*DR SAIMA MANZOOR
** PROF SYED JAVED IQBAL KAMILI
**DR NABINA QADIR
Distance education system in India is almost three decades old. Distance education program has been introduced as an alternative mode of education. This mode thus opened new opportunities to those who had discontinued studies and were engaged in some occupations. This new system of education encouraged a large number of persons from various categories of professions and age-groups. Similarly, according to the University of Grants Commission (UGC-1974) the very objective of distance education is to provide an alternative method of education to enable a large number of persons with necessary aptitude to acquire further knowledge and improve their professional competence. It has been mentioned in various research articles that Correspondence Courses are thus intended to facilitate those (a)Students who had to discontinue their formal education owing to economic and financial including other circumstances;(b) Students in geographically remote areas;(c) Students who had to discontinue education because of lack of aptitude and motivation but who may later on become motivated; (d) Students who cannot find a seat or do not wish to join a regular college or university department although they have the necessary qualifications to pursue higher education; and (e) individuals who look upon education as a life -time activity and may either like to refresh their knowledge in an existing discipline or to acquire knowledge in a new area.
Seeing these benefits of distance education the present study has been intended to evaluate the current state of Distance Education in the state of Jammu & Kashmir with special focus on Kashmir division. Also present study aims to provide with some useful suggestions and ways in which the courses offered through Distance education and/or Conducted in a more effective way rather than the conventional methods. Furthermore present study tries to provide certain ways and suggestions for coping up with issues related to the hindrances like political crisis in the Kashmir division on the effective functioning of distance education and means to improve the same.
Key words: Distance education, Kashmir, improvement.