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Distance Education In India: Your Complete Guide

Updated on July 2, 2014
Learning can enhance your skills and keep you positive
Learning can enhance your skills and keep you positive | Source

What's Distance Education?

This is how Wikipedia defines distance education:

Distance education, distance learning, dlearning, or D-Learning is a mode of delivering education and instruction, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom.

Distance learning is also termed as correspondence education where the institution provides instructional materials, by mail or electronic transmission, including examinations on the materials, to students who are separated from the instructor.

Simply put, it means you will not be studying or learning in a classroom setting with an instructor. Instead, you will study remotely. This means if you've the instructional or study materials, you can study from anywhere, anytime.

This is the most powerful aspect of remote or correspondence or distance education. The flexibility to study anywhere, anytime, without being physically present in a classroom.

So if you can't study full time, distance education is a feasible option. Complete your college education (get bachelors degree) and university education (get post graduate and doctorate degrees) via this mode at your convenience.

Who Can Study Via Distance Mode?

Well, anyone.

  • Age is not a criteria or a limit: if you want to learn, you can do that at any age. If you're wondering if you are too old to study, re-consider. Learning keeps your mind active and fills you with positivity. Learning a new skill is also the most effective anti-depressant.
  • Smartness or intelligence is over-rated: if you're wondering if you're smart enough to study, my only advice to you is -- don't underestimate yourself. And don't be discouraged by criticism and self-doubt. If you want to study: study.
  • No time to study: Well, if you're in a job that's stressful, then studying in the distance mode is your best option. You will have the flexibility to study anytime. You don't even have to study daily. Fix up a weekend or monthly learning schedule and stick to it. It's as simple as that.

Top 10 Distance Education Universities in India for MBA/PGDBA


Here's the List with Accredition, Degree Type -- MBA/PGDBA and Fees

Estd. by a Parliamentary Act in 1985
AICTE, UGC approved, DEC member
Rs. 30,000/ Active Defence / Paramilitary / Police: Rs. 27,500/
IMT-CDL (Institute of Management and Technology), Ghaziabad
AICTE, Rated A *** by CRISIL, has the SAQS accreditation and a member of AACSB and GBSN
Per semester fee ranges bet Rs. 42000-64000. Total - 9 semesters
Sikkim Manipal University
UGC, HRD Ministry, Govt. of India
Per semester fee is Rs. 15,000. Total - 4 semesters
Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Haryana
Total fees for 2 yrs. MBA is approx. Rs. 37,500. Total fees for 5 yrs. MBA is approx. Rs. 38,300
ICFAI University
Rs. 65,000 approx.
Amity University, Noida
Online Distance Learning: Rs. 125,000 (lumpsum), Rs.135,000 (semester wise) Distance Learning/Correspondence Mode: Rs.65,000(lumpsum), Rs. 75,000(semester wise)
Lovely University, Punjab
UGC(Distance Education Bureau)
Rs. 9900 per semester + Rs. 800 exam fees.
Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune
NAAC with "A" Grade, UGC
MBA(3 years)
Rs.75,000 - Rs. 225,000 depending on the college of admission
Indian Institute of Finance, New Delhi
Duely accredited and several linkages with prestigious international institutions
MBF (Masters of Business Finance) 2 years
Rs. 25,000

Make an informed choice

This can connect you to online libraries and more

IGNOU | Source

Contact IGNOU

Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi – 110068

Phone: 29535714

List of 10 Distance Education Universities in India

These universities are accredited and offer graduate, post graduate and doctorate degrees.

Indira Gandhi National Open University:

contact classes: yes , e-learning: yes

  • The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1985.
  • Today, it has over 3 million students in India and other countries through 21 Schools of Studies and a network of 67 regional centers, around 2,667 learner support centers and 29 overseas partner institutions.
  • The University offers about 228 certificate, diploma, degree and doctoral programs.
  • It has 810 faculty members and 574 academic staff at the headquarters and regional centers and about 33,212 academic counselors from conventional institutions of higher learning, professional organizations, and industry among others.
  • IGNOU's method of instruction differs radically from that of other conventional universities. Indira Gandhi National Open University has adopted a multimedia approach to instruction. The different components being: self-instructional materials, counselling sessions, both face-to-face and via teleconferencing mode. For courses in Science, Computers, Nursing as well as Engineering and Technology, arrangements have been made to enable students undertake practical classes at select study centers.
  • IGNOU provides considerable flexibility in entry qualification, place, pace and duration of study to students.
  • A Bachelor's Degree Program (i.e. BA/BCom/BSc) of three years duration can be completed in six years.
  • It has a credit system that is based on the time factor involved in studying. One credit is equivalent to 30 study hours inclusive of all learning activities. Different programs have different credit requirements.
  • IGNOU also provides a credit transfer facility whereby credits may be transferred from any other University to IGNOU after fulfilling the necessary requirements.
  • It operates a 24-hour educational TV channel Gyan Darshan and a radio-cooperative Gyan Vani. There is provision for two-way tele-conferencing, interactive radio counseling, and for relaying educational programs through local FM radio stations.

Learning at a Lower Cost

Compared to regular or traditional mode of learning
Compared to regular or traditional mode of learning | Source
SCDL | Source

Contact SCDL

Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning
Symbiosis Bhavan,
1065 B, Gokhale Cross
Road, Model Colony,
Pune - 411016

Phone: +91-20-66211000 (Hunting lines)
Fax: +91-20-66211040/66211041

Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning

virtual contact classes: yes e-learning: yes

  • SCDL was founded in 2001.
  • Today, the total active student strength of SCDL is more than 2,53,577 across 48 countries including India, US, UK, Middle East, Russia, Germany, Singapore, Japan and many more.
  • SCDL offers Post Graduate Diploma, Diploma and Certificate programs across industry sectors including Business Management, International Business, Information Technology, Banking and Finance, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management, Insurance Management, Education Management, Business and Corporate Law and Entrepreneurship Development.
  • SCDL partners with local, national, and international organizations to offer the corporate programs.
  • Leading oraganizations including Wipro, Infosys, IBM, Cognizant, WNS, Kingfisher amongst others have collaborated with SCDL to offer the corporate programs.
  • SCDL gets the best of academic resources for teaching, evaluation, e-Learning and self-learning material preparation from its sister Management Institutes as well as from the industry.
  • The curriculum is comparable to that of any full time management institute.
  • SCDL has full time and over 350 adjunct faculty.
  • SCDL offers "Blended Learning" methodology combining all the three forms of learning, namely, published / printed self-learning material, e-learning, pre-recorded DVD lectures and faculty interaction (Chat Sessions and Virtual Classroom Facility)
  • Introduction of highly interactive e-Learning content as a supplementary learning methodology.
  • Online assignment system to provide students the flexibility and convenience to submit assignments at any time and receive immediate results and feedback.
  • The Virtual Classroom facility with the Faculties has removed the distance barrier between the teacher and the taught.
  • Students can ask questions, have peer interaction and even replay an archived lecture.
  • Virtual Classroom sessions are conducted for all courses throughout the year.
  • Online Faculty Chat Sessions allow students to interact with faculty by typing their questions and receiving immediate answers in an online environment
  • Modular Course System with Credit Banking Facility: Ability to take any Single Course and Bank and Accumulate credits for future transfer to other programs of SCDL.
  • Online and On-demand examinations conducted across India and abroad.
  • A dedicated Call Center with dedicated telephone lines supported by call operators and student counselors.
  • An 'e' communication center to handle all student queries.
  • SCDL has a powerful web portal, Online Assignment Submission, Online Exam Booking, Message Board, Counseling, Campus-email ID with 10GB mailbox, ability to view Admission Status and Academic Status, etc.
  • SCDL is an autonomous institute and is not part of any University.

Annamalai University
Annamalai University | Source

Contact Annamalai University

Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar – 608 002, Tamil Nadu.



Annamalai University

contact classes: yes , e-learning: no

  • It's one of the Universities recognized by the University Grants Commission.
  • The Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalai University was established in 1979
  • It offers more than 500 different programs of study under the Regular Stream.
  • It's well equipped with computer and other infrastructure, adequate teaching faculty and administrative set-up of its own, study centers, computer training centers, etc.
  • It's also the unique distinction of offering first in India, Postgraduate Degree courses in Applied Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Bioinformatics and Law through Distance Education mode.
  • It also offers courses on Fashion Design, Textile Design, Interior Design, Hotel Management and Catering Technology courses, Retail Management, Twinning courses, courses on Health Science, Commonwealth Youth program, Yoga, Music, Fire and Safety, Pharmaceutical and Taxation programs.

Osmania University
Osmania University | Source

Contact Osmania University

Osmania University Main Rd, Durgabai Deshmukh Colony, Hyderabad, Telangana-500007





Osmania University

contact classes: yes , e-learning: yes

  • It's recognized by Distance Education Council(DEC) New Delhi and University with Potential Excellence (UPE) And Re-Accredited by NAAC With A Grade.
  • Encouraged by the response and success of UG, PG programmes and responding to local and global demands by taking advantage of innovations in Information Technologies the center has introduced CD and Web based Modular Certificate Courses.
  • During 2001-2002 the courses introduced were: Master of Information Systems & E-Commerce (MISEC), Advanced Diploma in Bio-Informatics, PG Diploma in Insurance and Risk Management, Modular Certificate Courses in Information Systems, Computers and Soft and Professional skills.

Kindle Reader is Small, Light and Perfect for Your Reading Needs

Sikkim Manipal University
Sikkim Manipal University | Source

Contact Sikkim Manipal University

5th Mile, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim – 737102 |
1st Floor, Syndicate House, Manipal - 576104

080-66748888 (for student queries)

Sikkim Manipal University

contact classes:yes e-learning:yes

  • SMU was established in1995.
  • It's a Public-Private partnership between the Government of Sikkim and the Manipal Group
  • SMU-DE is a leading provider of professional Distance learning Programs in India such as MBA, MCA, BCA, BBA and others.
  • A winner of several awards including ‘student’s most preferred Distance education university’.
  • SMUDE has helped lakhs of working professionals from leading corporates such as TCS, Infosys, HCL, Airtel, to name a few, to realize their career dreams.

Study Anytime, Anywhere

Advantage of taking the distance route to learning
Advantage of taking the distance route to learning | Source

Contact ICFAI University

For Enrolled students
Toll Free No. 1800 103 0303
Email id :

For Prospective students
Toll Free No. 1800 200 9977
Email id :

ICFAI University

contact classes: yes e-learning:yes

  • ICFAI universities are located in Dehradun, Tripura, Sikkim, Hyderabad, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Jharkhand, Raipur, Jaipur and Himachal Pradesh.
  • It offers MBA (Marketing, HRM, and Finance) Executive MB, Sectoral MBA,PGDFA, and Diploma programs.


Contact Nalanda Open University

2nd/3rd Floor,
Biscomaun Bhawan,
Gandhi Maidan,
Patna 800 001 (BIHAR).

0612-2201013,0612-2206916 Fax : 0612-2201001, ,

The Nalanda Open University


  • The Nalanda Open University is the only University in the State of Bihar meant for imparting learning exclusively through the system of distance education.
  • The University was established in March, 1987 by an ordinance, promulgated by the Government of Bihar.
  • Later, Nalanda Open University Act, 1995 was passed by the Bihar Legislature, replacing the Ordinance, and the University came under the authority and jurisdiction of the new Act automatically.
  • Offers MCA,MA,MSc,MCom, BEd, PG Diplomas,MLIS and bachelor courses.

To Learn You Don't Need to be Inside a Classroom

You can learn, if you want  to
You can learn, if you want to | Source

Contact University of Madras

The Director
Institute Of Distance Education
University Of Madras
IDE Building
Chennai - 600 005

Telegram : OPENLEARN
Fax : 044-25360865,

University of Madras Distance Education

contact classes: yes , e-learning: yes

  • The Institute of Distance Education (IDE), University of Madras was started in the year 1981.
  • The IDE offers courses in the distance mode and in the Open University System.
  • The system helps those who could not complete their schooling, housewives and working professionals.
  • The standout features of IDE's course offerings are printed learning materials, personal contact programs (PCP) and wide network of study centres in India and abroad.
  • Over the last three years, IDE has prepared material in the self-learning format (SLM) and has received appreciation from many quarters.
  • A pool of experienced teachers from various colleges handles PCP classes.
  • The IDE is headed by a Professor cum Director and presently has faculty strength of 19 belonging to different disciplines.
  • The Institute offers 19 Undergraduate, 16 Postgraduate, 4 Postgraduate Science, 5 Professional, 7 M. Phil.,12 Certificate and 14 Diploma and 2 PG Diploma programmes. In addition, more than 150 Ph.Ds have so far been awarded under the supervision of the IDE faculty.
  • There are 26 Spot Admission Centers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
  • The institute has 30 Study Centers spread over the country in India and five abroad.
  • The annual intake of students is about 50,000.

KSU | Source

Contact Karnataka State University

Ganga Nagar, Bellari Road, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

0 95454 53481

Karnataka State Open University

contact classes:yes e-learning:yes

  • Karnataka State Open University plays a significant role in promoting the desired growth of higher education through open-distance learning system (ODL).
  • The University was established in 1996 under the state enactment – KSOU Act 1992.
  • During 2009-2010 the student enrollment in the University has crossed 1.00 lakh.
  • The University encourages the students of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes by way of Fee Reimbursement under SC/ST government scholarships.
  • It also encourages the students of economically weaker sections under “Muktha Sanjivini”.
  • It offers courses in engineering -- diploma, B.Tech and M.Tech degrees, management -- MBA, BBA, executive MBA, IT -- MCA, BCA, MScIT, BScIT, MSc, MA, MCom,MSW, Master of Law and more.

Studying by Yourself Can Sometimes Get a Little Lonely

Disadvantage of studying via distance mode
Disadvantage of studying via distance mode | Source
MGU,Kerala | Source

Contact Mahatma Gandhi University

Priyadarsini Hills P.O

Kottayam Kerala, India

Pin - 686 560

+91 481 2731050 to 68

Fax : +91 481 2731002, 9, 11

Mahatma Gandhi University

contact classes: yes e-learning:no

  • Mahatma Gandhi University (formerly Gandhiji University), has been accredited (B+) by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, India.
  • The School of Distance Education (SDE) commenced its activities in 1990 to provide cost effective quality education to largest sections of the population including those living in remote and far flung areas.
  • SDE has 73 off campus centers – 66 within India and 7abroad.
  • Offers courses like BBA,BCom with Travel & Tourism, Bachelor of Tourism Studies, MBA,MCA,MCom, MScIT,MA Multimedia and more.

The Bad of Distance Education

  • Indirect contact: if you're accustomed to having a teacher to teach, think before you take up distance learning. Because you will not be in direct contact with any of your faculties.
  • Employability: if you have chosen the distance learning mode to enhance your career, make sure that your organization values or accepts distance learning degrees. Some organizations don't, neither do some employers.
  • Quality: questions have been raised time and again on the quality of courses offered via distance mode. Many distance education institutes had to suspend their courses( PhD courses) because their facilities and quality were found lacking.
  • Online learning: the use of technology for learning, making payments and for appearing in exams can be a challenge for those not comfortable with using technology or the internet. But if you've minimum understanding of the internet -- for example, if you know how to navigate through the web pages, you should be fine.The instructions and the interface (most of the interfaces today are user friendly) will help to complete the task.

The Good of Distance Education

  • Flexibility -- study at your convenience. You can study from anywhere, anytime.
  • Cost effective -- you pay less compared to regular courses
  • Learn while you earn. You don't have to leave your job to study.
  • Study any subject. Your choice is not dependent on availability of college seats or cut-offs.
  • Study at any age.
  • No traveling. You don't have to reach your school or college.
  • E-learning: it helps you to utilize online help and instruction.
  • Contact classes to clarify your doubts.

3 Questions to Ask Before You Enroll for Distance Learning

  • What's your objective? Or, why are you doing this course?
  • Are you comfortable with informal learning?
  • Are you comfortable with technology?

Learn More About the Good and Bad of Distance Education

Your Financial Needs: Student Loans Can Help You Pursue Your Academic Goals

If you are running short of funds, student loan can help you with that. All leading banks in India give loan to students. Before you apply for a loan, read adequately.

Here's a list of banks in India that provide loan to students to pursue their education


Axis bank

Bank of India

Punjab National Bank

Bank of Baroda

Mahatma Gandhi -- A True Inspiration
Mahatma Gandhi -- A True Inspiration | Source

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© 2014 Chitrangada Mukherjee


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