All the world over, Open and Distance Learning (ODL) has become a powerful mode of education providing a substantial evolutionary thrust to the global society, so much so that even the most reputed of conventional Universities have been pushed to adapt many of the ODL tools to suit their own system. The Open University in the United Kingdom, the mother of every other open university in the world, is ranked higher than Oxford and Cambridge on some parameters. All this shows the strength and scope of Open University stream in any educational system, national or otherwise. But evolving societies and systems do take time to appreciate, acknowledge and assimilate the nurture offered by ODL.
The ten year old Uttarakhand Open University is very young, if we note that the first ten of the living Universities in the world were established some 700 to 900 years ago. And yet, UOU has come a long way: from a rented hotel room to a 25 acre sprawling campus; from a few hundred to 35000 students; from a total dependency for its study material on IGNOU, VMOU and others to having achieved a 90% in-house production of its own books. Today, we boast of a faculty strength, both in quality and quantity, which is one of the best among State Open Universities in the country. We have been using state of the art technology, comprising our fully developed data centre, virtual class rooms, AV recording studio, Community Radio and toll-free number, to provide a vibrant student support system.
We could achieve all this because of an immense faith in the potentials of the people of Uttarakhand, and their drive and love for knowledge, in spite of the odds imposed by Nature and economy. It is no exaggeration to say that UOU is a great gift the State Government has given to its people. We have still a long way to go, and for this we need all the strength and energy of our people.
Let us move together in our forward march to the Future.
With best wishes!
Prof. Om Prakash Singh Negi