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Community Colleges of IGNOU to be extended to Navy, Air Force

Thursday, November 18, 2010
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New Delhi: The Community College Scheme of the Indira Gandhi National Open University will soon be extended to the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force for the benefit of the servicemen, Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Latha Pillai announced at the inauguration ceremony of the National Meet of All IGNOU Community Colleges and Seminar on 'Community College: Percept and Context with Reference to Tagore's Concept of Community Development & International Perspectives.'

The two-day event, held at the University's Convention Centre on November 9-10, was jointly organised by the IGNOU Community College Unit (CCU) and the National Centre for Innovations in Distance Education (NCIDE).

"Following in the footsteps of the IGNOU-Army Gyan Deep model, the University will soon be signing Memorandums of Understanding with the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force for the launch of the IGNOU-Navy and IGNOU-Air Force Community Colleges. In addition, there are a number of state-level initiatives in the offing. For example, the Haryana Government has approached IGNOU to set up an Institute for Vocational Education at Manesar, which will be run through a public-private partnership model. The Madhya Pradesh Government has also identified 51 Government colleges to impart educational courses in skill development," Dr Pillai said.

The National Meet was divided into five Business sessions on Planning and Administration of Community Colleges, Academic Matters and Curriculum Design, Admission and Examinations, Industry and Employers' Meet and Special Initiatives. All the sessions were held in the form of panel discussions, which resulted in some significant recommendations for the Community College Scheme.

Some of the recommendations are: stress on need assessment regarding identification of programmes by the Community Colleges; involvement of the community in the decision making process; emphasis on skill-based training with more weightage on practical, internship and work integrated learning.

The Industry-Employers' meet, chaired by Dilip Chenoy, Chairman, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), was instrumental in providing participants with a good exposure about the job opportunities available to pass-outs of the Community Colleges.

The Discussion sessions were followed by a seminar on 'Community Colleges: Percept and Context with Reference to Tagore's Concept of Community Development and International Perspectives,' chaired by Prof Indranath Chowdhary.

Congratulating IGNOU on its Community College Scheme, Maj. General S.P. Kochar, Personnel Department, Indian Army, said, "The IGNOU Community College Scheme allows the in-service training of jawans to be recognised, which helps the soldiers get better career opportunities post-retirement. About 50 Army Centres had been affiliated as Community Colleges in November 2009 and as many as 1.5 lakh students have registered under the Scheme till date. Nearly 217 jawans have been absorbed in the Cabinet Secretariat, based on the IGNOU certificate. We are working towards extending the Scheme to the officer-level as well."

Dr Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer and the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony, said, "Every Panchayat in India should have a Community College. It is time that the Community College Movement assumes the form of a revolution."

While presenting the status report, Dr C.K. Ghosh, Nodal Officer, CCU, said, "The Community College Scheme, launched on July 4, 2009, has grown to include 449 Community Colleges and 1,615 Academic Programmes in one year. The total number of students admitted so far is 40,321. This shows that the concept of Community College is growing."

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