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Updated on 11 Apr, 2024

School of Health Sciences (SOHS) was established in 1991 with disciplines of “Nursing” & “Health Sciences” to materialize the mandates of IGNOU in Health sector. Since then SOHS has pioneered various programmes in the areas of Medicine, Surgery, Nursing, Dentistry, Allied Health Sciences, AYUSH etc. in collaboration with professional Councils, Ministries, governmental and non-governmental organizations of National & International repute. It is also striving towards improving the health care of disadvantaged groups specially living in remote and rural areas to realize the objectives of IGNOU.
Innovative programmes have been designed for the people working in the health sector. To maintain the quality, a number of implementation models have been designed and applied from time-to-time. A multiple media with a blended learning mode has been adopted to deliver the programme in a cost effective manner without diluting the quality. The practical component is an integral part of all the programmes for which training is offered through a multi level hands-on- training system following a pedagogic model. It includes demonstration and return demonstration at study centres established in medical/nursing/dental colleges/district hospitals, practice of skills under supervision at Skill Development Centres established in small hospitals and self-practice of skills for confidence building in resource constrained environment.

The models developed by the School can be adapted by developing nations as a solution to providing low cost health care, specially for training of health man power resources. In the light of the above, some of the landmark events of SOHS are mentioned below:


  • IGNOU launched Indian Nursing Council (INC) recognized Post Basic B.Sc. Nursing Programme in 1994 and enrolled about 500 in-service nurses whereas, the regular system of the whole country could train much less at that point of time.
  • The implementation of Post Graduate Diploma in Maternal & Child Health Programme (PGDMCH) in 1997 was a pioneering effort by IGNOU that created an implementation model of imparting clinical training through blended learning. It also integrated the training process in Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Community Medicine which are the corner stone for providing primary health care. The programme has been revised in 2003, 2008 and 2018.
  • To multi-skill the surgeons working in rural areas, IGNOU launched Certificate Programme in Rural Surgery (CRS) in 2001.
  • IGNOU provided competency in Geriatric Medicine through open and distance learning mode in the year 2004 when there was no precedence of training large number of MBBS doctors in this area. The programme has been revised and revised programme is on offer since January, 2022.
  • SOHS in collaboration with Dental Council of India (DCI) initiated innovative PG specialization in Oral implantolgy (PGCOI) and endodontic in 2008.
  •  To improve the provision of Cardiac Care in small towns & taluka level hospitals about 1700 M.B.B.S Doctors have been trained in Clinical Cardiology between 2006 to 2016.
  • IGNOU pioneered in training about a hundred of medical college faculty in IMNCI in 2003 when national level training was being planned by Health Ministry. Similarly, IGNOU trained about a hundred of Medical faculty in adolescent health in 2007 in collaboration with World Health Organsiation (WHO) when it was yet to be taken up by Health Ministry, Government of India.
  • IGNOU created a precedence at national level by designing and implementing an online programme of Post Graduate Diploma in Bio-ethics (PGDBE) Programme in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 2011.
  • To meet the training man power need for Medical Officers of ART centre, IGNOU in collaboration with NACO developed and launched the Post Graduate Diploma in HIV Medicine (PGDHIVM) in 2011.
  • To meet the training man power need for start along dialysis unit across the Country, IGNOU in collaboration with DGHS, pioneered in starting a Post Doctoral Certificate in Dialysis Medicine (PDCDM) in 2011.
  • IGNOU is contributing towards strengthening of health care as envisaged in Ayushman Bharat by training Community Health Officers (CHOS) to serve as leaders at Grass Roots level to improve quality of health care in collaboration with NHM, Government of India since 2017. More than 37,000 students have enrolled in programme till July, 2022.
  • Diplomat of National Board recognized and allowed learners of IGNOU completing one year Post Graduate Diploma in Maternal & Child Health (PGDMCH) & Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital & Health Management (PGDHHM) to provide lateral entry for its relevant courses.
  • To scale up the implementation of biomedical waste management rules (2016) across the Country, Ministry has identified IGNOU to train the nodal officers & quality assurance officers of all States, through its Certificate in Health Care Waste Management (CHCWM) Programme. State of Delhi, Gujarat, Odisha have also sponsored their candidates for the programme.
  • To create national preparedness for medical management of CBRNE disaster, IGNOU pioneered in designing the (PGCMDM) programme in collaboration with INMAS, DRDO in 2019. DGAFMS and CAPF sponsored candidates for this programme.
  • In addition, SOHS has played a pioneering role in launching Ph.D (Nursing), Diploma in Critical Care Nursing (DCCN), Diploma in Nursing Administration (DNA), Certificate Programme in Yoga (CPY) etc. through Distance mode and developing training material for Patient Safety & Infection Control for DGHS.
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[Updated on 22-May-2024]