IGNOU was established by an Act of Parliament in 1985 to achieve the following objectives:
- Democratising higher education by taking it to the doorsteps of the learners
- Providing access to high quality education to all those who seek it irrespective of age, region or formal qualifications
- Offering need-based academic programmes by giving professional and vocational orientation to the courses
- Providing and developing distance education in India
- Setting and maintaining standards in distance education in the country as an apex body for the purpose.
The Bangalore Regional Centre was established in 1987. It was formally inaugurated by the then Education Minister, Govt. of Karnataka, Shri Jeevraj Alva on 1st February 1989. Till September 1996 it was housed in the Directorate of Collegiate Education (Govt. of Karnataka) premises just adjacent to Vidhana Soudha. It moved to a spacious rented building at Jayanagar from September 1996.