Open and Distance Learning (ODL) as a philosophy takes education to its wide range of learners who are separated by time and space and cannot afford regular mode of education for various constrains. As a flexible mode of education, distance or non- formal education surpasses all the barriers which are put up by the factors like physical obstacles, time and age, and thus helps in facilitating a lifelong learning. In the contemporary times, spreading education through ODL system has gained high currency as it proves highly beneficial for the aspirants seeking to achieve higher education, skill development, and career enhancement. With the rapid advancements in the system of education and due to the changing innovations in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the pedagogy of ODL has tremendously changed. Through distance education, the learner enjoys a high degree of autonomy in deciding what, when and how to learn. Motivated by the objective to make available opportunities of higher education at the door steps of those learners who cannot avail higher education because of various reasons, University of Kashmir established the Directorate of Distance Education in the year 1976.
The Directorate is a magnificent artifact in terms of its state of the art infrastructure, well trained and dedicated faculty, pedagogy and immense learning exposure. The Directorate aspires to attain the status of an internationally reputed institution of excellence in teaching, research and extension. The Directorate is a prestigious outreach Department, which caters to the academic needs of thousands of aspirants across the state of Jammu and Kashmir every year. It promises to reach the unreached for offering them the chance to have an access to higher education in the domain of their choice. At present, the Directorate offers 17programmes, out of these we have seven P.G.programmes, two teacher training programmes, and eight P.G diploma programmes and a certificate diploma in Kashmiri. The Directorate has a strong network of study-cum-information centers across the state for providing excellent student support-services to its learners. With the establishment of these Centers, the Directorate has taken another giant leap forward step to achieve its objective to spread distance learning programmes. The Directorate imparts teaching to the distance learners through printed course material written on SLM format which is also available on the official website of the Directorate. The Directorate is in the process of exploiting the potential of information and communication technology (ICT) and has taken various e-governance initiatives in its work flow management system.
I affirm with full confidence that each and every learning experience though our Directorate of Distance Education will be marvellous ensuring global standards.
Prof. Tariq Ahmad Chishti