Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1985. It began by offering two academic programmes in 1987, including a Diploma in Management and Diploma in Distance Education, with a strength of approximately 4,500 students. Today, it serves more than three million students in India and other countries through 21 schools of studies and a network of 67 regional centres, over 2,600 learner support centres and 29 overseas partner institutions.
At present, IGNOU offers more than 200 programmes at certificate, diploma, degree and doctoral level. Two admission cycles are being conducted for the intake of students in a year in January and July. For the January session, the online registration for most of the courses usually starts from November every year and for July, registrations begin in May.
The following graphic depicts all the 21 schools functioning under Indira Gandhi National Open University:
Owing to its widest network of learning support system, it was declared as the largest institution of higher learning in the world in 2010 by UNESCO. As a world leader in distance education, it has also been honoured several times with awards of excellence by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada.
IGNOU Highlights 2021
The important highlights around Indira Gandhi National Open University are mentioned in the table below:
Also known as
Number of schools
Number of regional centres
Number of learner support centres
Overseas partner institutions
Number of courses offered
Mode of education
Modes of application
IGNOU Admission 2021
IGNOU admission 2021 will be conducted in two cycles, i.e. January and July. The prospectus can be downloaded for free but an amount of Rs 200 is charged as a registration fee along with the programme fee. The admissions are mainly based on the aggregate obtained by candidates in the qualifying degree. However, for a few courses, such as MBA, B.Ed, Post-Basic BSc Nursing, MPhil and PhD, the University conducts/accepts the following entrance exams. The following table mentions the most popular courses offered by Indira Gandhi National Open University along with their eligibility criteria, selection criteria and fee.
IGNOU Admission Dates 2021
IGNOU admission cycle for January intake generally ends in the month of February every year, however, due to the ongoing pandemic, the University extended its application dates. The complete schedule regarding IGNOU admission dates 2021 is as follows:
|Admission Event||January Cycle Dates||July Cycle Dates|
Fresh admission registration date
Fresh admission registration last date
28-Feb-2021 Extended till 30-Apr-2021
IGNOU Application Process 2021
IGNOU application process 2021 across all the courses is illustrated below.
The following table consists of admission articles for the most popular courses offered by IGNOU:
Read more: IGNOU Admission Process
IGNOU Courses 2021
IGNOU offers a plethora of courses at UG, PG and PhD level with various specialisations. The duration of each course differs according to the nature of its curriculum.
- The certificate and diploma courses are generally offered for one or two years, while a degree programme may span over three-four years
- A majority of Indira Gandhi National Open University courses are imparted through online and distance learning mode. Few courses, however, are also available through regular and part-time modes.
- The University follows a credit system for most of its programmes, wherein each credit is equivalent to 30 hours of learner study comprising all learning activities. Thus, a 4-credit course involves 120 hours of study and a 6-credit course involves 180 hours of study.
- For all the courses, IGNOU has also launched an e-content mobile app to provide a digital learning environment to IGNOU learners
Some of the popular IGNOU courses are mentioned in the table below, along with their eligibility and fee details:
|Course||Eligibility Criteria||Fee (in Rs)|
Qualifying Exam: IGNOU B.Ed Entrance Test
Class 12 or its equivalent from a recognised board
Qualifying Exam: IGNOU Entrance Test (only for Services Management)
Qualifying Exam: IGNOU Online Entrance Test
Graduation in any stream from a recognised university with Mathematics as one of the subjects at the Class 12 level or graduation level
Qualifying Exam: OPENMAT
Graduation in any stream. For General MBA, candidates must have secured a minimum of 50% aggregate in graduation (45% for reserved categories) and for B&F, a candidate should be a member of the Indian Institute of Bankers and should possess relevant work experience of a minimum of two years
Qualifying Exam: IGNOU PhD Entrance Test
Read more: IGNOU Courses
IGNOU Placements 2021
IGNOU has a Campus Placement Cell (CPC) that works dedicatedly as a link between the students and recruiters. It conducts various campus placement drives, job fairs and skill enhancement activities throughout the year at its headquarters, regional centres, study centres and company premises.
Additionally, CPC is planning to expand its activity base further by introducing new initiatives, such as preparing soft skill modules for the students. This activity would enable CPC in providing better placement opportunities to the students/ alumni and thus, enable better functioning of IGNOU placement cell.
Read more: IGNOU Students’ Reviews
IGNOU Scholarships 2021
IGNOU scholarships are offered to students belonging to reserved categories (SC/ST). Fee exemption/ reimbursement facilities may be provided from time to time as per the rules of the University. Such candidates may also apply for government scholarships. Students are advised to collect scholarship forms from the Directorate of Social Welfare or from the office of the Social Welfare Officer of their State, fill it up and submit it to the Regional Director at the Regional Centre. Scholarship scheme of National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP) for PG programmes is applicable to the students of this University also. Such students are required to apply to the awarding authority directly.
Students, who belong to SC/ ST/ OBC/ Minority/ PWD, can also avail scheme of fee waiver/ reimbursement/ exemption/ scholarship offered by the UGC/ MHRD and various state governments.
IGNOU also offers fee concession to the students admitted to the Agriculture Diploma and Certificate programmes (except for PG Certificate, PG Diploma and PhD). The concession is offered as per the following criteria:
- All the candidates from rural areas are entitled to 50% fee concession subject to production of domicile certificate
- The urban students below the poverty line may be given a 50% fee concession subject to production of an income certificate
Fee exemption for Jail inmates
Jail inmates lodged in Indian prison are exempted from payment of programme fee, including the registration fee. The under-trial/ short term prisoners are also eligible for the same benefit with the condition that when they go out of jail, they will be treated as normal students and will pay the subsequent fees, wherever applicable, including examination fee, re-registration
fee, pro-rata fee for re-admission, registration fee for convocation, etc.