Background of the Conference
The North East Region (NER) has its own specific characteristics and the process of development is impeded by certain inherent difficulties such as inadequate infrastructure, adverse climatic conditions, mountainous landscape, border clashes and ethnic tensions. The profound transformations, in context with changes in education systems may arguably respond differently to the needs and demands of contemporary societies and economies in NER. Thus, the need to overhaul the education system of today may also be region specific and needs contextualization. The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education in North East is far below than the national average primarily because of less number of institutions in the region. Moreover the educated youth are also unemployed due to insufficient skills and mismate in the present day work market. Therefore, Open and Distance Education has to play a very pro-active role not only to increase GER but also to offer quality skill based education which either make the young masses employable or entrepreneurs. Open and Distance Learning (ODL) has the flexibilities to serve the aspirations of learners anywhere, anytime and anyplace. Thus ODL can connect NER in terms of education and mobility of learners to acquire desired knowledge. However, in view of changing work market and emerging technology the education system including ODL has to re-orient its strategy for NER.