Community participation in open and distance learning systems in India

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Umesh Chandra Pandey
Smriti Gargava


The Three Tier system of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) which was put in place with 73rd amendment in the constitution of India, is a major initiative for democratic decentralization. PRIs are acting successfully and gradually becoming more powerful and resourceful. Now most of the Panchayets, including block and village level, are having their own buildings with basic infrastructural facilities like internet and computers. They are the representative institutions of people at grassroots. The villages Panchayats also share a common concern to strengthen educational opportunities. With increasing role being played by Village Panchayats in rural developmental arena we feel that Open and Distance Learning Systems (ODL) support services operations should converge with them (Gargava 2017). Authors of this paper have been engaged in the promotion of Indira Gandhi national Open University (IGNOU)’s Programmes and Policies in the state of Madhya Pradesh for quite some time. It is in this context that authors have planned a new strategic intervention for the sensitization operations and delivery systems of IGNOU, India, and results have been encouraging. The paper describes the experiences of the authors while using some out of box strategies to sensitize the people through Panchayats. It helped the IGNOU Regional Centre to generate the participation in IGNOU’s academic programmes. Further, the delivery of academic services in the villages had positive impact on the participation of students in the counseling sessions and success rate of the students. This paper documents varied learning experiences in this experiment.

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How to Cite
Pandey, U. C., & Gargava, S. (2019). Community participation in open and distance learning systems in India. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 14(2), 86-97. Retrieved from


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