The state of Orissa lies in the eastern side of the Indian union practically in the lap of Eastern Ghats enjoying the breeze from blue waters of Bay of Bengal. It covers an area of 155707 Sq.k.m. being situated between the parallels of 17049'N and 22034'N latitude and meridians of 81027'E and 87029'E longitudes. The Bay of Bengal forms the boundary line on the east with a coastline of about 450 kilometers. In the land it is bounded by the states of West Bengal in the north east, Jharkhand on the north, Chattishgarh on the west and Andhra Pradesh on the south. It has a population of 368.05 lacs which keeps a population density of 204 per sq.k.m. as per 2001 census. The male/female ratio in the state is 1000:972. The total Scheduled Caste population is about 16.5% and Scheduled Tribe population is 22.1%. If you look at the figure of the literacy rate it is 63.08% with male literacy 75.95% and female literacy 50.51%.
There are 10 Universities and 1679 Colleges (Government and Non-Government) 3 operating within the boundary of orissa. There is one High School in every 22.2 sq.k.m., one Upper Primary School for every 10.9 sq.k.m. and one Lower Primary School for every 3.5 sq.k.m. in this state. Govt. of Orissa is spending a major chunk of its budget outlay for both Primary, Secondary and Higher Eduction in the state. A lot of efforts is being made and new measures/initiatives taken for improvement of the total educational system and therefore the literacy rate in the state is in an increasing trend.
Profile of the Regional Centre
The Bhubaneswar Regional Centre started functioning since 1986 in a rented building. With ample public support and support from Governmental and non-governmental organizations, this centre has shown splendid performance and achieved a lot of milestones in the past. One of the major achievements of this Centre is acquisition of three acres of land in 1992 granted by Government of Orissa free of cost in a posh area in Bhubaneswar. After acquisition of land IGNOU constructed the first Regional Centre Building in it and in the year 2000 Regional Centre, Bhubaneswar got its own campus with a beautiful building and operating there since then.
Due to establishment of a Regional Centre in Koraput in 2005, the operational area of the Regional Centre, Bhubaneswar has been limited to 19 districts across the coastal and north-western districts of the state.
Since inception of the Bhubaneswar Regional Centre, the enrolment is in an increasing trend. In 2005-06 the total student strength was 12,075 (divided Bhubaneswar Region), which has been increased to 12,842 during 2006-07. Out of the total enrolment, 6.45% of students belong to SC, 5.04% of students belong to ST and 10.97%belong to OBC categories. Of the total enrolled in 2006-07, 48.2 % belong to rural areas and thereby implies that the educational opportunities through the University has been moving towards the rural segment of the population. There are about 37.25% students are employed under this region
Learner support centre
When the Regional Centre was established there were 13 study centers located in Government colleges only. But, at the moment, there are 59 learner support centers comprising 25 Regular Study Centres, 12 Special Study Centres and 22 Programme Study Centres in divided Bhubaneswar Region. This also clearly indicates the outreach of this Regional Centre in the interior/inaccessible areas of the state. Our endeavour has been to identify places having inadequate educational facilities and which are backward and inaccessible
Student Support Services
Student support service is one of the key areas of which the success of any Open University depends. This Regional Centre is therefore giving utmost importance to various kinds of support services provided at different learner centers in the state. At Regional Centre all the unsolved problems of the study centers are taken care of and the students are given utmost freedom to approach Regional Centre functionaries for solving their problems. We have a single window enquiry system at the Regional Centre having Internet facility. Besides student queries and student problems a lot of academic input is also being given from time to time from Regional Centre. Regional Centre has both SIT and DRS supported teleconferencing facilities and students are encouraged to participate in the teleconferencing programme. In addition to this, IRC is being conducted on 2nd, 4th and 5th Sunday of every month in collaboration with the All India Radio, which gives an opportunity to the learners to ask questions and solve their subject specific problems instantly. All radio stations in the state relay the programme. The Regional Centre has a well-equipped computer lab with 30 workstations having networked and backup facilities with the broadband Internet connection. The learners of MCA,BCA, BIT, ADIT,PGDLAN, CIC and CLP undertake their practical sessions with the support of experienced teachers and professionals. The Regional Centre is also equipped with three classrooms for organizing theory counseling sessions. To provide support services the regional centre has adopted collaborative measures with various Governmental and non-governmental organization in the state. Recently many NGOs have come forward and join hands with IGNOU for promotion of IGNOU programmes as well as delivery of programmes through learner centres. The Regional Centre is also actively involved in participating in various book fairs and career fairs organized in the state. Recently IGNOU participated in an Employment Fair organized by the Ministry of Labour and Employment supported by PIB at a remote area in Keonjhar district. The Regional Centre has recently established a Student Information Centre (My Counter) at its office at Bhubaneswar. The learners are facilitated through a dedicated computer having internet connection to browse through the website of IGNOU to ascertain the current status related to their admission, re-registration, material dispatch, address change, results etc. They are also provided on-line support for filling-up of the examination form, making queries on their problems, etc for quick disposal of their grievances without any additional cost.
The Regional Centre has taken special initiatives in offering academic programmes in Oriya medium to meet the special needs of the rural students. The programmes presently offered in Oriya medium are CFN, CWDL, BPP and selected course of BDP (under preparation). The RC has also identified certain areas on which the need based academic vocational programmes proposed to be offered suiting to the requirements of the population.