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November 6, 2009

CLARIFICATION BY IGNOU regarding the MOU with Bihar Government

MEDIA RELEASE

CLARIFICATION BY IGNOU

A factually incorrect news item is being published in a section of the media regarding the MOU signed between the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Bihar Government for project called Samarth involving training of teachers. It is alleged that IGNOU gave the contract worth Rs. 400 crores to a company unilaterally without a transparent bid process.

The collaboration between IGNOU and the Bihar Govt for various initiatives in education, including teacher training, capacity building and skill development, has been UNANIMOUSLY approved by the University’s Board of Management (BOM) in its 97th meeting held on NOV 19TH 2008. IGNOU has had an ongoing collaboration with the Govt. of Bihar for many years and the University has the maximum number of learners from this state.
Recently, Government of Bihar signed an MoU for implementation of state sponsored projects with IGNOU which is the first of its kind in the country. Under this project, IGNOU has been chosen as the knowledge partner of Bihar state. Samarth Project (Its not a Private Company as alleged) is an integration of IGNOU's academic excellence and delivery of market driven vocational courses for the youth of Bihar state so that they not only become competitively skilled class with the workforce of other states but also helps Bihar to significantly improve its Human Development Index. The project was unanimously approved by the Board of Management (BOM) of the University in its 97th meeting held on November 19, 2008.

Since 2007, IGNOU has been successfully imparting Diploma in Primary Training to thousands of Primary School Teachers working with the Bihar Government. The Government is very keen on professionally training their employed teachers since the State is implementing various national and state school education schemes in a big way to improve the delivery of education both at primary as well as secondary levels.

IGNOU shall establish training centers at 400 locations in the state equipped with computer lab to provide education through information technology of distance education. It is estimated that during the year 2009-10, 25,000 government officials shall be trained as per the notification of Bihar Government.

The project was finally approved by the full cabinet of Bihar as a sponsored project of IGNOU. The MoU was also approved by the Bihar cabinet and then placed before IGNOU’s Finance committee and approved.

The draft MoU was circulated by the Registrar (Administration) on 6th October, 2009 as a part of the agenda notes for the Oct 14 meeting of the Board of Management. The entire Board approved the MOU and applauded the Bihar govt for sanctioning a project of this kind to IGNOU. Thereafter the Vice Chancellor signed the MOU in the presence of the Chief Minister Shri Nitish Kumar and 7 Bihar Ministers on the same day in Patna.

(Ravi Mohan)
CPRO

Mob: 9811941360

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