Promoting Innovation as a Skilling Initiative: A Case Study of Innovative Academic Programme of IGNOU
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), is a pioneer in the ODL system as it champions the cause of accessibility and equity. The University reaches out to learners who either wish to update themselves or wish to rejoin the mainstream through education. This includes learners who are left unserved by the formal system, and also includes those who are located in remote areas. The main motto of IGNOU is to reach the unreached; therefore it becomes essential for the university to constantly innovate in the ways and means to reach out to various sections. The University believes in offering Programmes, which are relevant and which offer employable skills, which will help the students to achieve sustainable livelihood options. The Sustainable Development Goal 9 of the United Nations also adopted by India aims to achieve the targets to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation by 2030. Keeping this goal in mind it is essential for all organizations and especially educational institutions to foster innovative ecosystem. This study has been conducted with the aim to analyze (i) flexibility of IGNOU as educational institution to promote innovation in programme being offered (ii) the interplay of the stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem of IGNOU. This is a case study and is based on a programme which has been awarded Gold Medal for Innovation by IGNOU. The study provides information to focus on the right ecosystem in terms of processes, which will facilitate innovation in the distance learning process. This will involve all the relevant stakeholders as an essential participant in course design for the programmes of IGNOU.