Unlike the students in the formal system, distance learners get very limited opportunity for face-to-face interaction with their tutors and peers in classroom situations, which are created during personal contact programmes.

These programmes are largely used to supplement learning from the print materials and the electronic media, and include tutorials to answer questions and to remove the doubts of learners, discussion sessions to explain difficult concepts and laboratory work to conduct practicals.

Considering the provision and the practice of open distance institutions, and so also of NIOS, PCPs must be made compulsory in open and distance learning systems. The best examples of PCPs are from IGNOU which provides PCPs for all the courses run. Computer can also play a significant role in providing PCPs e.g. teleconferencing through computer.