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    Latest News from India - President Patil to lay foundation of IGNOU campus

    Thiruvananthapuram : President Pratibha Patil would Wednesday lay the foundation for the Rs.300 crore south zone campus of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) near this Kerala capital, a top official said Tuesday. 'This zonal campus comes after the university decided to decentralize its operations into five zones. This south zone campus would look after the operations of the four southern states and Puducherry,' IGNOU vice-chancellor V.N. Rajasekheran Pillai said.

    This zonal campus is the first to be established and would be completed in 19 months, Pillai told reporters here.

    To be spread across a 25-acre area on the outskirts here, the land for the campus has been given by the Kerala government.

    The new campus will have a core faculty and staff of around 200 people, resident postgraduate and Ph.D scholars numbering 200, besides visiting research scholars and 600 professionals pursuing development programmes.

    'This zonal campus is going to be a boon to the society and also for economically backward students of south India who are desirous to acquire higher education of high quality, irrespective of age, religion, gender, caste and creed,' said Pillai.

    IGNOU helped 79,450 students from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes categories to graduate free of cost last year, said Pillai.

    The campus would house the administrative and academic complex, besides a guest house and a hostel.

    Four million students from across India study in IGNOU, rated as the world's biggest university.

    'We offer 500 different programmes through 21 schools (faculties) and also 40 online courses. Statistics show that 47 percent of our students who completed their studies have managed to get a job. We were the first university in the country to introduce a student satisfaction survey with 28 questions given to students to assess the courses and the faculty,' added Pillai.

    --IANS





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