New Delhi: To further strengthen the vocational and technical training framework, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU), today. The partnership aims to link vocational education and training with higher education, making India’s youth employable by creating avenues for them to access better work opportunities. The trainees attached to National Skill Training Institutes (NSTI), Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) and Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) will benefit from the programme, aimed at creating upward mobility of these students to be able to attain higher education for better livelihood opportunities.
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 now 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 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 National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 for increasing Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education including vocational education to 50 % by 2035.
Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship lauded the initiative and expressed that India’s young demographic dividend is the engine of its economic progress and needs access to meaningful pathways to receive 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. He further said that our Prime Minister’s vision is to fulfill the aspirations of India’s youth and prepare them for the future world of work and this initiative is aligned with it.
Aggarwal stressed that IGNOU as an establishment has continuously striven to build an inclusive knowledge environment and he hoped that this collaboration will provide an opportunity to India’s youth population to build their capacities and shape their future. In its initial stage, the joint initiative shall be implemented at the earliest with 32 NSTIs declared as IGNOU centres including courses on foreign language training, skill-based healthcare education, fashion designing and more, 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. 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.