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Here”s How Distance Learning Can Be A Boon For Many: 5 Distance Learning Universities In India

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By Sumeet Kaur:

Distance Learning or Correspondence Learning is becoming a popular choice for everyone today. Well, distance learning is essentially studying from a distance in a college or university. Distance learning (education) is a modern system of non-formal education. Distance Education takes place when the instructor and student are separated by space and/or time. The gap between the two can be bridged through technologies.

distance learningEarlier the course material was made available by post but with the advances in technology like the internet, radio, television, video and audio cassettes etc. and other audio-visual aids the course content can be accessed in real time. It means that you can study at your own time and at your own pace from your home. Isn’t that a boon? So, it can fit in with your current lifestyle whether you are working full or part-time. And if you are eager to learn, there is nothing that can stop you. You just need to check out the right university offering the course that you want and whether your prior qualifications for enrolling in a particular short term diploma course or, certificate courses, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes match the minimum eligibility criteria without being tied up to the boundaries of the formal classroom and without the formal presence of the teacher.

Distance Learning may be a popular choice for you if you want to improve your educational qualification while you are in jobs and can brighten up your chances of promotion. It also serves to be beneficial for those who are having financial and geographical constraints for taking admission in reputed colleges and universities where the number of seats in a course are very much fixed. Another section of the society that distance learning can benefit is people who could not enrol themselves in institutes at the required time, or were deprived of receiving proper education due to some or the other reason. Age is not a barrier in most of the courses and one can carry on his/her studies for his self improvement or knowhow.

All distance learning courses make available high-quality self-learning material to the student in the form of printed books and in a digital format, online and at times through virtual classroom settings as well. Here is a list of a few Distance Learning Universities.

1) The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) offers high-quality teaching through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode. The University provides learner-centric quality education, skill upgradation and training to all by using innovative technologies and methodologies. It has approximately 4 million students in India and 21 Schools of study offering about 490 certificate, diploma, degree and doctoral programmes. IGNOU also offers a satellite-based TV channel devoted to educational and developmental needs of the society (Gyandarshan I, II, Gyanvani, etc.)

2) Sikkim Manipal University: This is one of the most preferred distance education universities in India. With a wide range of distance courses, it is mostly known for its distance education programs in MBA and Executive MBA. It has been honoured by Star News as the Best Management Education in Distance Education. India’s premier career counselling organization India, Careers 360 has also ranked it as the student’s most preferred university. Amongst many of its services flexible exam schedules is a wonderful opportunity for working professionals who seek admission here.

3) Symbiosis Center for Distance Learning: SCDL is recognized by Distance Education Council, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India. Symbiosis provides quality distance education in the fields of Management, Law, Computers, Health Care, Arts and Commerce. SCDL’s self learning and e-learning material is comparable to that of any full time management institute . Today, the total active student strength of SCDL is more than 2,53,577 across 48 countries including India, US, UK, Middle East, Russia, Germany, Singapore, Japan and many more – making it one of the few large and most sought after distance learning institutes of India. The key features of SCDL are Online faculty Chat Sessions and Virtual Classroom Facility besides numerous other features it has to offer.

4) Mahatma Gandhi University: Founded in the year 1983 the Mahatma Gandhi University is recognized by the University Grants Commission. The university has 18 colleges affiliated to it. One of the top ten universities in India offering distance education this university has 25 teaching departments spread over different disciplines.

5) Kurukshetra University: This university offers quality education in various fields like arts, science, technology, management, environmental study, defence and social study, and in languages. It provides the best study material prepared by the experienced faculties. It also organizes seminars and workshops to enhance the knowledge of the students. This university has many affiliated colleges and institutes. This university is contributing to improving the education level in the state.

A word of caution for the students who wish to seek admission into a Distance Education / Correspondence Course is that they need to confirm if the University and the course into which they wish to enrol is recognized by the Distance Education Council (DEC), New Delhi. The DEC is the body responsible for the promotion and coordination of the open university and distance education system, and for the determination of its standards. Students enrolling into courses of universities that are not DEC recognized might be doing so on their own risk as the course could not be valid for some higher studies / job opportunities.

You must be to comment.
  1. Mba from SMU

    This is very interesting post. Thanks for explaining the topic in detail. You have done really good work. I admire your efforts.

  2. sskcolleges

    Thanks for your information. It’s really nice and informative.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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