Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has been asked by the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry to restart their online education programme named e-Gyankosh, which was closed in 2013 due to the controversial decisions taken by the then VC of IGNOU, M Aslam. Mr. Aslam is presently facing a probe for administrative irregularities and being responsible for closing down of certain programmes without any strong reasons.
The joint secretary of HRD ministry SP Goyal has suggested that the e-Gyankosh programme should not only restart but it should get integrated with the SAKSHAT programme. This integration would allow the beneficiaries to get streamlined access of content from the national digital library as well as the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS).
e-Gyankosh was stopped at a time when the platform was receiving at least 1000 unique visits per day from around the world. Till the time it stopped in November 2013, it had registered a staggering 20 lakh hits on its register. The portal had 3 lakh active registered users who had free access to the content of the portal. The decision to make e-Gyankosh available as an open educational resource was taken in August 2011. It was expected for it to turn out into a virtual university that would cater to students all around the nation without charging anything in return. However, in light of a new Intellectual Property Rights policy, M Aslam allegedly closed the portal on November 2013.
Shutting down the portal not only caused into a massive waste of Rs. 20 crore but it led to disappointment of lakhs of students who had enrolled themselves for undergoing education from the remotest of the regions of the country. Apart from students in the remote villages and housewives, there were students of IGNOU who reside in foreign offshores and the member of Indian Armed Forces who got affected with the suspension of this programme.