To build the knowledge-based economy, the key pillar of focus is the growth of Higher education. To achieve a significant impact on the same, the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) needs to be doubled from the present levels. This need has been well documented and solicited by many policy planners, commissions and thoughtful educationists. The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) has brought out various policies related to education, research institutes and reforms needed to make India competitive in the knowledge economy and knowledge-intensive service sectors. In this context, the role of Open and Distance Learning System (ODL) becomes significant and unique.
In this framework, the role of Open and Distance Learning System (ODL) becomes highly significant in realizing the goals. ODL has been able to make a global impact as an effective tool for educational empowerment of different learners deprived of the formal ‘face-to-face’ education due to various reasons. ODL has the potential to offer education to everyone and at every place by use of advance technology. This is a boon for the people living in terrains difficult to reach for the teachers to teach.
With the aim to offer programs in health sciences, The JSS AHER ODL was launched in 2017 with a program on M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and 2 PG Diploma programs and one certificate course. The aim of JSS AHER ODL is to offer programs in health sciences to cater to the needs of the individuals oriented towards environment and healthcare. JSS AHER ODL uses various modes of technology for effective delivery of the curriculum and efficient learning of the learners. It has established two study centers, one in Bengaluru and another at Ooty, to facilitate enhanced learning and provided additional support to the students. It has also having collaborations with other partners whose aim is also to empower the students by distance learning.