In a bid to strengthen vocational education, the ministry of skill development & entrepreneurship has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU).
As part of the agreement, IGNOU will develop standards for quality assurance, develop counselling and trainer training programmes to facilitate students’ enrolments, train the staff of the identified centres to handle the enrolments and counselling, and mentor the management of NSTIs, ITIs, PMKKs and JSSs. It will also provide self-learning material (SLM) in digital form, undertake the comprehensive evaluation and conduct term-end examinations for its own components, and issue certificates to successful learners, said the ministry.
The MoU which is initially for a period of 10 years, aims to make India’s youth employable by creating avenues for them to access better work opportunities, claimed the skills development ministry said on Tuesday. The MOU is subject to renewal on mutual agreement.
The programme in its initial stage will benefit trainees attached to National Skill Training Institutes (NSTI), Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) and Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS). It programme aims aimed at creating upward mobility of these students to be able to attain higher education for better livelihood opportunities, says the ministry.
“Under the partnership, 32 NSTIs, more than 3,000 Government ITIs, 500 PMKKs and nearly 300 JSS will be associated with IGNOU as Registration Centres, Examination Centres and Work Centres for hands-on training. Through the collaboration, students will get an opportunity to join the three-year degree programme of IGNOU. There shall be a Project Steering Committee with representatives from both MSDE and IGNOU to monitor and review the progress of the programme,” the ministry added.
In its initial stage, the joint initiative will be implemented at the earliest with 32 national skill training institutes declared as IGNOU centres including courses on foreign language training, skill-based healthcare education, fashion designing and more. “This MoU is in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goal 4.4 and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 for increasing Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education including vocational education to 50 per cent by 2035,” says the ministry.
Rajesh Aggarwal, secretary, ministry of skill development & entrepreneurship expressed that India’s young demographic dividend is the engine of its economic progress and needs access to meaningful pathways to receive a quality education as well as skill, and vocational training. “The initiative is aimed in this direction as it provides higher social and economic mobility to our youth, with requisite qualifications,” he added.
The MoU was signed by Dr B.K. Ray, director (CBC), MSDE and Dr V.B. Negi, registrar, IGNOU. Prof. Nageshwar Rao, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU stated that IGNOU shall provide all necessary support through its 21 schools of studies and 56 regional centres for successful implementation of this scheme.