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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


New Delhi: The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) recently entered into a partnership with the Indian Army aiming to provide the soldiers a second career option post retirement. The new venture, called 'Gyandeep', will award degrees to train the soldiers during their service period. IGNOU will register the Army's 38 regimental training centers, 55 human resource development centers, 11 central training centers and other established schools of instruction as community colleges where soldiers will be trained and imparted learning in their chosen vocations.

The scheme is based on the US system of community colleges in Defence cantonments which is expected to benefit a majority of the 1.2 million soldiers in the Army. The initiative will not only enable the jawans to earn B.A., BBA, B.Sc. and B.Com. degrees but will also help them master livelihood-driven courses.

Typically Indian Army soldiers retire around 40, with a productive span of nearly 15-20 years ahead of them. Because of their long training and discipline, post retirement, there is a demand for ex-Servicemen in industries, enterprises and security services. A formal degree will not only enhance their personality but create new employment opportunities for them.

With the entry of soldiers into the community college system, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) as well as the Gross Graduation Ratio (GGR) is expected to increase. The soldiers can get themselves enrolled to a community college in their training academy and pursue the course according to their convenience.

An associate degree will be provided to those who successfully complete the two years of training.
Thereafter they will be given lateral entry to the third year of a three-year degree course for a graduate degree. 96 credits are required by the soldiers to be legible for a graduate degree.

A five member joint consultative committee representing IGNOU and the Army has been formed to formulate a curriculum for the two-year associate degree as well as lay guidelines for in-servicesoldiers to enhance their education.


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