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Teaching Social Sciences through Open and Distance Learning: A Twenty First Century Perspective

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Item Code: HAS526
Author: Edited By Debnarayan Modak, Chandan Basu
Publisher: Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9789382112595
Pages: 478
Other Details 9x6 inch
Weight 708 gm
Book Description
About The Book

Present publication is the outcome of a UGC-DEB sponsored National Level Seminar, organised by the School of Social Sciences on 03 March, 2017 at NSOU Headquarter. The Seminar was a grand success with notable presentations by some eminent social scientists, policymakers and practitioners of ODL and the participants in general. Besides remarkable contributions, as stated, some invited write-ups were also incorporatedto enrich the volume.

The Seminar was organised as a functional part of the research project, Teaching Political Science through ODL: A Comparative Study of Student Support Services in Indian Universities, being conducted by the School under the guidance of Professor Debnarayan Modak and the Seminar was organised to ensure the collective wisdom of all concerned to attain the research objectives. The expectation was fulfilled to a considerable extent and the present volume bears the fruits.

About the Editors

Dr Debnarayan Modak (b. 1956) is presently Professor of Political Science at Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU). He was the Director of the unified School of Humanities & Social Sciences and subsequently of the School of Social Sciences for about six years. Earlier, he served Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, for eighteen years and Nabadwip Vidyasagar College, Nadia, for nearly a decade. Besides teaching and administration, Dr Modak has always been very active in multifarious research activities and his numerous publications bear the fruits of those. Apart from those published from the School of Social Sciences, NSOU, his major publications include Dynamics of National Question in India The Communist Approach (1942-64); Bharatiya Samaj O Rajniti Jatiyata. Sampradayikata Ebang Dalit Prasanga (in Bengali) and Sahitya O Samaj Pragati Banga Manisha-r Aloke (in Bengali). Added to those are some edited volumes like Terrorism Concepts and Problems, Open and Distance Learning Future Perspectives (Co-editor Anirban Ghosh); Women in Contemporary India Aspects of Participation and Empowerment (Co-editor Eyasin Khan); Parasmonir Pradip Tomar (A Bi-lingual Tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on his 150 Birth Anniversary) [Co-editor: Manan Kumar Mandal]

Dr Chandan Basu (b.1971) is Professor of History and Director, School of Social Sciences, Netaji Subhas Open University. He did his Ph. D. in the Department of History Jadavpur University on the development of left ideology and politics in West Bengal during the post-colonial era. He is currently working on the social history of left politics in West Bengal. He has a very good number of publications to his credit. Besides those published by the School of Social Sciences, NSOU, his other publications include The Making of the Left Ideology in West Bengal: Culture, Political Economy, Revolution 1947-1970 (Delhi: 2009)' and Radical Ideology and Controlled Politics: CPI and the History of West Bengal, 1947-1964 (Kolkata: 2015). He is also co-editor of 'Gender Sensitization, Women Empowerment and Distance Education: History, Society and Culture (Kolkata: 2014)' and Women, Violence and Law: An Intimate Interrogation- Volume I & II (Kolkata: 2015 & 2016). Dr Basu has also published a number of papers in the reputed journals.


Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU), since its inception in 1997, has crossed a number of important milestones in making breakthroughs in the fields of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in the eastern region of the country. In the field of Social Sciences too, it has been contributing both in teaching and research in a very big way. Apart from imparting instructions to the thousands of learners covering different branches of social science disciplines through its network of comprehensive Student Support Services, the School of Social Sciences (SoSS), which emanated from the erstwhile School of Humanities & Social Sciences in 2015, has been engaged in organising seminars, symposia, workshops etc. both in the core areas of the respective disciplines as well as in the applied aspects of ODL. It also undertakes several research projects with particular emphasis to carry forward the fruits of research to extend the border of ODL. The publications of the members of the School in different aspects of Social Science are also noteworthy.

The present publication entitled Teaching Social Sciences through ODL: A 21st Century Perspective is the outcome of a National Seminar organised by the School of Social Science, NSOU, on 03 March, 2017 and attended by scholars all around and graced by some doyens in the disciplines of Social Sciences as well as the policy-makers of the ODL at different levels. The publication and the Seminar represents one of the functional aspects of a research project entitled Teaching Political Science through Open and Distance Learning: A Comparative Study of Student Support Services in Indian Universities undertaken by Dr Debnarayan Modak, Professor of Political Science, SoSS.


The system of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) has emerged as an important mode for providing education to diverse sections of society. It now aspires to reach the unreached in a big way by providing a system of pedagogy conducive to impart education to the millions. Although in common parlance the very terms 'Open learning' and 'distance education' are used almost interchangeably, the philosophy of 'Open Learning' and the methodology of 'Distance Education' are actually combined to give the ODL a new connotation today. Thus the ODL, as distinct from the earlier correspondence mode or any other forms of distance education, has undergone several changes. In this connection, we may also note that the system of ODL itself has also crossed several stages and now we are actually in the 'fifth stage' which is usually emphasised as flexible learning model where the learner should get access to internet based resources with interactive facilities. Thus, with the proliferation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the boundaries of classroom or campus are becoming blurred. As it is said, the temporal and spatial boundaries are being disappeared in a rapid scale.

Theoretically subscribing to this conceptual aspect of ODL, there arose an impressive number of Distance Education Institutions (DEIs) in our country and also in different parts of the world. In India, apart from one national open university, viz Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and many other State Open Universities (SOUs), the number of dual mode Universities has also risen to a remarkable extent. Added to this are the other DEIs offering different educational programmes through distance mode and operating at different levels. At present, nearly 25% students of higher education in the country are enrolled in the ODL system. The Courses/ Programmes being offered in those institutions are also varied and large in number.

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