By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 10, 2019: National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) chairman and managing director, Tapan Chand, has sought the collaboration of Odisha State Open University (OSOU) for providing skill training to the youth of western Odisha.

“We are drafting a proposal to enhance the employability of underprivileged, young job seekers,” said Prof. Srikant Mohapatra, Vice Chancellor, OSOU, on the eve of the fourth Foundation Day of the Odisha State Open University held Monday at the district auditorium (Tapaswini), Sambalpur.

Chand, was the chief guest at the event. The others who attended the event are Prof. Atal Chaudri, Vice Chancellor, VSSUT, Prof. S.C. Garg, Vice Chancellor, Usha Martin University and former MLA Dr Raseswari Panigrahi.

The event also saw the University signing two MoUs with Usha Martin University, Ranchi, and the Jean Foundation of New Delhi for exchange of self-learning material.

The Odisha State Open University, considered a novel venture of the state government for providing educational opportunities, has jurisdiction over the entire state of Odisha.

The University, under the stewardship of Vice Chancellor Prof. Srikant Mohapatra, functions through a network of regional and study centres across the state to fulfill its mandate to provide quality education, research and training facilities at affordable costs.

Apart from diploma, certificate and modular programmes, the Odisha State Open University, also offers bachelors, masters as well as PG diploma programmes in conventional as well as professional subjects.

Last year, the University received approval for almost all its Under Graduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) programmes.

The UGC’s Distance Education Bureau has granted permission to OSOU to offer 26 courses through the open and distance learning mode.

OSOU’s growing alumni base stands at around 2,600 now, with two-thirds of them coming from the state’s rural hinterland.

“In four years we admitted 12,000 students. Seventy per cent of them hail from rural areas,” declared Prof. Mohapatra.

The down-to-earth fee structure and the robust network of study centres covering almost every district of Odisha makes it possible for the underprivileged to access education through OSOU.

One of the plus points of OSOU is its extensive use of technology to deliver education. Its interactive website serves as a virtual classroom-cum-library. Students have 24X7 access to online study material and uploaded lectures by experts.

“Believe me a University can run through a mobile phone,” said Prof. Mohapatra. OSOU has launched its mobile application in Google Play Store. It enables students to apply for admission through their mobile phones.

Prof. Srikant Mohapatra insisted on affordable technologies, keeping students in mind, for imparting distance education.

The World Bank had sanctioned Rs 25 crore to OSOU considering its quality and excellence in higher education.

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