New Delhi: Bharat Sevak Samaj (BSS), a national development agency promoted by the Planning Commission, has partnered with Meghalaya-based Mahatma Gandhi University to give a major thrust to its vocational education movement across the country.
Both the sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would take the benefits of vocational and continuing education programmes of the BSS farther and wider with a formal recognition from the university.
The MoU was signed by BSS General Secretary Shri B S Balachandran and MG University Chancellor Rajan Chopra a function here on Wednesday. MG University Registrar S K Lambha, senior Congress leader Shri M M Hassan, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Secretary N Subramaniam and BSS Director SAG Moison were also present on the occasion.
Under the agreement, the MG University will formally recognise over 360 different courses currently run by the BSS and will conduct exams to give degrees and associate degrees to the students from different parts of the country. The BSS will run the courses and set up the study centres and community colleges.
"Millions of youngsters, with or without basic education, are going to be the direct beneficiaries of this programme. This national-level partnership will take the gains even to the remote villages of the country in the coming years,'' said Shri Balachandran.
"Our mission is to set up at least 50,000 community colleges by 2020 to make sure that students get recognised degrees and are equipped for competitive jobs. We are planning to set up 5000 community colleges this year itself. The agreement with the MG University gives a new dimension to the educational programme of the BSS," he added.
"The MG University, which is committed to follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi by ensuring universal access to education, is specially proud to be part of this path-breaking initiative by the BSS which will help millions accomplish their aspirations for formal degrees,'' said Shri Rajan Chopra.
The ambitious project aims at giving vocational education to even those without formal schooling. Those who have passed 10th class and two year diploma from BSS will be admitted to degree courses across the country with MG University granting certificates which are recognised by all universities.
Those who have passed their 12th class and completed one year BSS diploma can get direct entry to the second year degree course while those with two-year BSS diploma after the higher secondary will get lateral entry to the final year degree course. The programme also will help graduates to join any of the 150 post graduate diplomas given by the BSS.
BSS, which runs courses in different disciplines through its study centres, has already collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Open University and is running an institute in partnership with the MG University, Kottayam in Kerala.