The Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) was established in July 1989 by Act XX- (1989) of the Maharashtra State Legislature. It is the Fifth Open University in the country. The jurisdiction of this university, originally for the State of Maharashtra, has now been extended beyond this State and the university can now operate anywhere across the globe. The YCMOU has been recognized under section 12 (B) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. It is a member of various prestigious associations and bodies like the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada to name a few. The main aim of the YCMOU is to become a Mass Varsity and to make available to the common man, educational programmes that are of practical use in his day-to-day life and those that provide better prospects for the future. The University offers several offline programmes and has also embarked on a number of innovative online initiatives. The YCMOU has its headquarters at Nashik and provides support to its learners through study centres, which are spread all over the State of Maharashtra.
The Head office of the university is located at Nashik. The university operates through its 11 Regional Centers (RCs) at Amravati, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Mumbai, Nashik, Nanded, Nagpur, Pune, Kalyan, Sopalur, Goa and a network of Study Centres (SCs). The jurisdiction of this university although originally for the State of Maharashtra, has now been extended beyond this State by an amendment in the University Act and the university is now empowered to extend its operations anywhere across the globe.