Open resources,open access

Open access education benefits all those who seek knowledge

FREE KNOWLEDGE

MANZOOR AHMAD

Open Access refers to free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself" -- (BOAI, 2002).
IGNOU's open education access is the only of its kind across disciplines from an Indian university. According to the university officials, making the study materials available free of cost online will not help students whose study materials are delayed, but can also make an informed choice before admission to a particular course.
At present 95% of the study materials of IGNOU are available online and can be accessed free of cost and can be accessed by all. Among the benefits, an IGNOU aspirant can now register and access the course material and make an informed choice of course he or she want to pursue. Moreover, in case of any delay in delivery of study materials to the enrolled students, they can access them online either from their homes, offices or from IGNOU centres. Moreover, students get only the materials of the course they are registered for. They can download related materials from other courses for reference as well."
"There is also a Youtube channel linked to the repository from where the visitors can also view video contents," added Kanjilal.
IGNOU is the only central Open University in the country and offers 400 courses, right from certificate to PhD levels. Registered students apart, it annually sells study material worth Rs 2.96 crore. The printed materials of IGNOU are particularly popular among civil service aspirants, teachers and correspondence institutions.
"Knowledge is free, certification costs money. This idea of IGNOU is going to help those who have access to internet. And we encourage online access as this will help save papers as well. In general the materials offer comprehensive knowledge which is helpful for competitive exam takers at various levels."
As per IGNOU, to view or download the study materials one has to first register at http://www.egyankosh.ac.in/register. The applicant will receive a mail containing a special URL. After filling the basic information one can login and get access to all the resources, right from courses on art, culture, humanities, and social sciences to engineering and lot more.
IGNOU's open access material:
* All course contents of IGNOU are available as open resource at www.ignou.ac.in
* At present 29 lakh students are enrolled with IGNOU.
* IGNOU sells study materials worth Rs 2.96 crore to people other than its students
* Aspiring students can now check the contents of the courses and decide before taking admissions
* In case of delay in delivery of study materials for IGNOU students, they can now download the materials
* Registered students get study material only for the course. They can download other related reference materials
* This is the only open access resource across disciplines from an Indian university
* One can register at http://www.egyankosh.ac.in/register and login to get access to the study materials
* All resources are free of cost.
To conclude we can say that open access is helpful not only for students, scholars, teachers but for all the people who have a thirst for knowledge. The benefits of open access include lower costs, great accessibility, and better prospects for long-term preservation of scholarly works. This open initiative of Open University is expected to benefit lakhs of civil service aspirants and knowledge seekers. This initiative comes under flexi-learn scheme, which is "knowledge is free, certification costs money”. This will also lighten the burden of libraries of other similar academic institutions.
(Manzoor Ahmad is working as a Jr. Professional Assistant in Allama Iqbal Library, University of Kashmir. Feedback at manzoorha@gmail.com)

Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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