DEB: Distant Education Bureau

The open and distance learning system in India is as an important mode for providing education to diverse sections of society. The Distant Education Bureau is a bureau of the University Grants Commission established in 2012. It is based in New Delhi, India and is in charge of regulating distance education in India. ODL system has registered a phenoimenal growth in the context of expansion and diversification of higher education. From a single institution in 1962 ( Delhi University) the number of ODL institutions has reached approximately 250 including Central, State, Deemed to be and Private Universities along with many stand alone institutions.

In today's time, two terms that are being used almost inter-changeably are, viz. ‘Open Learning’ and ‘Distance Education’ and they are often combined to be known as Open and Distance Learning (ODL).

ODL occupies a special place in the Indian higher education system because of its major contribution in enhancing the gross enrollment ratio and democratization of higher education to large segments of the Indian population particularly to reach out to the unreached and to meet the demands of lifelong learning which has become more of a necessity in the knowledge society.

Objectives of Distance Education:
To democratize higher education to large segments of the population, in particular the disadvantaged groups such as those living in remote and rural areas, working people, women etc.

To provide an innovative system of university-level education which is both flexible and open in terms of methods and pace of learning; combination of courses, eligibility for enrollment, age of entry, conduct of examination and implementation of the programmes of study;

To provide an opportunity for up-gradation of skills and qualifications;

To develop education as a lifelong activity to enable persons to update their knowledge or acquire knowledge in new areas.

Types of Distance Education (DE) in India

India has one of the largest DE systems in the world, second only to China. There are six types of institutions offering DE today:
National Open University
State Open Universities
Distance Education Institutions (DEIs) at
- Institutions of National Importance
- Central Universities
- State Universities
- Deemed to be Universities
- State Private Universities
DEIs at Stand alone Institutions
- Professional Associations
- Government Institutions
- Private institutions

ODL System

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

List of Universities/Institutions recognized by UGC to offer Distance Learning Programmes

To know about the recognised universities / institutions for offering programmes through distance mode, click here

DEB Contact Details

Distance Education Bureau (DEB) Main Office
University Grants Commission (UGC)
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi
Pin:110 002

Distance Education Bureau (DEB) Camp Office
UGC Office,
35, Feroze Shah Road, New Delhi
Pin:110 001

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