Ignou plans to deliver degrees using blockchain technology | Nagpur News

Nagpur: The Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) is aggressively working on a plan to deliver degrees using blockchain technology which will ensure faster submission and authentication of academic documents for higher studies easy.
The varsity’s vice-chancellor Nageshwar Rao, who was in the city on Saturday, said there is indeed a focus on digitalization of content delivery and a major upgrade is on the anvil for Nagpur’s regional centre (RC).
Blockchain technology, which powers the Bitcoin ecosystem, will be linked to digitally stored academic documents in DigiLocker.
Rao said, “Nagpur will become one of the few RCs that will produce digital content for our students. Videos of academic experts from the city will be broadcast nationally through our dish channels and even on YouTube.”
But this plan is currently in limbo because Ignou has not yet been able to get possession of the land allotted by the district collectorate in 2019.
TOI was the first to report about this in 2020, on how even after full payment of Rs 2.2 crore, Ignou could not take possession as a private citizen also claimed ownership of the land.
Rao said, “We are hoping to resolve the issue soon and then the Nagpur RC will have a full fledged set-up for our new initiatives. We need the building to be self-owned to carry on forward.”
Currently, Ignou is operating from a rented premises off Amravati Road. The land parcel which Ignou purchased for its own building is located in Omkar Nagar.
Senior regional director P Sivaswaroop is leading the talks between various stakeholders for resolving the issue.
Ignou’s digital push, on which TOI had reported earlier too, is slowly seeing some traction. Students who opt for e-content, rather than physical books (included in fees) get an extra discount in tuition fee.
Rao said, “During the first year we have seen that 20% of the students opt for e-books. In the second year, this number jumps to 33%. Our entire admission process is already online and even declaration of results is done in almost real-time.”
Expanding further on the result declaration pattern, Rao said, “We now start declaring marks for subjects as and when the papers are evaluated. So you don’t have to wait for a common results date. In the students’ online portal, the digital grade card will keep getting updated.”
Ignou is also aggressively expanding its regional language portfolio, to offer students more choice. “The technological translation tools offer 70% accuracy, so the other 30% needs human intervention. Also these tools don’t have all the fonts,” said Rao.
The varsity is hopeful of completing the update of its postgraduate level content in less than two years.


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