The needs assessment is an important preparatory activity for launching new academic programmes in Open and Distance Learning (ODL). The respondents are normally the experts/practitioners in related areas and potential learners, who are able to provide useful inputs regarding various aspects of the programme, such as: social/academic relevance; employment prospects; likely rate of enrolment; potential target population and so on. Through need analysis one can also gather the views on the desirable contents/courses, medium and modes of learning – to duly address the changing needs of economy, society and job markets. In view of all these, needs assessment is considered to be a crucial preparatory work in developing and launching ODL programmes. Keeping this in view, it was decided to publish a special issue on Needs Assessment Studies in ODL in an effort to disseminate the findings of recent needs assessment studies conducted at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).