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.
The major objectives of Distance Education (DE) system are:
- 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; and
- To develop education as a lifelong activity to enable persons to update their knowledge or acquire knowledge in new areas.