Pandit Sundarlal Sharma (Open) University Chhattisgarh
Pandit Sundarlal Sharma (Open) University (PSSOU) Chhattisgarh, Bilaspur was established by the Chhattisgarh legislature in the 55thyear of the republic of India. The Governor of the state accorded his assent to it on on 20th January, 2005 and the act was published in the Chhatisgarh Gazette (extra ordinary) no. 20 Raipur, Monday the 24th January, 2005. Dr. T.D. Sharma joined this university as the first Vice-Chancellor on 2nd March, 2005 while Dr. Sharad Kumar Vajpai takes office as Registrar on the 15th March, 2005.
The university was formally inaugurated by the former Vice Prime Minister, Govt. of India and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Shri Lal Krishna Advani at a function presided over by the honorable Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr. Raman Singh attended by Shri Ajay Chandrakar (Minister of Higher Education), Shri Amar Agrawal (Minister of Finance) along with large number of dignitaries and guest who graced the occasion with their presence. On this occasion Shri Advaniji said in his address …. ‘Centre of gravity of the society is fast changing…... first of all man dominated the society on his physical strength, later on economic strength overshadowed it, and now the education strength dominates….’. He further said that whenever centre of ability opens, society develops all around and that wherever general university fails, Open University comes forward to the development of all kinds of people. Thus true to his intellectual status as thinker shri Advaniji underlined the importance of Open University system in the present age.
To provide wide scope and development to the university, responsibility lies with the chief minister Dr. Raman Singh who emphatically expressed that study centers of the university will be opened from in the far flung areas of the state, especially in the tribal belt from Bastar to Sarguja. Thus all sub-division and blocks headquarters tribal belt of the state will be opened. This way all sub-divisions and block headquarters will be connected to the university through these study centers and will have facility of wider education, of better library and guidance. Thus the dream we saw at the fulfilled. The State Government has promised to render all possible help in the consolidation of the university and in achieving its goals.
Objectives of University:
- The University operates in the entire region of C.G.
- Study centers will be established by this university at maximum possible blocks of C.G. and in the places. The University has made its major objective to open study centers at such places.
- University will make admission rules, learning period & subject options more flexible and convenient in accordance with the philosophy of ODL system.
- University will provide study materials; studying/learning through which students will be able to take part in the examinations conducted by the university.
- University will provide and generate all possible facilities and platform as to live up to the growing aspirations of the academic aspirants.
Open & Distance Learning System (ODL)
- Reliance on conventional communication links.
- Weak Wide Area Network with H.Q., Regional Centres and Study Centres situated at block level of C.G. State.
- Absence of database management.
- Insufficient component of interactive multiple-media in courseware of various subjects.
- Lack of tracer studies on learners and quality research studies on the system.
- Inadequate mechanism for continuous professional development of faculty and staff due to phenomenal growth of the system.
- Delay of initiative to promote collaborative inter-university alliances/consortium.
In the emerging scenario, the ODL is probably the only sustainable system for enhancing seamless access to education in the country. The University has and shall continuously strive for improving the credibility and quality of the system. The opportunities stem from:
- Ever increasing demand for higher education and up gradation of life-coping skills.
- Need for continuous training of a huge workforce in the developing countries with large populations, projects and plans.
- Enhancing access to education to the employed (with low qualifications), drop-outs, adult learners.
- Global alliances with institutions of ODL systems to provide and share rich learning experiences through collaborative educational programmes.
- Convergence between the open and conventional university systems (and other educational and training organisations) to enhance sustainable access.
- Scope for imparting education using emerging technologies.
- Focusing on the educational need of the disadvantaged groups and less developed regions.
Threats and Challenges to the System
- Attracting best talent and retaining them.
- Sustain quality education under resource constraints and pressure of large numbers.
- Continued efforts required to upgrade standards in the context of global competition.
- Increased focus on learner-centric learning, particularly for those from remote and rural areas with special emphasis to tribal areas.
- Developing mechanisms and capabilities to compete internationally to advance frontiers of knowledge and to emerge as the leader of ODL system.
- Continuing professional development of faculty and staff, especially for technology-enabled education and training.
The institutional values that shall guide the university in the fulfillment of its mission will be:
- Learner-centric education.
- Empowering the disadvantaged and the unreached.
- Professional integrity.
- Functional autonomy and informed decision-making
- Total Quality Management (TQM) for excellence.
- Networking, collaboration and resource-sharing.
- Continuous self-assessment and self-improvement for systemic growth.