The emergence of the true Guru ‘Guru Nanak’ dispelled the mist of ignorance and illuminated even the darkest alleys of the lives of people with His words of wisdom, subsequently registered in the form of 974 poetic hymns in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib ji. Hence, drawing on the life and teachings of the supreme spiritual guru of Sikhs, the government of Punjab announced to establish the first Open university of the state, Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University during the commemoration ceremony of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th birth anniversary.
With a pledge to keep His ethos alive, I feel blessed to have sworn in as the 1st Vice chancellor of the university.
There is no doubt in the potential that the education holds in bringing sustainable development to a nation. Especially a country like India which although is described as a largely populated nation, however, owns a rich demographic dividend in the form of its young population, the best resource that a very few countries are privileged with. To harness the advantages that this young human capital can bring forth, it is necessary to equip them with the skills required to address the 21st century issues, opportunities and challenges and make them a productive workforce that can catapult a developing country into a robust economic power. There is a broad emerging consensus that higher educational Institutions are the only potential platforms where this dream can be transformed into reality. But unfortunately, different sets of challenges propelled by socio-economic conditions of the people deprive them especially women from the opportunity to attend the colleges and universities making it possible only for the 26% of the population to enroll in tertiary education.
In the light of this background, an open university which promises to make the quality higher education accessible and equitable is perhaps the best answer. Hence, the one and only Open University of the state Punjab, too, is committed to reach out to public with diligently designed courses meant not only to achieve academic excellence and to enhance the employability skills but also to empower the students with sublime human values. Courses ranging from under graduate programs in Languages, Business Studies, Media Education, Legal Studies, Computer Applications, Basic and Applied Sciences to the cutting-edge research programs will be offered from the upcoming semester.
In tandem with the traditional pedagogy, the advantages of the user-friendly online platforms will be leveraged to provide a student-centric and participatory academic environment to the students.
It gives me an immense pleasure to invite you all to be a part of the intellectual fraternity at Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University.
Prof. (Dr.) Karamjeet Singh
Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University