Krishna Kanta Handique State Open University, the first and only state open university in the northeast, was established in 2005 in the name of the late internationally renowned Oriental scholar.
The university — with the motto Education Beyond Barriers — formally started functioning from December 11, 2006. It is recognised by the Distance Education Council, Government of India and UGC.
The main objective of the institution is to develop and provide easily accessible modes of higher education and training by using latest educational inputs and technology. In order to reach disadvantaged groups because of educational, economic, geographical or any other circumstances, the university has been formulating diverse academic programmes to suit the less educated, educated and higher educated groups.
The first academic programme of the university, popularly known as Bachelor Preparatory Programme (BPP), was launched in January, 2008 and subsequently, five bachelor degree programmes in arts, commerce, mass communication, business management and computer application were launched in July, 2008.
The university now offers three variants of BPP, 20 certificate programmes on vocational trades, 10 under-graduate diploma programmes, 13 degree programmes, eight post-graduate diploma programmes and nine masters programmes besides PhD programmes. It also offers 19 short-term engineering based vocational training programmes through selective Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) and polytechnics.
The number of enrolment has increased substantially from 13,350 during 2008-09 to 68,700 in 2012-13, which proves the growing popularity of the university.
Many inmates of Guwahati Central Jail and Central Jail, Jorhat have studied and have done well in examinations conducted by the university. This is an experiment not done by any educational institution in the state. The jail inmates study the BPP first before appearing for the examinations.
The university is also credited with launching the first community radio station christened Gyan Taranga (knowledge waves).
Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada has selected the university along with B.R. Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad, for academic and other support for quality improvement in the open and distance learning education.
The university organised a five-day workshop from March7 to 11 on quality assurance by Commonwealth Of Learning Review and Implementation Model (COL RIM) T CIFRI, Housefed Complex of the university.
V. Venkaiah, vice-chancellor of Krishna University, Tamil Nadu, visited the institution as the external verifier of COL RIM, according to the MoU. The workshop was inaugurated by Srinath Baruah, vice- chancellor of the university. All the staff of the university attended the workshop.
A staff reporter