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IGNOU to give its students ebook readers

University is scouting for vendors to supply readers. Initially MBA students will be supplied ebook readers, which will be pre installed with appropriate study material.

Indira Gandhi National Open University will supply ebook readers pre-loaded with study material to its MBA students within six months.
The move is aimed at enabling students to carry the required material without having to carry 10-15 books. The move is also intended to reduce the consumption of paper.
Prof V N Rajasehekharan Pillai, vice chancellor of IGNOU, said, “We want to provide ebook readers to our students. These devices have become cheaper and we are looking to include it in our study material to reduce the number of books our student needs to carry, it will also help us reduce paper consumption.”
He added that IGNOU is talking to a number of technology providers to supply these ebooks. He said, “We believe that we will get these books at affordable price as the numbers generated by us will be in millions, and will help in reduction of prices by increasing the economies of scale.”
IGNOU is also planning a number of initiatives in the wake of and BWA service launches, which will enable it to deliver richer content directly to its students.
When asked about the capability that these readers will have, Prof Pillai said “Primarily, these readers will be used as readers only, however we are looking into what are the other capabilities we can include to make it more useful for the students. We can look at enabling internet access through these devices.”
IGNOU has recently started tele education facility to some African countries. It is also looking to expand in the European market. It has already setup a centre in London and is in advanced stages of discussion to have a presence in Paris. The university says it has also received a request from Germany to set up a centre there. The vice chancellor said, “We will have five centres in Europe by July 2011.”
He also said that IGNOU currently has 186 centres in India and that the number is growing at the rate of 20 per cent per annum. Prof Pillai said that all the centres will have video conferencing facilities soon.

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