Letter of Prof. Rajasekharan Pillai – Chairman DEC & Vice-Chancellor IGNOU

The role of open and Distance Learning in enhancing the quality and quantity of education delivery at all levels is enormous. For bridging the knowledge and skill gaps in highly populated developing countries distance education stratergies are very important. Different types of media and information and communication technologies are being effectively used by the distance education system in the country. By appropriate integration of the technology - augmented open and distance learning only large number of people can achieve their educational goals.

Distance Education provides opportunities of additional qualification and a choice to attain a diploma or degree relevant to one's field of work. This is essential and vital for the growth of the talent pool in the country. It provides people with a plethora of choices within their desired limits. With the increasing number of distance education programs offered by education services provides in the country, barriers to education are getting gradually diminished.

Sikkim Manipal University Directorate of Distance Education (SMU-DDE) has contributed significantly in this direction through its distance education programs since 2001. Their public-private partnership (PPP) with the Government of Sikkim has been a successful model. This has enabled students to choose from a plethora of courses, the one that truly interests them and adds value to their career.

SMU-DDE's technology - based initiatives such as EduNet will empower students in their learning experiences. i see EduNet as truly being the way forward for distance education in India, as is the case in the international education services sector. in India in a significant manner. I am sure that SMU-DDE will ensure strict adherence to quality assurance norms in the content and delivery and provide affordable education opportunities for all.

I wish the institution all a success.

June 15, 2009
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