Distance learning institutes allow students from the remotest corner of the nation to pursue education at higher level. Besides a number of open universities, there are many distance education institutes too. It is because of these distance learning institutes, today the percentage of Indians pursuing higher education is much higher than it would have been. The variety of courses offered by these institutions varies from one centre to another. Here is a list of top distance learning institutes in East India.
- Gauhati University – Located in Jalukbari, it is the first University of North East region of the country. Established in 1948, it has over 183 affiliated colleges, through which it imparts education to students. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council has given it a four star rating. The Institute of Distance and Open Learning of the Guhati University is known for offering plethora of options to students. It offers courses in Arts, Commerce, Law, Medicine, Engineering and Sciences.
- Jain Vishva Bharati Institute – Established in 1991, this institute was founded based on the teachings of scholar Acharya Tulsi. The University Grants Commission provided Jain Vishva Bharati Institute the status of a Deemed University. The Distance Learning institute was started in the academic session of 1993. It has four centers across the country. The courses offered through distance learning program are MA in Jainology and Comparative Religion & Philosophy and BA in Jainology. The main emphasis is given on Jainology and Prakrit.
- Jadavpur University – Located in Kolkata, West Bengal, Jadavpur University is a UGC granted educational and research institute. According to the UGC, it is one of the first few Indian universities with "Potential for Excellence". It has also been accorded the Centre of Excellence in Mobile Computing and Communication. It offers courses in almost all fields including Arts, Science and Commerce. The courseware for regular as well as correspondence courses remains the same usually in all cases.
- University of Burdwan – The University of Burdwan is known for offering higher education through distance learning programs. With the basic aim of providing opportunity to students to enhance their professional skills and pursue higher studies, without marring the actual curriculum of the regular course, this institute offers Post Graduate courses in many subjects. These include Bengali, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Sanskrit, Mathematics, Business Administration, Commerce, Computer Science and Remote Sensing & Geographic Information System.
- Vidyasagar University – Established in 1981, it is one of the most renowned universities of West Bengal that offers distance learning education in a number of subjects. The University was been awarded recognition by the UGC in 1990. At present 39 colleges are affiliated to this university, which includes Engineering, Management and Medical colleges. All the courses offered by the university are completely covered by the Distance Education Council norms. It offers a variety of courses including under graduate and Post Graduate courses.
- Berhampur University – Founded in 1967, Berhampur University is located near Berhampur in Orissa. It comprises twenty post-graduate departments that offer specialized subjects and MPhil programs. It has a separate Distance Education Cell that has been created with traditional as well as professional and vocational courses through distance education at reasonable tuition costs.
- Sambalpur University – Established in 1966, Sambalpur University is among the most prestigious universities of India. The Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education of the University was started in 1998. Recently it has come up with courses like PGDCA, BCA, PGDIT and floating MCA. Moreover, in 2006 it has also launched floating MBA, which is an off-campus full-time course for those who cannot visit the campus.