The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has withdrawn a number of its courses and increased tuition fess which has landed students aspiring to pursue distance education courses from the university in dilemma, says newspaper reports.
According to IGNOU officials, the courses have been cancelled as per the recommendations of a high-powered committee. As a result, the university has witnessed a fall in student enrollment.
The university had already failed to fulfill major expansion initiatives in took on itself earlier.
During the past two years, the varsity has closed around 300 programs along with 250 community colleges. It has also terminated more than 600 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with many institutions, frozen courses via 29 partner institutes based in 19 foreign countries and shelved on-campus programs.
India's very first sign language research-training centre that functioned under IGNOU was shut down, cancelled every program designed for the specially abled followed by doing away with most chairs as well as all special centers based in the Northeast and cancelled a convergence scheme which was operated in association with other regular colleges.
The University activities are now under the investigation of a high-powered committee. The matter has reached the Delhi High Courty (HC) as well.
After a phase of expansions, towards the end of 2012, IGNOU referred to the committee decision to shut-down all the 253 community colleges, where a total of 1,42,321 students were pursuing their studies. However, as per the committee report, the community colleges complement IGNOU's agenda of skill development. The committee further recommends reformation of the colleges so that they achieve their plans of skill development, as per the National Skill Development Mission. No new colleges should be added into the scheme till then.
Although IGNOU has cancelled a majority of the on-campus programs, it still conducts hospitality as well as HOTEL administration programs through 53 institutes. The varsity has also stopped e-Gyankosh, which is a scheme offering resources online to the students. A research-training assistant scheme, which equips scholars for research resulting in Master of Philosophy (M Phil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees, has been cancelled as well.
At present, more than 3,50,000 students of IGNOU, which includes 2 lakh plus military personnel, are waiting for their certificates for programs that concluded around two years back.