component also. Practicals are held at designated institutions for which schedule is provided by the Study Centres. Attendance at practicals is compulsory. For project work, comprehensive project guide, in the form of a booklet, is provided to the student along with the study materials.

Evaluation System in IGNOU

The system of evaluation in IGNOU is also different from that of conventional universities. IGNOU has a multi-tier system of evaluation.

  1. Self-assessment exercises within each unit of study.
  2. Continuous evaluation mainly through assignments which are tutor-marked, practical assignments and seminar / workshops/extended contact programmes.
  3. The term-end examinations.
  4. Project / Practical work

The evaluation of learners depends upon various instructional activities undertaken by them. A learner has to write assignment responses compulsorily before taking term-end examination time to time to complete an academic programme. A learner has to submit TMA responses to the Coordinator of the Study Centre concerned to which she / he is attached. A learner should keep duplicate copies of assignment responses of TMA submitted to Study Centres that may be required to be produced at Student Evaluation Division on demand. Term-end examination is conducted at various examination centers spread all over the country and abroad in June and December every year.

Grading of Learner's Achievement in IGNOU

IGNOU uses the following system of “Grading” for evaluating learners' achievement:

  1. Grade A: Qualitative Level = Excellent;  Point Grade = 5
  2. Grade B: Qualitative Level = Very Good;  Point Grade = 4
  3. Grade C: Qualitative Level = Good;  Point Grade = 3
  4. Grade D: Qualitative Level = Average;  Point Grade = 2
  5. Grade E: Qualitative Level = Unsatisfactory;  Point Grade = 1

For Bachelors’ and Masters’ degree programmes, normally the system of numerical marking is followed, and the marks secured in assignments, TE Exams, etc. are later converted into grades as per the five-point grading scale given above. However, if required by the learner, the university provides numerical marks and division (I, II or Pass).

Term End Examination and Payment of Examination Fee in IGNOU

The University conducts Term-end Examination twice a year in the months of June & December. Students are permitted to appear in term-end examination subject to the following conditions:

  1. Registration for the courses is valid and not time barred
  2. Required number of assignments in the courses have been submitted by due date wherever applicable
  3. Minimum time to pursue these courses as per the provision of the programme has been completed
  4. Examination fee for all the courses the learner is appearing in the examination has been paid in the case of non compliance of any of the above conditions, the result of all such courses is not be declared.

Term-end Examination in IGNOU

Examination forms are accepted online only as per the appended schedule.

Dates for Submiting Registration of Term End Examination in IGNOU

  1. For June TEE
    1. Registration Start and End period: 1st March to 30th April
    2. With Late Fee of Rs. 1000/- 1st May to 10th May
  2. For December TEE
    1. Registration Start and End period: 1st September to 31st October
    2. With Late Fee of Rs. 1000/- 1st November to 10th November

(The exam centre will be the city where RC is located)

Examination Fee and Mode of Payment in IGNOU

  1. Examination Fee per course theory: Rs. 120/-
  2. Examination Fee per course practical: Rs. 120/-
  3. Payment Mode: Credit Card / Debit Card / Net Banking

Notes on Examination Fee:

  1. Examination fee once paid is not refundable, nor adjustable.
  2. For every exam (June/December) a student has to apply afresh.

Hall Ticket for Term End Examination in IGNOU

No hall ticket shall be dispatched to the examinees / students. Hall Tickets of all examinees are uploaded on the University Website (www.ignou.ac.in) 7-10 days before the commencement of the TE Examinations.

Students are advised to take the print out of the Hall Ticket from University website (www.ignou.ac.in) after entering the enrollment number and name of programme of study and report at the examination centre along with the Identity Card issued by the Regional Centre / University without valid IGNOU Student ID Card issued by the RC / University. Examinees will not be permitted to appear in the examination.

In case, any student has misplaced the Identify Card issued by the University, it is mandatory to apply for a duplicate Identity Card to the Regional Centre concerned well before the commencement of the examination so as to get a duplicate ID Card well on time/well before examination commences.

Associate Studentship in IGNOU

The University has a scheme of ‘Associate Studentship’ which provides for a candidate who fulfils the minimum eligibility requirements for the programme under which the course(s) is/are offered, to register for only one course or a limited number of courses, subject to a minimum of 8 credits and maximum of 32 credits. An Associate Student is attached to a Study Centre for counseling, assignment evaluation, library facility, etc. The application form provided at the end of the Prospectus at Annexure VIII on page 200 can be used for registration. A fee of Rs.850/- per 8 credit course, or part thereof, is charged for admission to course(s) under B.A, B.Com, B.Sc., BSW and BTS programmes. The fee is irrespective of whether the course is of 2 credits, 4 credits, 6 credits or 8 credits. For rest of the programmes, the fee will be charged on pro-rata basis , i.e. by dividing the programme fee by the number of credits of the programme = fee for 1 credit, multiplied by the credit assigned to the specific course (rounded off to the next Fifty Rs.). Associate students choosing courses of B.A. can exercise their option for ‘one course’ only from a Group. If a student wants to opt four courses of 8 credits each, he/she can opt one each from Group-1 to 6 as per his/her choice. Grouping of courses are given in the Prospectus under B.A. (General).

The minimum and maximum period allowed to Associate students for completion of their course(s) would be six months and two years, respectively. There will be no separate counseling or lab work schedule for the associate students. They will have to be in touch with the Study Centre concerned in order to know the schedule and participate in the sessions accordingly. Minimum period of six months would be allowed, if the courses opted by the students are up to 16 credits. If the option exceeds 16 credits, the minimum period would be one year.

Associate Students would be permitted to seek admission in any of the admission cycles and to opt the courses that are on offer either in January or July cycles. However, no counseling and / or lab/practicals would be conducted separately for the Associate students. In such a case the students would be allowed to avail the counselling / practical session in the next semester and accordingly the minimum duration would be extended to another six months. However, the maximum duration of two years would remain unchanged.

If an Associate student opts for more than 16 credits worth of courses in either of the admission cycles, he/she is not entitled to seek admission in the next consecutive cycle unless the prescribed minimum duration is completed.

Associate Students are not eligible to seek admission to the courses under the Programmes where the number of seats are limited and/or the admission is done through Entrance Test.

Associate Students are not eligible for the award of any kind of ‘Certificate/Diploma/Degree’. They are also not eligible for continuation of study by way of re-registration for 2 nd and/or 3 rd year, as the case may be. ‘COURSE COMPLETION STATUS’ Card only will be issued to Associate Students.

Change of course is not permitted under this scheme. Similarly, re-admission facility is not extended to Associate Students. Separate Enrolment No., i.e. ‘AS - - - - - - -’ would be allotted to such students. The filled- in forms of ‘Associate Studentship’ are to be sent to the Regional Director concerned. Forms received by any Office other than the Regional Centre concerned would be summarily rejected.

International Students in IGNOU Residing in India

Such students are advised to visit INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS icon on IGNOU’s website (www.ignou.ac.in) for the programmes on offer for them; as well as programme fee and other fees applicable for them.

Provisional Admission in IGNOU

The University has a provision for Provisional Admission to the programmes offered through Common Prospectus (except Certificate programmes of six month duration, Awareness programmes, non-credit programmes and Merit- based / Entrance Test based programmes). Those candidates who otherwise fulfil the prescribed eligibility criteria, but are unable to apply for want of declaration of result of the qualifying examination and/or for want of final Mark- sheet and Provisional Certificate, but desirous of seeking admission in July / January admission cycle, as the case may be, can submit the prescribed admission form with requisite fee, as per schedule. Such candidates are also required to submit the ‘Undertaking’ given Annexure II on page 186.

Other terms and conditions for seeking Provisional Admission are:

  1. All the prospective students who have submitted their filled-in admission form along with the Undertaking are required to submit the consolidated Final Mark-sheet and Provisional Certificate/Degree Certificate by 30th September (for July admission cycle) and 31 st March (for January admission cycle).
  2. Failure to submit the Final Mark-sheet and Provisional Certificate/Degree Certificate will attract cancellation of admission and forfeiture of 25% of fee paid.
  3. Self-learning material will be issued to all the candidates seeking ‘Provisional admission’ on remittance of the programme fee, as in the case of other students
  4. Regional Directors will confirm the final admission only on fulfillment of the condition at (1) above.
  5. Admission will not be offered in a Programme if the programme is not activated in a particular Regional Centre.

Note: Provisional admission is not applicable for international students.

Online Admission System in IGNOU

The Admission Forms can be submitted online(except for International Students) through Onlie Admission System at http://onlineadmission.ignou.ac.in. Currently, the facility is available for the programmes offered through Common Prospectus except merit-based and entrance test based programmes. The prospective learners are required to create their user ID and password for logging in the system and upload the required documents along with the submission of the Admission Form. There is no need to send the printed copy of the Admission Form to the Regional Centre. The programme fee can be paid online using payment Gateway. Once the admission form is submitted online,the students can track the progress of their admission. A message is sent on the mobile number and email ID registered with the System once admission confirmed.

The prospective learners submitting the Admission Form through this System can download the Prospectus free from IGNOU website http://www.ignou.ac.in. However, an amount of Rs. 200/- is charged as registration fee along with the programme fee.

IGNOU eGyanKosh

The IGNOU eGyanKosh (http://www.egyankosh.ac.in) - one of the world’s largest repositories of educational resources in higher education - is available for the learners and teachers, and public at large for free. The eGyanKosh houses the self-learning material of around 2565 courses and over 2389 video programmes of IGNOU. The resources available on the eGyanKosh can be accessed through Login ID and Password which need to be created by the user at the initial login. The IGNOU learners are encouraged to make use of these resources for their learning.

Vidya Lakshmi Portal and IGNOU

Subsequent to the announcement of Hon’ble Finance Minister, Vidya Lakshmi Portal has been set up from 15.08.2015. The Portal has been developed by National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd. The principal purpose of the Portal is to have facilities of education loan, scholarship and other student friendly facilities through one link. The Portal is gateway to Banks for education loan and also has linkages with National e- Scholarship Portal (NeSP) inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 01.07.2015 as a part of Digital India initiative managed by Centre for Good Governance under DEITY. The Portal is information friendly with relevant information for students. The Portal has the facility of tracking the students right from the inception of loan application until the completion of sanction of loan or otherwise. Students can view, apply and track their education loan applications to banks anytime, anywhere by accessing the Portal. The Portal would be useful for students, parents, educational institutions, bankers, employers, researchers, etc. 26 banks have been registered so far and 52 loan schemes have been uploaded in Vidya