The University

1.1 Introduction

The Indira Gandhi National Open University was established by an Act of Parliament in 1985 to achieve the following objectives:

  • democratising higher education by taking it to the doorsteps of the learners,
  • providing access to high quality education to all those who seek it irrespective of age, region, religion and gender,
  • offering need-based academic programmes by giving professional and vocational orientation to the courses, and
  • promoting and developing distance education in India.

1.2 Prominent Features

  • IGNOU has certain unique features such as:
  • national jurisdiction with international presence
  • flexible admission rules
  • individualised study: flexibility in terms of place, pace and duration of study
  • use of latest information and communication technologies
  • nationwide student support services network  cost-effective programmes
  • modular approach to programmes
  • resource sharing, collaboration and networking with conventional universities, open universities and other institutions/organisations
  • socially and academically relevant programmes based on students’ need analysis, and
  • convergence of open and conventional education systems

1.3 Important Achievements

  • Emergence of IGNOU as the largest Open University in the world.
  • Recognition as Centre of Excellence in Distance Education by the Commonwealth of Learning (1993).
  • Award of Excellence for Distance Education Material by Commonwealth of Learning (1999). 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 studios at Electronic Media Production Centre (EMPC), IGNOU. Regular educational broadcast with facility for live interaction
  • Student enrolment has reached 3 million.
  • UNESCO has declared IGNOU as the largest institution of higher learning in the world in 2010.
  • Largest network of learning support system.
  • Declaration of Term-end result within 45 days.

1.4 The Schools of Studies

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

The following Schools of Studies are in operation currently:

  • School of Humanities (SOH)
  • School of Social Sciences (SOSS)
  • School of Sciences (SOS)
  • School of Education (SOE)
  • School of Continuing Education (SOCE)
  • School of Engineering and Technology (SOET)
  • School of Management Studies (SOMS)
  • School of Health Sciences (SOHS)
  • School of Computer and Information Sciences (SOCIS)
  • School of Agriculture (SOA)
  • School of Law (SOL)
  • School of Journalism and New Media Studies (SOJNMS)
  • School of Gender and Development Studies (SOGDS)
  • School of Tourism and Hospitality Service Management (SOTHSM)
  • School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies (SOITS)
  • School of Social Work (SOSW)
  • School of Vocational Education and Training (SOVET)
  • School of Extension and Development Studies (SOEDS)
  • School of Foreign Languages (SOFL)
  • School of Translation Studies and Training (SOTST)
  • School of Performing and Visual Arts (SOPVA)

1.5 Academic Programmes

The University offers Certificates, Diplomas, Advance Diplomas, Post Graduate Diplomas and Degrees, which are conventional as well as innovative. Most of these programmes have been developed after an initial survey of the need for such programmes. They are launched with a view to fulfilling the learners’ needs for:

  • certification,
  • improvement of skills,
  • acquisition of professional qualifications,
  • continuing education and professional development at workplace,
  • self-enrichment,
  • diversification and updating of knowledge, and
  • empowerment.

1.6 Course Preparation

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 is scrutinized by the content experts, in -house faculty and edited by the language experts at IGNOU before these are finally sent for printing. Similarly, audio and video materials are produced in consultation with the course writers, inhouse 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.

1.7 Credit System

a) Defining Credit in ODL

The University follows the ‘Credit System’ for most of its programmes. Each credit in our system is equivalent to 30 hours of learner study comprising all learning activities (i.e. reading and comprehending the print material, listening to audio, watching video, attending counselling sessions, teleconference and writing assignment responses). Thus, a 4-credit course involves 120 hours of study and a 6-credit course involves 180 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, practical, projects and the Term-End Examination as per requirement of each course in a programme.

b) Choice Based Credit System (CBCS)

The Bachelor’s Degree Programmes offered through this prospectus follow the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) introduced by UGC. The CBCS provides the learner with flexibility to study the subjects/courses at their own pace; greater choice of inter-disciplinary, intra-disciplinary and skill-based courses; and mobility to different institutions for studies. The system has the following advantages:

  • Allows learners to choose a combination of inter-disciplinary, intra-disciplinary courses, skill oriented courses (even from other disciplines according to their learning needs, interests and aptitude).
  • Makes education broad-based and at par with global standards.
  • Offers flexibility for learners to study at different times and at different institutions to complete the programme. Credits earned at one institution can be transferred to another institution.

1.8 Support Services

In order to provide individualized support to its learners, the University has a large number of Study Centres, spread across the country. These Study Centres are coordinated 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.

1.9 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:

a) Self Instructional Written Material: The printed study material (written in self-instructional style) for both theory and practical components of the programmes is provided to the learners in the form of a single print book and/or e-book, comprising blocks and units or in the form of separate printed 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 5units.

Audio-Visual Material Aids: The learning package contains audio and video programmes 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.

b) The Video content is available on eGyan kosh ( – the digital learning repository of the University.

The video programmes are also telecast on National Network of Doordarshan and Gyan Darshan. All Gyan Vani stations broadcast curriculum based audio programmes as per their schedule that is notified in advance. In addition, some selected stations of All India Radio also broadcast the audio programmes. Learners can confirm the dates for the programmes from their study centres. The information is also provided through the university website.

c) Counselling Sessions: Normally counselling 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.

d) Teleconferences: Live teleconferencing sessions are conducted via satellite through interactive Gyan Darshan Channel as well as simultaneously webcaste at

e) Practicals/Project Work: Some Programmes have practical/project component also depending upon the learning requirements. Practical sessions are held at designated institutions for which schedule is provided by the Study Centres. Attendance at practical sessions is compulsory. For project work, comprehensive project guide, in the form of a booklet, is provided to the learner along with the study material.

1.10 Evaluation System

The system of evaluation followed by the University also is different from that of conventional universities. IGNOU has a multitier system of evaluation.

1. Self-assessment exercises within each unit of study material.

2. Continuous evaluation mainly through assignments which are tutor-marked, practical assignments and seminar/ workshops/extended contact programmes, etc.

3. Term-End Examinations (TEE).

4. Project / Term-end Practical examination.

The evaluation of learners depends upon various instructional activities undertaken by them. A learner has to write assignment responses compulsorily before taking Term-End Examinations from time to time to complete an academic programme. A learner has to submit Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA) responses to the Coordinator of the Study Centre to which s/he is attached. Term-end examination is conducted at various examination centres spread all over the country and abroad in June and December every year.

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

“Grading” for evaluating learners'

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).

IGNOU uses 10-Point Grading System for evaluating learners’ achievement for Bachelor Degree Programmes under CBCS, as under:

Term-End Examination and Payment of Examination Fee

The University conducts Term-end Examination (TEE) twice a year in the months of June & December. A learner is permitted to appear in TEE 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 liable to be withheld
by the University.

Term-end Examination

The learners are required to fill in the Examination form to appear in the TEE each time i.e. for every exam (June/ December) a learner has to apply afresh. The Examination Forms are accepted online only as per the schedule given below.

Dates for submission of Examination Form

Please note that the dates mentioned above are subject to change. Please check the actual dates on the University website.

Examination fee and Mode of Payment

Examination fee and Mode of Payment

Examination fee once paid is neither refundable nor adjustable even if the learner fails to appear in the examination.

Hall Ticket for Term End Examination

No hall ticket shall be dispatched to the examinees. Hall Tickets of all examinees are uploaded on the University Website ( 7-10 days before the commencement of the Term End Examinations. Therefore, learners are advised to visit IGNOU website for updates.

Students are advised to take the print out of the Hall Ticket from University website after entering the enrolment number and name of programme of study, and report at the examination centre along with the Identity Card issued by the University. Without a valid IGNOU Student ID Card issued by the University, examinees will not be permitted to appear in the examination.

In case, any learner 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 commencement of the examinations so as to get a duplicate ID Card in time, since the learners without valid ID Card will not be allowed to enter the Examination Centre premises.

1.11 Associate Studentship

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 counselling, assignment evaluation, library facility, etc. The application form provided at the end of the Prospectus at Annexure VIII can be used for registration. A fee of Rs.850/ – for BTS Programme and Rs.1150/- per 8 credit course, or part thereof is charged for admission to course(s) under BSW programme. 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.). The Scheme of Associate Studentship will NOT be available in case of CBCS based Bachelor Degree Programmes.

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 counselling 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 counselling and/or lab/practicals would be conducted separately for the Associate students. The facility of theory/practical counselling shall be provided of the allotted study centre along with other students registered for the same course(s).

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 2nd and/or 3rd 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 filledin 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.

1.12 International Students Residing in India

The foreign nationals are advised to visit INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS section of the IGNOU website ( for the programmes on offer for them; programme fee and other fees applicable for them. They may also contact International Division of the University at the headquarters for more details.

1.13 Provisional Admission

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 fulfill 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 are 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 in Annexure II.

Other terms and conditions for seeking Provisional Admission are :

i) 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 31st March (for January admission cycle).

ii) Failure to submit the Final Mark-sheet and Provisional Certificate/Degree Certificate will attract cancellation of admission and forfeiture of 25% of fee paid.

iii) 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.

iv) Regional Directors will confirm the final admission only on fulfillment of the condition at (i) above.

v) 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.

1.14 Online Admission System

The Admission Forms can be submitted online (except for International Students) through Online Admission System at 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 through net banking, debit card and credit card. 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 is confirmed. In case of any discrepancy in the Admission Form, the prospective students are advised to remove the discrepancy within a stipulated time. Failing to do so will lead to rejection of admission form.

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

1.15 eGyan Kosh

The IGNOU eGyan Kosh ( 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 eGyan Kosh currently houses the self-learning material of over 2500 courses and an equal number of video programmes of IGNOU. The IGNOU learners are encouraged to make use of these resources for their learning.

1.16 Vidya Lakshmi Portal

Vidya Lakshmi Portal is a first of its kind portal for students seeking Education Loan. Set up in August 2015, it is a single window electronic platform for students to access information and prepare applications for Educational Loans and Government Scholarships. 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 through the Portal. The portal has been developed and being maintained by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited.

Nearly 40 Banks have registered for over 70 Educational Loan Schemes on the Vidya Lakshmi Portal and integrated their system with the Portal for providing loan processing status to students.

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