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Educational Development of North East Region Unit (EDNERU)
Updated on 12 Sep, 2019

The North-East Region (NER) of India, comprising of eight states, has some key features that impart uniqueness to the region as compared with the rest of the country. The region is home to the largest indigenous tribal communities, has a sensitive geographical location sharing its borders with five countries and has a rich biodiversity.However, the region has remained isolated from the mainland and faces tremendous challenges of growth and development. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) strives to foster educational development of the region through its academic offerings and provides support through a network of 193Learner Support Centres(LSCs),under the 9 Regional Centres(RC).
Status of Educational Development of North East Region Unit(EDNERU)

• In keeping with the vision and mission of the government and its own mandate, IGNOU’s initiative in the North East Region (NER), began with the establishment of a RCin Shillong in 1988,
• This was followed by another RC in Guwahati in 1996.
• To further strengthen its efforts in mainstreaming the NER with greater focus, the North-East Project (NEP) was set up in IGNOU in the year 2000.
• The NEP was funded by the MHRD from its non-lapsable pool of funds and was renamed as Educational Development in the North-East Region Unit (EDNERU) in 2007. EDNERU was envisaged with the main objective of extending the outreach of IGNOU programmes to the remote and inaccessible parts of NER and equalize educational opportunities through different need based academic, skill based, vocational and entrepreneurial programmes.

Specific objectives of EDNERU:
• Establish a network of LSC across the NER.
• Undertake ICT based interventions to bridge physical and geographical barriers.
• Implement vocational, need based, entrepreneurial programmes to increase opportunities for employment and empowerment of the youth.
• Harness the potential of Open, Distance and Digital learning mechanisms to overcome the challenges of physical and social disadvantage encountered by aspiring learners of the region.

EDNERU Restructured in 2013: Keeping in view the background of the NE project fund and objectives and emerging role and challenges of the RSD, it was thought appropriate to restructure the EDNERU in line with the mandate of the university without diluting the objectives and vision of the NE Project. Accordingly, the BOM, in its 118th Meeting held on 15th June 2013, decided that, “EDNERU shall continue as a distinct unit but within the overall supervision of the RSD. The Head of EDNERU shall report to the Director RSD and coordinate with him/her for all administrative and financial matters. The nine RCs of NER will be under the general supervision of RSD(IG/Admin (g/Not/2013/3114, dated:12/7/13)

Progress of EDNERU
• At present, the IGNOU operations through EDNERU are supported through a network of nine RCs in the eight states at the following locations: Shillong(Meghalaya), Guwahati(Assam), Jorhat(Assam), Imphal(Manipur), Itanagar(Arunachal Pradesh), Kohima(Nagaland), Aizawl(Mizoram), Agartala(Tripura) and Gangtok(Sikkim).
NECIRC: In 2016, the university took a considered decision to adopt a holistic approach for the development of NER, considering the commonality of social, political and cultural aspects. In the meeting of RDs of NE Zone held in Shillong on 28-29 September 2016, it was decided that the North East Council for IGNOU Regional Centres (NECIRC) willbecreated to address the needs and requirements of the NER in an inclusive manner. The NECIRC was notified, Notification no: IG/RSD/RD Meet/Shillong/2016/2760, dated: 24-11-2016. All RDs of NE RCs shall be the members and Secretariat of NECIRC to be Shillong. The convener will hold office for a period of two years. Thereafter other members shall hold office on rotation.

Subsequently the following activities were organized under the NECIRC:
1. The conference entitled: “Vision 2025: connecting North East India through Open and Distance Learning” was held in Jorhat on 8th and 9th July, 2017. The partners for the conference were KKHSOU and ICSSR - NEIST. 57 papers presented.
2. International Conference was held by IGNOU RC Guwahati in collaboration with IIT Guwahati in the premises of IIT Guwahati on 8th and 9th September, 2017. The theme was: “Agriculture and Human Development in India; Indigenous Practices,Scientific views and Sustainability”. 88 papers were presented.
3. 5 days training programme in Skill development for women and youth of Aizawl, in food/fruit processing on 27th -31st August 2018. 50 participants were imparted the skill training.