The Indian Adult Education Association (IAEA) registered in 1939 under Societies Registration Act., is one of the oldest and internationally renowned professional organization which enjoys the world record of publishing an adult education journal uninterruptedly for more than six decades. A galaxy of eminent leaders viz. Dr. Zakir Hussain, N.G. Ranga, R.P. Masani, S.C. Dutta, A.N. Jha and several distinguished academicians from India and abroad, viz. Dr. Malcolm S. Adiseshiah, Dr. Mohan Sinha Mehta, Professors H.S. Bhola, Amrik Singh, Roby Kidd, Chris Duke and James A Draper have been actively associated with the Association at different points of time. Since its inception, the Association has been undertaking research projects, evaluation studies, organizing annual conferences, regional workshops, national and international seminars, training programmes and bringing out
periodicals and publications.

The Association has more than 750 life members from India and abroad, 200 institutional members representing more than 100universities, 155 educational institutions, 45 research organizations, 15 State Departments for Adult Education and 185 NGOs and eleven state branches as on March 2008. It is affiliated to several international organizations, viz. International Council for Adult Education, Asian South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education, International Federation of Workers Education Association. The IAEA owns a building with modest infrastructure facilities in terms of office rooms, seminar rooms, computerized library with a specialized collection of 20,000 books including, personal collections of A.N. Jha, S.C. Dutta and James Draper and 100 journals and employs twenty full time staff.

Since the IAEA has the requisite infrastructure and been meritoriously performing a number of academic functions over a long period of time, some of its members felt that the establishment of an International Institute could provide considerable scope to further expand and strengthen its various academic activities, seek accreditation from recognized universities in India and abroad and offer several certificate, diploma, degree level courses and also take up collaborative activities with international agencies. Such an Institute could cater to the increasing professional needs of research, evaluation, specialized courses and training generated due to the expansion of adult continuing education programmes, information and communication technologies, globalization and liberalization of economy. An Institute could also play a key role in furthering the goals of Education For All (EFA) in South Asia. In view of these, the Executive Committee of IAEA, resolved to set up an International Institute of Adult and Lifelong Education (IIALE) at its premises,17- B, IP Estate, New Delhi -110002. The IIALE was formally inaugurated on December 11, 2002 with an International Seminar on Urban Literacy.

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