JAMMU, Jan 19: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for linking vocational education and training to higher education for trainees attached to National Skill Training Institutes (NSTI), ITIs, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) and Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) for their upward mobility.
Under this MoU, 32 NSTIs, 3000+ ITIs, 500 PMKKs and nearly 300 JSS will be associated with IGNOU as Registration Centres, Examination Centres and Work Centres for hands-on training. Students will now get an opportunity to join the three-year degree programme of IGNOU and shall have easy access to attain higher education.
There shall be a Project Steering Committee with representatives from both MSDE and IGNOU to monitor and review the progress under this partnership. The MoU is initially for a period of 10 years subject to renewal on mutual agreement. This MoU is in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goal 4.4 and the NEP 2020 for increasing GER in higher education, including vocational education to 50 percent by 2035.
IGNOU Regional Director Srinagar Kashmir Dr Kamlesh Meena said that this initiative would enhance the skill abilities among the aspirants, who desire to seek admission in such courses.
“Under the MoU, the youths of Kashmir valley will also be benefited and will be able to attain higher education for better job opportunities and livelihoods,” he said, adding that the aim of this MoU is to link vocational education and training with higher education, making India’s youth employable by creating avenues for them to access better work opportunities.
Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary MSDE, lauded the initiative and desired that the joint initiative shall be implemented at the earliest initially with 32 NSTIs declared as IGNOU centres in the initial stages. He further added that foreign language training, skill-based health care education, fashion design and few other courses can be implemented under this partnership.
Prof Nageshwar Rao, Vice Chancellor IGNOU, assured that IGNOU shall provide all necessary support through its 21 Schools of Studies and 56 Regional Centres for successful implementation of the scheme.