Sunday, March 28, 2010

Words of Wisdom: Convocation Address – Dr. Narendra Jadhav

Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University’s Vice chancellor, Dr. Sudhir Gavhane, the special guest of honor Dr. Vinaykumar Pathak, Members of the Board of Management, Academic Council, all the heads of various departments, special invitees to today’s convocation ceremony, esteemed journalists, students, parents and assembled brethren. Coincidentally this is a special year as we are celebrating the Maharashtra State’s golden jubilee celebration.

Late. Honorable Shri. Yashwantrao Chavan, an incomparable statesman, a socially sensitive and progressive personality, an intelligent connoisseur of the arts, culture and literature and a people’s representative who has his eye on the pulse of the masses, such a beloved politician of the Marathi people, was the first Chief Minister of this state. I am honored to be present at the convocation ceremony of a university that has been named after this individual. I am extremely happy about this. Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University’s 16th convocation ceremony has me here as the Chief Guest and my heartfelt thanks for this honor goes to the Honorable Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Sudhir Gavhane and all the office bearers of this University.

In any university, the occasion of convocation is the best day in the academic calendar. The completion of an educational endeavor and achievement of a post is the cause for celebration at an event such as this. Various students who shall be awarded degrees have completed their education whilst being gainfully employed. I wish to congratulate all the students who have understood the broad meaning of education and have not considered it as a means only to earn livelihood; instead have taken it as the master key to developing their persona, as individuals. I wish to specially congratulate the jail inmates, both male and female brethren, for acquiring their degree, and the university for providing them with the support to earn their degree. Being the fifth open university instituted in this country, YCMOU has lived up to its anthem, ‘Dyanganga Gharoghari’, and in doing so has also through various initiatives, not only at state level, but also nationally and on an international platform, has carved a niche for itself. For this achievement, I congratulate the Vice-Chancellor and all present here today.

I deliberately want to tell the students that I especially wish to congratulate them today for one special reason. We are all fortunate that our country is at an important threshold at this very time that you are graduating. We know that Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The only thing constant in life is change”. Our present situation is rapidly changing in great strides. Some may say that change is always occurring but in the past couple of years, the momentum has picked up pace. In the past decade, the changes have been so monumental as to have never having occurred in all of known time, also in the millennial decade, the pace has been phenomenally speedy. Even on an international level, as nationally, the change has been occurring quite monumentally. In the year 1991, after the economic catastrophe, through various economic measures, our country had a rapid recovery and in the past sixteen seventeen years, we have had several important milestones as a country, on which I would like to elaborate and speak to the students.

Let us first examine the important milestones that our country has had. In these, some have been good, some bad. I feel like placing the complete picture before you. What have been the good changes that have occurred thus far? The first good change is that we are now definitely economically more prosperous than before. We became independent in 1947, while in 1951 we drew up the development plan. In the first three decades, what was our growth rate? When we were talking about socialistic revival, our growth rate was only 3.5%. Population growth was clocked at 2.2% and our per capita income was 1.3% per annum. Had we continued our tortoise-like growth rate how many years would it have taken us to double our standard of living? It would have taken us 51 years.

Even before we got independence Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had visualized that post-Independence, every decade we would double our standard of living. The reality is since 1951, when we were achieving planned development, in thirty years the per capita income had been only 1.3/10 %, which means at that growth rate it would take us 59 years to progress. What China achieved in 11 years, Korea did 13, Malaysia in 15 years, Indonesia in 19 years that would have taken us 59 years. We did not ask then to ourselves that why do we need 59 years what others can achieve in much shorter time? We sensed the gravity of this situation after the 1991 economic crisis. After that, we began our upwardly mobile growth phase. In the first decade, during 1992 - 2002, our growth rate had reached 6%. In the period of 2002 to 2005, it hit 8%. During 2005 - 2008, the growth rate was 9%; while in September 2008, when the economic crisis hit the world the growth rate globally had come to a stand still, our growth rate dropped to a steady 6.8% and it remains so till today.

Hence, our first achievement was we had increased our growth rate. The second achievement is that we could decrease the number of those that are below poverty line. When we were campaigning to eradicate poverty, 44% were below the poverty line. Some people feel that economic reforms are to smother poor people. If that were the case then the people below poverty line would have increased, this not being the case, the number has steadily declined. In 2004 - 05, the percentage of below poverty line came down to 28.5. The third achievement is of tremendous import. In 1991, our forex reserves had dwindled to a measly one crore USD. This has had a gargantuan boost and has increased to now 300 crore USD. Even now, it is at a level of 250 crore USD. The most important point is that the nation that would go with a begging bowl each year to the IMF and the World Bank, instead of being the debtor is now the lender. In the past four years, we have started lending money to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The amount is not large but it is the change of the role that is crucial. This is the positive side although this is not the only facet that can be counted.

I have pointed out three positive points and now for the three negative points. Even though our growth rate has been on the rise, the same cannot be said about our employment rate. Which is why the steady divide between the rates are of growing concern to us, this is the first part. The second part is even though we have reduced the number of persons living below poverty line, it is still 27-28 %. This means even today 30 to 32 crore people are living below poverty line even today. This is not laudable. I feel that unless we have completely wiped out poverty, it is unbecoming of us to call ourselves a super power. We still have a dubious distinction of housing the largest number of poor people in the world; the largest number of illiterate people in the world, and we have to work towards removing that. Third important point is that while comparing economic growth criteria amongst all nations globally, we rank second. In an international survey, among 145 nations, we rank 127 in terms of human development index. This disparity is the greatest challenge that lies before us at this time.

To nurture this change, it is imperative that we invest in qualitative education. Keeping this in mind, huge investment has been made in educational initiatives in the XI Five Year plan. In the next two years, in our country, we are going to see sweeping changes in the field of education. YCMOU and other such universities will have to play a pivotal role in such a scenario. Hereafter, to increase our reach, quality and excellence, by any measures we cannot depend solely on the conventional mode of education, neither can we solely depend on the open and distance learning mode; instead we must through the convergence of technology and methodology, combine the two methods to reach education and consciousness about it far and wide.

The value of education has never been higher than it is today. Hereafter, it is only going to get more valuable. On what basis are we envisioning ourselves as becoming a super power? On the basis of our youth, the percentage of which is high and is steadily increasing. Today the average age in India is 24 years. In 2020, it is going to 27 to 28 years, at time, China’s average age will be 37 years, America will have an average of 37 years and Japan will have an average of 44 years. Fortunately, we have the benefit of youth on our side. Globally, all the developed nations had a growth spurt and developed only when they had the age factor on their side. Now the sides have changed, the developed nations are having an increase in older populace whereas countries like India are being benefited by their youth factor. This does not mean that solely on the basis of our being young, we will become a super power automatically. If only we educate and mentor our young generation today, we can hope to achieve our goal of becoming an economic superpower. On the contrary, if we fail to do so we would have lost our one decisive strength of youth in becoming an economic superpower if we do not take stock now. This is why incisive, fundamental changes are needed in the field of education. When I look at the changes brought at YCMOU, I am happy for the university has the temerity to make such a change. This is the factor that shall take us ahead. I congratulate the university for its momentum.

Students, wherever I go, I am asked repeatedly one particular question, what is the secret of your success? Those of you who have read my book, ‘Aamcha Baap Aani Aamhi’ would vouch that there is a philosophy that I endorse. Every individual has a talent inborn; it may be in arts or even in the sports field. ‘Useless’ is not a word applicable to any individual, only that you have to find the talent of that individual, and to kick start this process is the job of education.

To educate and to nurture are the two functions of education. In my family’s seventeen generations, no one was educated and yet when I started going to school and coming first, visitors would ask me, when you grow up what will you be? In that time, as do most young children, I also fawned and shyly sidestepped. Once, my elder brother put this question before me and with a view towards answering truthfully I replied that when I grow up, I should be a writer. Upon hearing my reply, his expression was dour. He felt that I would starve, I felt bad about that. My father who happened to hear this exchange called me and asked, “What did you say you would become?” I again began to fawn and fidget. He then in his gruff tone said, “People may say what they wish, become a doctor, an engineer or a barrister, do not listen to anybody. Pay a deaf ear even to what I say, whatever you choose to become, ensure that you reach the top in that field. What he meant to say at that time, I did not fathom. However, in America, when I heard the term ‘search for excellence’, it finally dawned on me in a civilized language what my father meant to say, in his simple rustic way.

What you do is secondary to how you do it. In the same manner, in what you choose to do, to what extent are you successful; this is of core importance. Your education is a perennial pursuit. In the changing times, if you do not realize this you will lag behind, and you must be aware of this. A degree is not the destination; it is a tool. To progress, the most important thing is your attitude. Everyone must at least once evaluate his or her attitude. Our attitude is created through education and social environment. So many times our attitude is outdated. There are many past conservative values that have taken root in our subconscious. There is a need to wipe clean such past conditioning. In our childhood we have heard a rhyme, ‘Yere yere pausa, tula deto paisa’, from this rhyme we can gather that we can call the rain and give it counterfeit money when it comes; from such attitude we can only make clerks, not the entrepreneurs. ‘Lahan mazi bahuli, mothi tichi sawli’ meaning ‘small is my doll, big is her shadow’, in this nursery rhyme, there is a description of the doll. Look at the next line. The next line is ‘The chappatis made were uncooked, the rice was overcooked, she went to the well to fetch water, slipped and broke her two teeth’, this means did anyone charge her with these duties that she did? Why didn’t she just idle away? This inert laziness is evident in this. This lesson is apparent in our attitude as well.

In Marathi we often hear people saying, he ‘got’ the job, while he ‘fell’ in enterprise’, from such a sentence, what our attitude is exhibited. In a business endeavor, there is ‘fall’ is the blind belief that is prevalent. ‘Simple living and high thinking’ is an outdated philosophy in the present changed times. An even more ridiculous phrase would be ‘Only spread your legs as far as the length of your bed sheet’; in this day and age, this is most certainly nonsensical. If we spread our legs only as long as our cloth reaches then it won’t be long before another spreads his legs far enough into our covering. Instead, we must try to spread our cloth as far as possible. Do not make a virtue out of poverty. In our schools, poverty is made out to be akin to martyrdom, so much so that when you are well to do, you feel like you have committed a crime. For this reason, it is not possible to take delight in anything. A poem describes a mathadi worker who could sleep contentedly using his container for a headrest. He is at peace, whereas a rich man who sleeps in a palace on a feather mattress suffers from blood pressure, diabetes and other hard to name diseases; he is not at peace. Poverty is ‘robust’ while wealth is ‘lame’ is an extremely illogical idea. Poverty is never ‘robust’ and wealth does not become ‘lame’ by itself, it may be so if it is ill gotten. However, if wealth is gained through honest means, then there is no reason to feel guilty a bout it.

Friends, there is no need to glorify poverty and if you encounter someone who does, then do not believe him. The wealthy have spread false rumors about wealth to keep the poor impoverished. Recognize this. There is nothing wrong in earning money from rightful opportunities and in living the lifestyle you wish to live. That is your right. Do not throw away your right nor feel guilty about it. We worry excessively about what other people will say. We do not pay attention to what we feel. Students, as we live, we take plenty from society. After we are successful, the thought comes to us that it is now time to pay back to society. In the current generation, the youth seem to have forgotten this largely. Specially those from the IT sector who may know what is happening currently in America, but may have no idea about what is happening in their own neighborhood. They have no idea about the issues that plague the society that they hail from or the environment that we were brought up. I call such people ‘High IQ Morons’, which means they are intelligent people with no mind. No matter how high your IQ is if you are not socially conscious, nor do you have the inclination to repay the debt you owe to society, what is the point? There is no way to call them anything other than brainless.

In my opinion today the teachers must take special care that after receiving the degree their students do not become ‘High IQ Morons’. Similarly, care must be taken to increase the level of commitment felt by the students nowadays. I congratulate all those students who have received top honors here today. I wish them all the best for their future endeavors. I also wish to congratulate the university for its journey ahead, here on. Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra.

Cover Story: Celebrating Success: 16th Convocation Ceremony

The 16th convocation Ceremony of the university in the decennial anniversary year of the university was held in an enthusiastic atmosphere. In this convocation ceremony various diplomas, degrees, three post graduate degrees, 22 research degrees were presented to 51, 522 students from across the state of Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala and Tamilnadu. In all 22 Gold medals and 42 other awards were presented to the meritorious students. The chief guests honored each of these meritorious graduates with gold medal, certificate, a memento, cash prizes sponsored by government of Maharashtra, various institutions as well as individuals and a copy of autobiography of Dr. Narendra Jadhav.

The chief guest of the convocation ceremony Dr. Narendra Jadhav, internationally renowned economist, cherished author, erstwhile Vice-chancellor of the University of Pune and presently Member of Planning Commission, Government of India; Dr. Vinaykumar Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of Uttaranchal Open University, Haldwani, Nainital, Uttaranchal as the special invitee and Vice-Chancellor of YCMOU Dr. Sudhir Gavhane, Registrar Mr. Prakash Wani, members of Board of Management and members of Academic Council were present on the dais.

Various diplomas and degrees of eight schools and a division including the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Commerce and Management, School of Computer Science, School of Continuing Education, School of Education, School of Science and Technology, School of Health Sciences, School of Agricultural Sciences, and Academic Services Division, were conferred upon the students at this occasion.

Forty jail inmates including five women undergoing sentence in various prisons also earned degrees thought the prison study centres of the university were awarded their degrees in this convocation, was a special occasion to all those who had gathered to witness the ceremony. The chief guests Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Dr. Vinaykumar Pathak and Dr. Sudhir Gavhane, Vice-Chancellor honored all the Ph. D students including two university faculties Director Manoj Killedar and Sunanda More of School of Science and Technology, on the dais.

On the occasion honorable Vice Chancellor presented the university report in his introductory speech. He said that Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, founded in 1989, is the only Open University that has achieved tremendous success over the years. The university started with just 2 subjects, 15 study centres and 3757 students, after two decades, has more than 224 educational programmes, and 3.10 lakh students at 1800 study-centres across the country. Since its inception so far it has brought 20 lakh students in the mainstream education system, reaching them the opportunity of higher education. It has achieved the status of a ‘mega university’ and with its qualitative growth it has gained respect within the country as well as outside.

While elaborating about the university’s road map he highlighted a few projects including for its ambitious project of establishing a district center in each district of the state; establishing state-of-the-art educational complexes on five acres of land in all the tribal districts of Maharashtra, which will be equipped with classrooms supported by latest Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools, and hostels for 200 tribal children in each of these districts, the project cost estimating Rs. 150 Crores; national & international collaborations and MoUs signed with prestigious institutions and conventional universities and Open universities such as Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants (IICA), Uttaranchal Open University, Uttaranchal; Cambridge University through Words Worth to offer a world-class course on Communicative Skills in English for the youth from both urban and rural areas; Similarly the MoUs with IIT Powai (Mumbai) and IIT Kanpur; Offering IT course to foreign students through e-learning mode in collaboration with NIIT. He also mentioned how some people in the university wish to misuse the university for their personal gain and how the boards have decided to curb such evil practices.

The chief guest of the ceremony Dr. Narendra Jadhav, in his inspiring speech elaborated on the Indian economy since Independence. He said that today India has greatest number of young populations and we should direct this energy to propel the development of the nation. He said that the graduates should take this degree as a beginning of their new journey. Their quest for being a better and successful human being does not end here but begins from here. He reiterated that each one of us have a spark in our personality, and individuals should always be in search of that hidden talent in themselves, while the educational institutions should provide all the support creating a learning atmosphere that would facilitate the students to search that unique skill or talent in them.

Dr. Vinaykumar Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of Uttaranchal Open University, Uttaranchal lauded the university on its progress and said that he is happy to announce that we have found that this is the best university in the open and distance learning. So, they are going to adopt a lot of courses of YCMOU, and they will have many collaborative projects. Only personal computers and Internet will not work hence from e-learning we have to go to m-learning. We have to have blended technology, and that has to be Indianized ICT technology.

To mark the decennial anniversary year the university has started two in house monthly magazines, Yashwant Sandesh in Marathi and YCMOU Bulletin in English, were published on the occasion at the hands of the chief guests. Students, experts and officials in huge number were present on the occasion.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In Focus: School of Agricultural Sciences

Going Green…Going Ahead…

Embryonic Development

This is a story of how the school of Agricultural Sciences (SAS) has grown in the last two decades, and how the School has succeeded in providing sustained academic support to the farming community of the state of Maharashtra. The school has positively impacted the morbidity rate of debt-ridden farmers in the state through high yield, low cost initiatives. The school toils relentlessly with a vision to provide expert, vocational and employment-generating, mass education in agriculture; with a mission of extending support the heretofore inaccessible stakeholders such as dropouts of the conventional system, practicing farmers, rural women and youth. The director of SAS, Professor Surya Gunjal along with his small team viz. Dr. Madhuri Sonawane and Mr. Rajendra Wagh are proud to say that they have achieved unprecedented success in achieving their target.

Fact Sheet

SAS had been established in the same year of inception of the university in 1989, with just one programme and mere 81 students. As of 2009, the number of programmes has increased to 16 and the student strength has gone up to a whopping 22,467. The school has network of 80 study centers and sub-centers across the state of Maharashtra, with expert academic support of nearly 600 teachers/counselors.

Courses offered at SAS Student enrollment

  • Certificate in Gardening = 949. 5343
  • Foundation in Agriculture = 3768
  • Diploma in Fruit Production = 3773
  • Diploma in Vegetable Production = 3767
  • Diploma in Floriculture = Diploma in Agri-business = 3750
  • Diploma in Agro-Journalism = 232         
  • B.Sc. Agriculture =  659
  • B.Sc. Horticulture  = 226
  • M. Sc. AC/AE.AD = 60
  • Ph. D. AC/AE/AD = 40
Dr. Gunjal, while reviewing the quality of students at SAS, says that the third party evaluation of his students, in comparison with the conventional agricultural educational system, is quite positive; when it comes to delivering fitness to the purpose of education and services, and they only lag behind in communication skills.

Dr. Gunjal adds that out of 4000 Agricultural Assistants recruited in the State Department of Agriculture 1800 were from the Open University system whereas 2200 were from the four Agricultural Universities in the state.

Distinguished Alumni of YCMOU’s SAS
  • Dr. Sangita Laddha, Director, International Horticulture Training Center, Jaipur
  • Dr. Ramchandra Hegde, Chief General Manager, NABARD, PuneDr. Sahebrao Kshirsagar, Chairman, Bhandara Rural Bank, Bhandara
  • Dr. Savaji Gorade, Chairman, Indore-Ujjain Rural Bank, Ujjain
  • Dr. T.K.Sridevi, District Magistrate, West Godawari
  • Dr. Prakash Pawar, Dy. Secretary of State, Mumbai
  • Dr. Rajendra Deshmukh, Chief Horticulturist, RCF, Mumbai
  • Dr. Aseem Gokarn, Landscape Horticulturist, Reliance Industries, Mumbai
  • Dr. Bhaskar Gaikwad, Organic Farming Scientist, Babhaleshwar
  • Dr. Rajendra Sarkale, M.D. Satara District Co-Operative Bank, Satara.
  • Dr. Bandikumar Mallik, Assistant Commissioner (AH), Govt. of India
The seed production companies around Pune, Aurangabad and Jalna prefer the Open University Diploma holders as ‘Only they Can Survive under Hot Sun and Wet Seasons’. More than 50 % gardeners (Mali) around Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nashik and Nagpur are products of School of Agricultural Sciences.

This is evidence enough that the courses at SAS are truly relevant to the needs of both the masses and the classes; and they have meaningfully changed the lives of millions of families. The school is conscious about the content they are generating, the programme delivery mechanism and the end product.

Fiscal Viewpoint

In 1989, the initial programme development cost was borne by NABARD, Mumbai, the programme fees was just Rs. 500. In 2009, the program fee is still in the range of Rs. 3000 to Rs. 10,000; the average fee is approximately Rs. 4000. Since its inception, from program fees, the school has earned approximately Rs. 43.50 crores, incurred expenditure of approximately Rs. 26.50 crores, and the net gains to the university is Rs. 17 crores.

Since its inception, the school has earned approximately Rs. 43.50 crores, spent Rs. 26.50 crores, while profiting a net Rs. 17 crores.


The school also works in knowledge/technology exchange collaborations with prestigious institutions, of national and international repute, such as –

  • Y.C. Pratishthan, Mumbai
  • NABARD, Mumbai
  • KVK-ICAR, New Delhi
  • NAIP-ICAR, New Delhi
  • CGIAR-FAO-ICRISAT, Washington

International Consultancies

Through various ongoing projects, SAS is closely associated with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Canada for Life Long Learning of Farmers [L3 Farmers in India and Technology Mediated Open & Distance Education (Tech-MODE)], CGIAR-FAO-ICRISAT, Hyderabad, Global Open Food & Agriculture University Project, DEC - IGNOU, New Delhi for Documentation of Indigenous Agricultural Technology and World Bank-NAIP-ICAR, New Delhi for Re-usable Learning Object Technology in Agro-horticulture.

Program Strengths

Enrollment Mobility

Through its uniquely structured programs, the school offers full vertical mobility and credit transfer from certificate level to post graduate programs. For instance, if someone enrolls for in a certificate in gardening or foundation in Agriculture program; by completing a set of courses, each year can even reach up to postgraduate and research level programs. The pace, time, course load can be decided by the student thus giving him a chance to work out his own capacity.

Equal Opportunity Programs

It is indeed painful to see that some of the students that fail in X and XII standard board examinations commit suicide. There ends the opportunity of hope for the betterment of many families; also it is a valuable loss of human resource. The school tries to offer some simple, feasible solutions to these suicides through its educational programmes. The foundation courses offered by the school are achievable, even by students who have been frustrated with the conventional education system. In addition, all the programmes of the school are relevant to various practical aspects in terms of professional application. The school has given renewed hope to the dropouts of matriculation/post matriculation examinations. In this manner, the school also contributes towards shouldering the social responsibility of rehabilitating millions of farmers’ children through achievable means of skills-developing education and employment.

Vocational and Self-Employment Generating Programs

The thrust of the school is to make all its programmes vocational, professional and employment generating ones. These programmes are also entry points into many of the government jobs in addition to private ones. More than 10,000 students are absorbed in government jobs and more than 20,000 are actively engaged in self-employment, the remaining ones are engaged in farming with new outlook and progressive vision.

Network of Study Centers at Agriculture Schools & Colleges

The school believes that to run qualitative programmes they need committed people who respect quality practices and shared values. So, it has established a network of 80 study centers and sub centers in authentic and resourceful learning centres such as agricultural technology schools, farm science centers and colleges of agriculture and Horticulture in the state. At these study centres the school has engaged more than 600 Agricultural experts in providing academic support to the students of various programmes across the state of Maharashtra.

The school has a network of 80 study centers and sub-centers, with expert academic support of 600 counsellors. Now, it has plans to expand the centers up to 100 centers and the number of students close to 30,000 by 2012.

Our strength lies in the weakness of the conventional agricultural education system in terms of ‘vertical mobility’, which has become a distinctive feature of our university. Hence, the school is in fact working in the areas where the conventional agricultural universities have inherent limitations, for instance in achieving full vertical mobility and reaching out to the dropouts, practicing farmers and rural youths.

“We are in fact working in areas where the conventional agricultural universities have inherent limitations”. -- Dr. Surya Gunjal, Director

Comparative agriculture education in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, four Agricultural Universities viz. Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri, Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola and Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Parbhani are imparting agricultural education. Collectively, in the state, they are presently enrolled at these institutions about 23,381 students, including 480 for Certificate programs, 13,920 for Diploma programs, 7,626 for Undergraduate programs, 1,185 for Postgraduate programs and 170 for Research programmes. In comparison to this, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) itself is presently catering to more than 22,000 students, including 1,000 for Certificate, 20,000 for Diploma, 1,000 for Undergraduate & 100 for Postgraduate Research programs.

Four agricultural universities in the state are collectively catering to about 23,381 students, whereas YCMOU is catering to more than 22,000 students independently.

Facilitating Learning

Self Instructional Learning Material

All these courses are disseminated through highly qualitative Self-Instructional Material (SIM) developed by the university involving experts in the field. The school has developed 104 Text Books and Work Books so far in this format. In addition to this, each study centre also houses good multimedia library and Internet facility of its own, which can be utilized by the students.

All the courses are disseminated through highly qualitative Self Instructional Material (SIM) developed by the university, involving experts in the field.

Face-to-Face Contact Sessions

In addition to the self-learning books in SIM format, regular face-to-face counselling sessions for theory and practical as well as interactive learning sessions are held 6 days in each month at each study centre and sub-centre.

Laboratory & Field Component

All the agriculture programs heavily rely on the mandatory and substantial laboratory as well as field component. In the undergraduate programs, there are 32 contact sessions devoted to practical/fieldwork at the respective study centres.

Course Development

The school adopts quality practices in all its processes. Agriculture and agriculture business management is constantly influenced by new research, uncertain climate and market conditions. The school is committed to providing latest knowledge to its students, and abreast them with the new cost effective relevant research findings in agriculture. Therefore, it also goes through a periodic revision of its course content and implementation mechanism.

The school is committed to providing latest knowledge to its students, and keeping them informed about the latest cost-effective relevant research findings in the field of agriculture.

Learning Materials

Though the school develops qualitative learning material in house, it recognizes the significance of new knowledge and research production. Therefore, in addition to the in- house study material developed by the school, it also archives quality publications and uses them for the development of new learning materials.

The school addresses academic issues through proactive consultation with peer groups. It develops framework and curricula inherent with high-end self-employability skills. It provides learning materials in quality assured compact modular format.

The school has been doing seminal work for farmers in the field of agriculture, and simultaneously building its capacity to serve more and serve better in active collaborations with some of the reputed national and international partners viz. NABARD, ICAR, COL, IFPRI, ICRISAT and UFL. Prof. Gunjal says they appreciate and value these partnerships.

The school develops area specific curricula in consultation with the state agricultural universities and ICAR institutions. Thus, these programs directly access farmers across the state.

Study Centers

The school has fixed 100 points quality parameters and benchmarks in recognizing the study centres. It identifies a good institution capable of imparting agricultural education and then, meticulously scrutinizes the proposal. Then a professional team from the university headed by the Director of the school visits the institution. This team assesses the infrastructural capabilities of the institution before signing the MoU. In the process, after assessing the criteria, a MoU is signed with the partner institution; which results in it being recognized as an authorized study centre of the university. The study centre is bound to deliver mutually agreed upon services to the students enrolled at the study centre.

Annual/periodic re-visiting of the partner institutions by the director of the school or the responsible authority delegated by the Director of the School ensures continuance of delivery of quality education.

Future Plans

The road map pertaining to the development of the school for the next few years has already been chalked out. The school plans to revise and consolidate all its programs in consistence with the new ICAR and UGC guidelines. It also proposes to monitor and evaluate all agriculture education centers and sub-centers in line with NAAC accreditation. It also intends to implement the World Bank funded NAIP-ICAR project on Technology Mediated Distance Education in Agriculture.

Bare Necessities

In 1989, the school had just one programme and 81 students with mere 2 Teachers. In 1990 the school was offering 10 programmes to 6,653 students with 6 Teachers in the school. However, in 2009 the school offers 16 programmes to 22,467 and the number of Teachers working in the school has gone down to 3. This is the kind of efficiency as well as optimal resource utilization that is inculcated in the students to ensure quality, efficient and productive output.

“We have achieved unprecedented success in our mission.”n Dr. Surya Gunjal, Director
Dr. Surya Gunjal:

Luminaries at YCMOU

Prof. Ram Takwale

Prof. Ram Takwale, while speaking at the second decennial anniversary function of YCMOU said that he believes that the learning system must be open in every way possible. Practice makes one perfect. Rote learning is not how we can create individuals who can cope with the demands that the society makes. It is important to understand and assess each person for his or her own skills, not by a common yardstick. “There are ten known kinds of intelligence, like emotional intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence etc., not just the logical and communicative intelligence that are adjudged by preset tests in our schools today”, Dr. Takwale vehemently asserts. He says that the system needs innovation so that we can create the kind of social, ecological entrepreneurs who will think out of the box, who will innovate, create and ideate solutions for the various problems that are prevalent in the world today.

Dr. Takwale abides by the axiom that we inherit the world from our children. If we do not give the freedom for the children to think, to express themselves without judgment, then how can we expect that our children will have a better future. Dr. Takwale, said that the open education system is the step for the future. Open in every way for it incorporates technology as well as communication as the base support to facilitate learning. It encourages the learner to learn what he is interested in, how much he can learn as well as at what pace he wishes to learn. There is flexibility in this where students are not bound in a straitjacket where the pressure for percentage in this perverse rat race has resulted in heartbreak for so many families. “Numbers and grades are all that parents seem interested in. They do not understand that each child has a special skillset that must be honed through a flexible motivated system that facilitates learning. The truth is that every child wants to learn. It is not for us to dictate what he should learn”, says Dr. Takwale.

Why should distance education be the exception and not the norm is the dire question for whole system. The migration of students from traditional learning methods to this new innovative system may just be the key to reducing student suicides and to revamp a system that has proved handicapped in providing solutions to pressing issues.

Students’ Reactions in Convocation Ceremony

Convocation Ceremony: A Memorable Experience
Dr. Sunanda More (Ph.D): Within the first three to four years of joining the Yashwantrao Chavan Open University, I had started feeling the urge to take higher education in my subject. But it was not possible to attend a full time course due to some personal responsibilities. So I completed my M. Sc from my university whose motto was ‘Dnyanganga Gharoghari’.

My research had found direction and on 20th January my name was announced for getting a doctorate. The doctorate was awarded to me by the vice chancellor, Dr. Sudhir Gavhane and management committee member, Dr. Narendra Jadhav. I can never forget this day. I was proud to be working in the Open University and was also a student of the same university who strives to make education possible for even the most neglected members of the society. It was an important feeling to be a responsible professor on one hand and a student on the other.

When I was accepting this degree, I remembered my whole academic life after standard 12th. After 12th standard, I had to earn to study for my engineering. I had to also provide for the education of my younger siblings. But I also remembered the help, guidance and encouragement given to me by so many people and felt a great sense of gratitude towards them.

Today more than 20 countries follow open and distance learning pattern. Since this is a new method, there is a vast scope for improvement and research. There is also a need for good analysts and researchers. An in-depth study and analysis of this method will improve the standard of this method. With this in mind, I selected the area and scope of my research.

The standard of distance learning is dependent on academic counsellor and counselling. So I selected my topic with these two aspects. Today e-learning is an important tool of learning. So if virtual classroom modules (VCMs) are employed as the tools of e-learning, how will it help in the teaching of electronic engineering and how and to what extent does it affect the teaching-learning process? How does it affect the understanding, knowledge, liking of the subject and time spent, of the students? Do the counsellors feel the need for this tool? How does it differ from the conventional method of teaching and what is the progress of the students? To analyse all these factors, training material was created for the trainers. They were trained on distance learning, how to impart it, the role of the guide and his skills through the medium of CD ROM. Then they were divided into two groups and trained on how to teach with the aid of VCMs and on conducting contact sessions on basic electronics with the help of CD ROM.

The remaining counsellors were trained on the conventional method of teaching and how to teach basic electronics through group sessions with the aid of CD ROM. I feel that this doctorate will benefit my department, the counsellors and the students of distance learning and the whole system of distance learning as a whole. I feel that if devices like VCMs are used for e-learning, it will benefit the students.

Dr. Sunanda More is an Assistant Professor in Department of Science, Technology & Architecture of the YCM Open University.

Swati Puri (Ph.D): I did my research on a practical based subject like microbiology from the Open University. During my research I got a lot of support from the University. The staff was alert about giving me whatever information I needed. I also got an opportunity to attend ‘Avishkaar festival’ through the University. It gave me great pleasure to be a part of such activities while I completed my research.

Kiran Uttamrao wakchaure (M. Phil) : The Open University has not given us only degrees. I am a teacher in a school. I was able to apply my research knowledge and techniques to teaching in the school. This in turn was helping my research. The Open University has helped people like us who are employed and still wish to improve our qualifications. Had we not got this opportunity, I would not have been able to study further. The working of the University is very well planned. We were always notified about any changes on the telephone even before the letters reached us. I am proud to be a research student of this University.

Vyankatrao Mane (M.D): One is always apprehensive about visiting the head office of the university. The office and other staff members in a university office are not always co-operative. But when I go to the Open University office, there is no doubt about the work getting done. The staff works in a very planned and disciplined manner and help us if there is any problem. This gives a sense of belonging to the University. The staff is very alert about ensuring that the time of none of the students is wasted.

Convocation Ceremony

In the 16th convocation ceremony of the Yashwantrao Chavan Mukta Vidyapeeth was attended by, the vice-chancellor of Uttaranchal Open University, Dr. Vinaykumar Pathak and Dr. Sudhir Gavhane from YCMOU, Registrar Shri. Prakash Vani, members of the management committee, planning commission and education department. In the convocation ceremony, 17,182 diplomas, 29,107 degrees, 5218 postgraduate degrees and 45 research degrees were awarded to the deserving candidates. 40 prisoners were also awarded degrees by the university this year. Shirish Khot from Thane central jail received the highest marks and was awarded the silver trophy, which is given every year to the student getting the highest marks. A handicapped student from Kolhapur, Sandeep Kalekar was felicitated as he also passed the MPSC exam along with getting the university degree.

In the News

Open University and Kusumagraj Pratisthan hold a joint statewide workshop for budding writers
Nashik: YCMOU, with a view to commemorating its decennial year, has initiated various programs. One such initiative is the budding writers workshop. Newly published writers/poets participate in a four-day workshop to hone their talent; to polish them into better writers/poets is the motivation behind this workshop. In this workshop, 40-50 new writers will be participating. YCMOU in collaboration with Kusumagraj Pratishthan Nashik shall hold these workshops annually at Mumbai, Pune, Konkan, North and South Maharashtra like Kolhapur, Nagpur, Nashik, Marathwada and Goa.

Maharashtra’s rural and urban writers lack in expressing their thoughts/ideas on paper and nor is there much information that is organized as to how to author a literary work. This is why a need of such a workshop has been identified. If we want to develop a thinking, intellectual society then we must spawn prolific writers and thinkers. In this respect, YCMOU and Kusumagraj Pratishthan are together making an effort to change this. Talented writers/poets need to polish their talent, they need direction towards awakening social consciousness in their literature and it is this reason that makes it necessary for such a workshop to be held all across Maharashtra. Also, from 1-3 January, the first such workshop was organized at YCMOU’s headquarters.

Whosoever, writer/poet wishes to participate in this workshop must bring along his or her self-authored work. On this work, several noted authors shall give their comments and feedback. For this creative process to take place, the authors must write and submit their authored works. Noted authors/poets/playwrights from all over Maharashtra shall be invited to provide their valuable suggestions/feedback etc to the participants of this workshop. To participate in this workshop, contact Mr. Vijaykumar Paikrao, Director, Student Welfare Services & Extramural Studies Centre, YCMOU, Nashik.

Liberate schools are necessary to nurture Marathi
Panaji: “students want to study in English medium schools and so the number of children attending Marathi medium schools is decreasing. So liberate schools are necessary to enable the children select the subjects they wish to learn and also to nurture Marathi language” opined the ex central agriculture minister and the chairperson of Konkan Marathi parishad, Adv Ramakant Kalap.

In association with Kusumagraj Pratishthan and Dainik Gomantak, Yashwantrao Chavan Open University had organised a three day story writing, poetry writing and play writing workshop. Advocate Kalap inaugurated the workshop. Prof. Dadasaheb More of the external students cell of the Open University, Suresh Naik, the executive editor of Gomantak, Shri. Vishwanath Shinde, the head of the Marathi department, Shivaji University, Dr. Somnath Komarpant, ex head of Marathi department of Goa University and Subhash Naik, manager Gomantak were present on the occasion.

Adv. Khalap further said, “When the students do not get proper education, it affects the whole society. For this we have to widen the horizons of formal education to include the subjects that the children like and enjoy. Students lag behind in subjects like science and mathematics and so they drop out of schools. So the concept of liberate schooling has become very important.”

On its bi-centenary and to encourage socially aware writers, the Open University organised various workshops at different places. The first workshop was conducted in Nashik. This is the second workshop being conducted in Goa. In this three days workshop, the participants were guided by Prof. Dadasaheb More (story writing), Prof. Vishwanath Shinde (poetry writing), Dr. Somnath Komarpant (creative writing), Shri. Vijaykumar Naik (play writing) and by prof. S.S. Nadkarni (novel writing). Graduate and postgraduate students and other writers participated in this workshop. Upcoming writers presented their works and also wrote on the themes given by the speakers. All the works were put on display.

All public educational endeavors must focus collectively on women’s empowerment – Dr. Sudhir Gavhane
Nashik, 18th January, 2010 – YCMOU’s Vice Chancellor, Dr. Sudhir Gavhane, on the occasion of Savitribai Phule’s anniversary, at a function organized by the Savitribai Phule Chair, exhorted all public educational institutions to come together to make a collective effort in bringing about women’s empowerment which is absolutely essential in society today.

At an S.M.R.K Women’s University event, Mrs. Devyani Pharande, Deputy Mayor, Nashik Municipal Corporation, as chief guest of the event honored Mrs. Jayashree Rode, Mrs. Lata Waghere, Mrs. Smita Soni with the Savitribai Writers Award. At this event, Devyani Pharande said that the current scenario is conducive for women and women must make a mark at being empowered through independence.

This program was inaugurated by Mr. Y.K Baramatikar, Managing Director, Dr. B.R Ambedkar Khadi Gramudyog Association (GoI), Nashik. This event was organized by YCMOU’s Registrar Shri Prakash Wani, Mrs. Dipti Deshpande, Prinicipal, S.M.R.K Womens University, Mrs. Tejaswini Kadam and Mrs. Vijaya Patil.

Dialogue is the key to stop students’ suicides

Speech by Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Sudhir Gavhane at programme organised by the Nashik Municipal Corporation & Division of the Maharashtra State Primary Education Committee.

A race for marks is responsible for the death of the students. If the warmth in the relationships is maintained, the mindset of the students can be changed. Parents should emphasise on a more meaningful dialogue with the children. They should not burden their wards with their own expectations which make them only exam orientated and not knowledge oriented. If the atmosphere at home is cheerful and happy, the children find it easier to talk to their parents. This communication helps the parents to understand the children’s problems. Along with the parents, the teachers also need to change their perspective of judging the students according to their academic prowess. Recognising and nurturing the extra-curricular skills of the students helps them in their over-all development, which in turn helps the society to develop as a whole.

Even today, there is a strong belief in the society that each student should only focus on academic prowess and that other fields are of lesser importance. There are many students who are good in sports, music, dance and other extra-curricular activities. They should be given proper guidance and opportunities. It is important to nurture good values. The development of the country should be comprehensive. Just economic growth is does not make the country prosperous. It should be relative with social and cultural development too. Today most of the parents want their children to become doctors or engineers. If he or she has the capability or the skill to become a doctor or an engineer, it should be nurtured. But if not, the parents should not feel dejected. The child should be encouraged to excel in other areas instead of feeling burdened under the parents’ wishes. Creative persons are born in each era. Very few persons try to walk on the un-trodden paths where their creativity is nurtured and cherished. We need to think about this and create spaces for such creative minds to grow. We need an efficient administration to encourage creativity. And the administration should also be just along with efficient.

Progress gives rise to the expectations of the people. For various reasons, the rate of suicides is more in progressive states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh etc. The burden of parents’ expectations, changing values due to changing lifestyles are all contributing to the rate of suicides.

Along with the suicides of students, the rate of suicides of married women is also very high. Women work in all the fields alongside men today. But the mindset of the society has still not changed much. Unfortunately, men are not able to match the speed at which women are becoming independent. Women have to take the responsibility of their jobs, their homes and the future of their children. But it is still expected that the women give enough time to housework, after doing a full-time job outside. To escape this stress, many women commit suicide. We need to change our social structures to help accommodate working women. The growth and progress of our society depends on it. There should be better communication at home with the women where the women are able to share their problems with their family members. Also the family should change their mind-set and share in the housework.

Instead of protecting the children as if they were fragile butterflies, they should be allowed to experience the good and the bad aspects of life. They should be taught to take success and failure in their stride. Parents grow and learn along with the children. They should also learn through their children’s experiences.

According to a survey conducted by the central crimes department, in 2007 the number of suicides was 1, 20,360. Suicides committed due to fear of exams were 1976 persons, out of which there were only 890 boys and about 1086 girls. Suicide because of failure in careers was 1273 persons out of which there were 156 men and 1117 women.

Mahatma to Mahatma March
The division of the society on the lines of caste, religion, gender and financial capacity is a dangerous. Mahatma Gandhi had made the freedom struggle against the British all inclusive. There were no distinctions of men-women, urban-rural, religions, castes when they were in the struggle together. Mahatma Phule gave a strong response to the issues of untouchability and gender bias in his writings and set an example for the people to follow through his actions. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar fought for the right to drinking water for all and awakened the society against injustice. In a country where such stalwarts were born, caste distinctions, gender biases are still rampant.

With the goal of awakening the masses to eradicate such biases, various social organisations have undertaken the project ‘Mahatma to Mahatma equality march’. The march which commenced on 2nd January from Phulewadi, on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Phule, will conclude on 28th January at Bapu Kuti, Sevagram. Water from the pond freed by Mahatma Phule and from the drinking water stream freed for the untouchables by Ambedkar, will be carried throughout the march and taken to Sevagram. The 900 kms march will take 57 days and will go through 110 villages from 8 districts. The marchers will hold dialogues with college students and villagers during the course of the march.

41 social organisations from Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune, Aurangabad, Ichalkaranji, Ahmednagar, Jalna, Raigad etc have participated in the march. Some other social organisations too have extended their support to the march. YCMOU is always a part of such social activities. It will take care of the financial aspect of this programme.

Science Journalism Workshop
Nashik : National science and Industrial communication conference, Vidnyan Parishad and Yashwantrao Chavan Open University together conducted a three days workshop on scientific writing and journalism from 28 to 30 January, at the Open University.

Dr. K.K Dwivedi inaugurated this workshop. Mr. Abhay Ozarkar, chairman Media Centre and Ms. Aditi Morankar of Red FM attended the inauguration. Dr. Manoj Kataria, of the National Science and Technology Parishad, ex chief of the National News Bureau Dr. Vinod Varshane (concepts of scientific writing), advisor to national science and technology parishad, Dr. P.K Ingle (translation and editing of scientific writings), Girish Pimple (principles of good science fiction writings) etc were the experts who guided the participants. Dr. V.B Gaekwad of the science department Pune University addressed the gathering in the concluding session of the workshop.

Marks attained at degree should be considered the same for 12th standard: Administrative Court Ruling
Nashik: The degree granted by the Yashwantrao Chavan Open University is at par with a degree granted by any other university. Also, it should be considered that the marks obtained by the student at degree level, will be the same for 10th and 12th standard. This ruling was passed by the administrative court. Rajendra Dattatraya Ghunkikar attained B.A degree from the open university but was disqualified for the post of forest officer as he had not passed HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate.) Shri Ghunkikar appealed in the court against this injustice.

Since Shri Ghunkikar had failed his HSC exam, he acquired his B.A degree from the Open University and applied for the post of forest officer. But he was not able to mention his 12th standard marks as he had failed his HSC exam. So he was not selected for this post. Shri Ghunkikar filed a case against this and the court ruled that Shri Ghunkikar’s HSC marks should be considered equivalent to the marks he had obtained in his degree examination and he should be considered eligible for the post.

So that these incidences do not recur, the court announced that the marks obtained at degree level should be considered the same for 10th and 12th standard exams and the candidate should be considered eligible for appointment. The court asked the chief registrar and administrative office to make the necessary amendments. The Open University has sent this proposal to the government. This will definitely benefit the students.

Non-creamy layer certificate mandatory for B.Ed courses
Nashik, 11 January 2010 – YCMOU’s B.Ed program selects meritorious students to admit them to the course due to paucity of seats. According to the state rules, any Scheduled Tribe (ST) category students applying for admission must produce his caste certificate at the interview stage.

Vimukt Jaati (VJ), Nomadic Tribe (NT – B,C,D), Special Backward Castes (SBCs) and Other Backward Castes (OBCs), when applying for such reserved quota, must produce their non-creamy layer certificate. If they fail to produce the said certificate, their application may be summarily rejected. Thereby, it is the message of the Open University that students hopeful for admission must apply and have their caste certificate in hand while applying for admission. In this regard, please log on to for more information.

YCMOU invites entries for the Shramseva Award 2009-2010
Nashik, 4 February – Every year YCMOU invites applications for the Shramseva Award. This award includes a cash sum of Rs. 10,000/- a memento and a certificate.

Every year on 9th May YCMOU honors a woman social worker or an NGO with Shramseva Award, who have worked specifically in the field of Adivasis, farmers, laborers, the sick, orphaned etc. For the same, interested candidates must send their relevant information/ proposal before 30th March 2010 to Mr. Vijay Kumar Paikrao, Director, Student Welfare & Extramural Studies Centre, YCMOU, Nashik. For further information please call on (0253) 223 0127.

YCMOU emerges victorious at national level youth competition
Rohatak (Haryana), 15th February- Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and Human Resource Development Ministry (HRDM) and Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana in a joint collaboration conducted a National level Youth festival in which the team that represented YCMOU secured third place in the mimicry and miming competition. With this victory, the Open University has now reached the top among peers nationally.

YCMOU had won the general championship in mimicry and miming art in the Western Zone Inter-University Youth Festival held in Mumbai earlier this year. The students who represented the university at this event were Yogesh Supekar, Poonam Sawant, Ujjwala Shingade, Govind Khairnar, Rupesh Dhadve, Nitin Kambli, Yogesh Mohite. The students were guided by Pramod Shelar and Chandrakant Shejwal.

The honorable Vice-Chancellor Dr. Sudhir Gavhane, the Registrar, Mr. Prakash Atkare and Mr. Balasaheb Ghorpade also supported the students.

YCMOU’s ‘Bhajan Competition’ sees Adarsh High School securing first prize
Nashik, 30th January – Celebrating Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Day, YCMOU organized a ‘Bhajan Competition’, which saw 15 schools from Nashik district competing for the prize. Prizes were organized for individual singers as well as group singing.

In the group competition, Adarsh Secondary School won the first place, the second place went to Rasbihari International School and the third place was awarded to Loknete Shankarrao Waje School, Sinnar and Daycare Center School, Nashik, together. Consolation prize was given to Bhonsala Military School, Nashik. The individual prizes, some of which have been jointly awarded to two deserving candidates are as follows –

  1. Roshni Shah (Rasbihari International School, Nashik)/ Aishwarya Aditi (New Era English School, Nashik) – First Prize
  2. Poorva Dahale (Adarsh School, Nashik)/ Eeshwari Dasakar (Navrachna School, Nashik) – Second Prize
  3. Mridula Kulkarni (Adarsh Secondary School, Nashik)/ Harshad Golesar (Loknete Shankarrao Waje School, Sinnar) – Third Prize
  4. Ute Janardhan (Tambe Parivar, Sinnar) – Fourth Prize
The judges who judged the competition were Shri. Balasaheb Deshpande, Ragini Kamtikar, Charudutt Dixit, Shripad Gholap, Satish Marathe and Praful Chikerur. Dr. Jaideep Nikam (Head of Mahatma Gandhi Chair), Shri Tejas Beldar, Jagdish Kulkarni, Mrs. Gujar, Shri. Shejwal worked hard to make this event a success.

Health Calendar
The health department has prepared a health calendar under the health bank project which gives pertinent information about health issues. It gives information about smokeless stoves, children’s health, benefits of aloe vera, home-made salines, first aid and recognising signs of under-nourishment and hygiene with appropriate pictures.

Prof . Vaibhav Jadhav’s thesis receives an award
Satara: In the Maharashtra State Secondary Teachers training conference (MESTA), prof Jadhav’s thesis was declared the best thesis. In the conference which was held in the high school of Patan, Koyna education society, prof Jadhav presented his paper on ‘the role of information technology communication in education training’. Prof. Vijaykumar Paikrao was elected to be a member of MESTA in this conference. This appointment is for three years.

A in-house journal ‘Samvad’ is published by the University to keep the students, teachers, trainers and centre facilitators informed about the various activities of the University. Two more publications Yashwant Sandesh and YCMOU Bulletin have also started from January 2010. The University has also launched a new portal with a link to YCMOU Today to keep the readers informed about the various activities and projects taking place in the head office and regional centres of the university. This gives information about the tours of the VIPs, various programmes, the projects conducted by different departments and important news, incidents and happenings. We are sure that this endeavor will also receive a good response from the readers. We welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Up Coming Events

1. International Conference on Enrolment, Retention and Success Rate of Learners in Open and Distance Learning at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Maidan Garhi, New Delhi – 110 068, India, during May 07, 08 & 09, 2010. The International Conference will be available online for real time interaction as well at 50 Regional Centres of the University in India.
Registration fees - Rs.5000.00 INR or US $ 150. Convener – Dr Masood Parveez, Director, Regional Services Division, IGNOU,

2. The Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF6) is being jointly organised by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Canada in partnership with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) New Delhi, India; at Kochi, Kerala, India from 24-28 November 2010. Colleagues and friends in open and distance learning are encouraged to submit nominations for the awards of excellence and to attend the Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning. The PCF6 conference theme is “Access and Success in Learning: Global Development Perspectives”, with a focus on four key areas: Social Justice, Community Development, Skills Development, Formal Education. The Forum's website is

3. Workshop on Strategy implementation in practice: a multifaceted phenomenon consisting of formal and informal ingredients organised by The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA on 17th March 2010 at 12.30 - 14.00. Please register by Monday 15 March, if you would like to attend. Convener: Dr Jackie Fry: 01908 654719