Sambalpur: Dr Tapan Chand, CMD, NALCO, has sought the collaboration of OSOU for rendering skill-based training to the youth of western Odisha. “We are in the process of drafting a proposal to enhance the employability of our underprivileged, young job seekers” informed Prof. Srikant Mohapatra, Vice Chancellor, OSOU, on the eve of fourth foundation day of Odisha State Open University held on 10th June, 2019, at the district auditorium (Tapaswini), Sambalpur.
Open and distant learning doesn’t create learned people; it creates learners, contended Prof. Marmar Mukhopadhya, Director, Educational Technology and Management Academy, New Delhi.Dr Tapan Kumar Chand, Chairman cum Managing Director, NALCO, also graced the occasion as its Chief Guest. Among others who attended the celebrations were Prof. Atal Chaudri, Vice Chancellor, VSSUT, Prof. S. C. Garg, Vice chancellor, Usha Martin University and Dr Raseswari Panigrahi, former MLA. The event also saw the University signing two MOUs with Usha Martin University, Ranchi and Jean Foundation, New Delhi, for mutual exchange of self-learning materials.
Odisha State Open University, considered to be a novel venture of the State Government towards equalizing educational opportunities, enjoys jurisdiction over the entire state of Odisha. To fulfill its mandate of providing quality education, research and training at affordable costs, the University, under the able stewardship of Prof. Srikant Mohapatra, Vice Chancellor, functions through a network of regional centers and study centers, spread across the state.
Apart from its diploma, certificate and modular programs, Odisha State Open University, also offers bachelor degree, master degree as well as post graduate diploma programs in traditional as well as professional subjects. Last year the University received approval for almost all the Under Graduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) programs that it applied for. The distance education bureau of UGC has granted permission to OSOU to offer 26 courses through open and distance learning mode.
OSOU’s rapidly growing alumni base stands well above 2600 as on date, with two-thirds of its beneficiaries coming from the rural hinterland of Odisha. “In four years we have admitted 12,000 students. 70 percent of them have come from rural areas”, declared Prof. Mohapatra. The down-to-earth fee structure coupled with a robust network of study centers covering almost every district of Odisha makes it possible for the underprivileged to realize their right to education.
One of the hallmarks of OSOU is its extensive use of technology to deliver education at the doorsteps. In many ways its interactive website serves as a virtual classroom-cum-library. Students have 24X7 access to online study materials and uploaded lectures by experts. “Believe me a University can run through a mobile phone”, said Prof. Mohapatra. OSOU launched its mobile application in Google play store. The same enables students to apply for admission using their mobile phones. Prof. Srikant Mohapatra also insisted on the use of affordable technologies, keeping the students in mind, while imparting education through the distant education mode.
The World Bank had identified the University for a financial aid of Rs 25 crore for quality and excellence in higher education in the state.