Benefits of distance education in India

by Sandeep | Posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017


Since distance learning aimed at an easy and affordable access to higher education for the masses, it proved very beneficial to a vast number of students scattered across the country. Due to lack of financial resources, a large number of ambitious youth find themselves unable to get quality education. This mode of learning is really very advantageous for learners who live at a distance from the teaching institution or education provider. Another clear advantage of distance learning is the significantly enhanced level of flexibility when compared to traditional courses. One of the benefits of distance learning is that there is a wide variety of materials that can meet everyone’s learning preference at least part of the time. Besides, educational inequity is a major issue in India. Rural schools often have less contact with educational trends, fewer qualified teachers, and more need for technology. Distance learning offers great potential for doing away with these issues. Distance learning can also be fitted around existing professional and personal responsibilities, allowing people to gain a new qualification while maintaining their earning power, family life and leisure time. With distance learning, you progress at your own pace and submit work or take exams when you are fully ready to do so. Distance learning is not only convenient: it is also effective and affordable.


Distance education institutions offer courses at different


★ First degree

★Postgraduate degree

★ Diploma

★Postgraduate diploma

★ Certificate


★ Ph.D.


The courses cover a variety of subjects. Apart from the traditional courses in Arts, Science, and Commerce, both at first degree and postgraduate degree levels, a large number of professional courses at different levels are also offered. They include Teacher Education, Library and Information Science, Journalism and Mass Communication, Nursing, Management and its different branches, Computer Science and Information Technology, etc.

The most important thing about distance learning is, however, its quality, because its reach is unlimited or unimaginably vast. In addition, with the passage of time, modes of education delivery have witnessed unprecedented expansion. Various studies have shown that distance learning programmes can be as efficient and valuable as regular classroom programmes and sometimes even better. Sometimes, the learning material for distance learning programmes by certain universities {eg: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)} can be way superior to that of a regular classroom course. So as a student, you need to decide if distance learning programme suits your personality and temperament. However, there are mainly three factors which determine the success of distance learning courses. They are:

  1. High-quality, well-structured instructional material both in print and electronic media.
  2. Use of distance learning technologies based on new communication and information technologies.
  3. Adequate guidance and counsellingat study centres.

Distance learning is getting all the more popular due to its flexibility and range. Anybody who is thinking of adding something new to his/her current profile without leaving his/her organisation can do so. Distance learning has harmonised itself well with existing professional and personal responsibilities of the individuals.

Expansion of the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in India in recent decades has been tremendous. Open Universities (OUs) and Distance Education Institutions (DEIs) of dual mode universities/institutions are offering programmes /courses through the distance mode. This is due to the fact that the growth in the infrastructure for face-to-face instruction is unable to match the educational demands of the ever- increasing number of aspiring students. At present, nearly 25% students engaged in higher education in the country are enrolled in the ODL system. Single-mode open universities have increased from four in number during the 8th Plan period to 14 in the I Oth Plan period. The number of dual mode universities offering programmes through the distance mode (DEIs) has risen to more than 140. Currently, there are 14 single-mode open universities in India. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is the only national university. The rest are State open universities:


  1. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University (BRAOU), Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
  2. Vardhaman Mahaveer Open University (VMOU), Kota, Rajasthan
  3. Nalanda Open University (NOU), Patna, Bihar
  4. Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Nashik, Maharashtra
  5. Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University (MPBOU), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
  6. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (BAOU), Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  7. Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), Mysore, Karnataka
  8. Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU), Kolkata, West Bengal
  9. U.P. Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU), Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
  10. Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU), Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  11.   Pt. Sunderlal Sharma Open University (PSSOU), Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh
  12. Uttarakhand Open University, Haldwani (Nainital), Uttarakhand
  13. K. K. Handique State University, Guwahati, Assam.

Open schools such as Symbiosis Centre for Distance

Learning (SCDL), UTS Pune and Universities such as Sikkim Manipal University (SMU), Amity University, Annamalai University (AU) offer a wide range of skill-based programmes.

Distance Education Institutes (DEIs) are spreading their network by setting up more study centres and information kiosks. Some also provide links to open courseware to distance education institutes, overseas. Distance Learning (DL) institutions come in various forms. Universities like IGNOU, which are Open Universities, exclusively offer DL programmes. Many like Delhi University are ‘Dual-Mode’ wherein they offer both regular and DL programmes. Private institutes like Institute of Management Technology (IMT) and Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) also offer programmes through DL. But the best part is that the degree awarded by Open Universities is the same degree awarded to regular college students.

The following subjects can be studied through distance learning in India:

★           Management

★           Business

★           Human Resource Management

★           Law

★           Public Administration

★           Psychology

★           IT and Telecommunications

★           Finance and Accounting

★           Sales and Marketing

★           Service Excellence

★           Tourism and Hospitality

Some of the most popular Distance Education courses are :

  •  MBA
  •  MCA
  •  MA
  •  BBA

Advanced PG Diploma in e-Commerce PG Diploma in Enterprise Resource Planning PG Diploma in Guidance and Counseling PG Diploma in Advertising and Sales Management MA in Psychology When one talks of legal profession in India, one at once notices that there are opportunities galore in both corporate sector and non-government organisations (NGOs). Legal profession is one of the oldest professions in every corner of the world. The awareness about legal rights and responsibilities in the emerging world order is very important for individuals who wish to pursue legal profession. The degrees provided by Distance Learning in law entitle the students to practise the legal profession throughout India.

Some of the best centres for Distance Education in Law are:
★ Indira Gandhi National Open University
★ National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, Karnataka
★ Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Tamil Nadu
★ Kakatiya University, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh
★ Kurukshetra University, Haryana
★ Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai,Tamil Nadu
★ Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala
★ S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Some popular Distance Education courses in Law are:
1. Alagappa University (Karaikudi) : PG Diploma in Personal Management and Labour Law
2. Annamalai University (Annamalainagar) : Bachelor of Academic Law (BAL);Bachelor of General Law (BGL), ML; PG Diploma in Taxation Law: PG Diploma in Labour Law and Administrative Law
3. Bangalore University (Bangalore) : PG Diploma in Taxation Law; PG Diploma in Labour Law
4. Bundelkhand University Campus For Open Learning
5. University of Hyderabad (Hyderabad) : PG Diploma in Cyber Laws
6. Kakatiya University (Warangal): BGL, LLM
7. Kurukshetra University (Kurukshetra): LLM
8. University of Madras (Chennai) : PG Diploma in Labour Law andTaxation Law
9. Madurai-Kamaraj University (Madurai) : BGL, PG Diploma in Labour Law and Administrative Law
10. Mahatma Gandhi University (Kottayam) : LLM, PG Diplomas in Accident Compensation Law, Consumer Protection Law, and Local Self-Government Law
1 I. National Law School of India University (Bangalore): PG Diploma in Environmental Law
12. Amity Law School (New Delhi): Diploma in Cyber Laws (6 months).

Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) in Maharashtra and Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU) in West Bengal have performed well over the years. Andhra Pradesh (Dr BR Ambedkar Open University, BRAOU), Maharashtra (YCMOU), Madhya Pradesh (MP Bhoj Open University) and West Bengal (NSOU) have registered large enrolments. Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) has been active in areas like Livelihood Education benefiting the poor and rural communities. Open Universities in Rajasthan (Vardhaman Mahaveer Open University or VMOU), Gujarat (Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University or BAOU), Karnataka (Karnataka State Open University or KSOU) and Uttar Pradesh (UP Rajarshi Tandon Open University or UPRTOU) have not grown much along the expected lines.
Distance Learning In India

As distance learning offers an opportunity of flexibility regarding time and affordable courses, millions deem it fit to add something more to their skills and qualifications for sure and attractive career advancement.

Owing to the development in the area of Information Technology, a new trend in distance learning mode has become popular with the name of “Online Education”. But distance learning and online education differ from each other to a great extent. Online learning conducts learning primarily through an online server where you may meet once or twice. Usually you have a book to read, projects to submit electronically and quizzes online to take. While all online programmes can be termed as distance learning courses, it is not prudent to call all distance learning courses online courses. All the distance learning courses do not depend on the online mode of education.While distance education institutions have expanded at a very rapid rate, but most of these institutions need an upgradation in their standards and performance. There is a large proliferation of courses covered by distance mode without adequate infrastructure, both human and physical. There is a strong need to correct these imbalances including barriers to effective distance education such as domestic distractions and unreliable technology as well as students’ programme costs, adequate contact with teachers and support services, and a need for more experience.
In this age of cut-throat competition, only those people can think of getting to the top who avail themselves of the opportunities made available to them by different sources. Those people excel who upgrade their existing qualifications through distance learning mode, if they are unable to undergo regular courses. With upgraded qualifications and additional skills, you can adapt yourself to the changing social perspectives. You can get a better career with an education, and create a better future for yourself with distance learning. Distance education opens the door to a wide range of opportunities. As distance learning offers an opportunity of flexibility regarding time and affordable courses, millions deem it fit to add something more to their skills and qualifications for sure and attractive career advancement.

You May also read History of India and Indian National Movement


Also Read

Top Distance Learning Universities


About the Author Sandeep

Hi Guys, I am Sandeep Co-founder of IASpaper and UPSCToday Staying in Mumbai (India) and pursuing graduation in Computer Science and Engineering from Mumbai University. I love helping Aspirants. You may join me on Facebook

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  1. online MBA says:

    Great post keep up the good work. Thank for share amazing blog..
    online 1 year MBA

  2. Distance learning isn’t just about career progression. It can also be to deepen your knowledge of a favorite subject or simply for the pure enjoyment of learning.

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