“Quality assurance through institutionalizing it in the System” Prof. V.S. Prasad, Former Vice Chancellor, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University at 26th Prof. G Ram Reddy Memorial Lecture


New Delhi. : Delivering the 26th Prof. G Ram Reddy memorial lecture Chief Guest Prof. V.S. Prasad, Former Vice Chancellor, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad in his address said that Prof. G Ram Reddy knew that through education people of this country can be empowered and he worked for it throughout his life. He congratulated IGNOU for continuing the process of democratization of higher education. 

Talking about the challenges to the Open System of Education, Prof. V.S. Prasad urged for a swifter internal response to the changing trends and the external environment by the Open Universities. The unique model of the Open Education System provides access and Life-long learning as a public good and not commercial and ensures parity, he remarked. He also urged for quality assurance through institutionalizing it in the system. He rooted for autonomy and flexibility in the regulatory framework for institutions in the New Education Policy. 

The memorial lecture on "Open Universities in India: The Challenges of our Times" was delivered by Prof. V.S. Prasad, Former Vice Chancellor, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad.  Prof. K. K. Aggarwal, Chairman, Board of National Accreditation delivered the presidential address.  

Prof. Nagweshwar Rao, Vice-Chancellor IGNOU thanked the Chief Guest Prof. V.S. Prasad for the insightful lecture on the topic and Prof. K. K. Aggarwal for sparing his time for the presidential address. Paying homage to the founding Vice-Chancellor Prof. G Ram Reddy, Prof. Rao said that he still inspires us and was a visionary who led from the front.  He said that we need to strengthen and augment the traditional system with digital infrastructure

Prof. K. K. Aggarwal in his presidential address stressed on the reliability and affordability aspects of higher education through ODL and said quality is not absolute and is a relative term. He said that the pandemic has helped online education growth but the system needs to be designed for it and mere replication of physical classrooms would do no good and we need to re-imagine online education in the COVID and Post-COVID times. He said that the "e", i.e., e-education with "quality" can lead to "equality" and that quality should be a journey for excellence. He advocated having "online and classroom" rather than "online or classroom" for better outcomes.

A short film depicting the life of Prof. G Ram Reddy was shown virtually, produced by the Electronic & Media Production Center, IGNOU.

The book titled "National Education Policy 2020- Issues, Challenges & Reflections" was also released. The introduction giving glimpses of the book was given by Prof. Santosh Panda of Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE), IGNOU.

The university celebrates 2nd July every year in the memory of the founding Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. G. Ram Reddy and invites eminent educationists and scholars to deliver lectures on higher education especially in the Open & Distance Learning domain.

The proceedings of the function was web-broadcast live to all the regional centers of IGNOU across India  via the University's Facebook page  (https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPageIGNOU/ ) and IGNOU’s webcast platform Gyandhara and TV Channel Gyan Darshan at  www.webcast.ignouonlineac.in  and  www.ignouonline.ac.in/gyandarshan, SWAYAM Prabha Channels(#17,18,19,20) Managed by IGNOU and through YouTube Link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjsboINLuDI