In North Eastern states where most people depend on agriculture and public sector employment for livelihood, the private sector is yet to flourish. Having a clear idea of the employment scenario of North Eastern states, Krishna kanta Handiqui State Open University has been offering some vocational programmes that encourage entrepreneurship among the youth."Vocational programmes are the need of the hour for the North Eastern states and a few of the programmes that the university has been providing are found to be successful in the state of Assam, the Certificate Programme on Scientific Tea Cultivation and Plantation Management (CSTCPM), in particular" says Dr. Ankuran Dutta, Associate Professor, Mass Communication. Several other very short term vocational training programmes have also been provided by the university such as Mobile Phone Repairing, Maintenance and Repairing of Audio Video Equipments etc. through the Polytechnics and ITIs of the state. All these programmes are aimed at creating industries that can contribute in curbing the issue of employment. The setting up of medium to small enterprises will lead to increase in employment and help in decreasing the issue of employment that exists in the North East at large.
By offering vocational programmes to encourage employment, the university is trying to play role in shaping the future of employment scenario in the North East. By designing and developing occupational programmes and by extensively using technology to enhance the value of the programmes, the university is changing the scenario of distance education in India. With the judicious use of technology the university is providing self learning materials (SLMs) in the form of e-learning material in multimedia format of each 30 minutes duration in over 85 formats. The university also provides online interactive sessions for most of the courses, currently the establishment provides 65 courses ranging from UG to PhD courses. By making the online interactive classes available at large, the courses are not restricted to a classroom. The SLMs provided by the university helps the students learn about their subjects staying at home, at their own pace. The university also provides a pool of professional courses which are well designed and student oriented.
Among the pool of professional programmes they offer, journalism programmes are very popular among the students, particularly PG Diploma programme in broadcast journalism, which is a specialized one. This programme caters to the students who want to focus particularly on electronic media such as television and radio. Broadcast journalism as an academic programme is popular because of the quality of content the university provides to the students. With years of experience of organizing a radio station and collaborating with several other media for programmes, the university has a firm understanding of the broadcast journalism."The station has been successfully airing for years now, it was set up primarily to engage the community in the management and discussion on community issues and at the same time to answer the distant queries and to help the public understand the universities activities and programmes," explains, Dr. Ankuran Dutta. Jnan Taranga, the first community radio station of North East, was set up by the University as a public interaction radio. Not only the radio station but the university also houses a media studio where they create audio and video programmes for the courses.
Remaining one step ahead of any other open universities, KKHSOU not only offers excellent courses but also, frequently organizes seminars and the workshops which are focused on curriculum, courses and faculty. The seminars and workshops help the university remain updated in terms of industry trends and educational scenario. Many academics and professionals from various sectors come together in the seminars, brainstorm and design and update the curriculum of the university. They have so far organized around 40 workshops and seminars which are attended by several delegates from all over the country.
Located in Guwahati, Assam the institution has grown at a rather good pace, in a matter of few years the university has crossed one lakh in terms of enrollment, has successfully set up above three hundred study centers in established institutions (mostly degree colleges affiliated to the state universities)across the state and has fully automated the examination system. The institution has further plans of introducing professional certificate courses in collaboration with field specific industries. By providing affordable, beneficial and comprehensive courses helpful for working and non working class, KKSHOU is quickly becoming one of the ideal universities for distance education in India.
Dr. Ankuran Dutta, Associate Professor, Mass Communication:
Having served as the Programme Officer at CEMCA, New Delhi for years, Dr. Ankuran Dutta has in-depth knowledge about the industry. He was the Deputy Director (Multimedia), with the charge of the Dept. of Mass Communication and the Station Manager of Jnan Taranga 90.4 FM, KKHSOU. He played an instrumental role in shaping the department of Mass Communication by contributing to several important activities and inspiring the students to take up research in Mass Communication.