ODL (Open & Distance Learning) System in Higher Education
The open and distance learning system in India has emerged as an important mode for providing education to diverse sections of society. Besides, the changing dynamics of the ODL system in the last six decades have been encouraging. With the proliferation in the ICT, the boundaries of classroom or campus are becoming blurred. As it is said, the temporal and spatial boundaries have disappeared (Kulandaiswamy, 2011). The impressive number of ODL institutions in the country bear testimony to the fact. Single-mode open universities have increased from four in number during the 8th Plan period to 14 in the 10th Plan period. The number of dual mode universities offering programmes through the distance mode (DEIs) has risen to more than 200. 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 of higher education in the country are enrolled in the ODL system.

The growth of distance education has been exponential over the last four decades in our country beginning. With the establishment of Dr BR Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad in 1982, a new chapter in the distance education system began when full fledged Open University with the mandate to provide distance education was established. This was followed by the establishment of Indira Gandhi National Open University in 1985. The idea of having institutions imparting open distance learning was accepted by many states and 1987 saw the emergence of two more Open Universities, namely, Nalanda Open University (NOU) Patna, Bihar and Vardhman Mahaveer Open University (VMOU), Kota, Rajasthan. Subsequently, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Nashik, Maharashtra was established in 1989. The 17

Open Universities on date have a strong network of about 11000 study centers and about 70,000 academic counselors to support the learning needs of students. The Open Universities offer all kinds of programmes ranging from vocational to general to professional to technical.

Distance mode programmes in dual mode Universities started with the Delhi University which started offering programmes as correspondence courses in the year 1962. As on date there are about 250 distance education institutions in the dual mode universities and institutions which are offering programmes through distance mode There are about 22 lakhs students who have enrolled in the DEIs of dual mode universities.
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