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October 19, 2009

IGNOU steps up RIVET-EZ move to educate & train BPL youths in six states

IGNOU steps up RIVET-EZ move to educate & train BPL youths in six states

New Delhi : Orissa’s Phulbani (Kondhmal district) is now in for a good news. Indira Gandhi National Open University will start here from the January session offering vocational and training programmes to educate and train youths from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in tribal areas of this and five other states. A sprawling house in the district has been hired. Five vocational training and educational programmes have been identified to begin with.

The programmes are :

Certificate in Computer Basics
Certificate in Advanced Computing
Certificate in Job Training
Certificate in Interview Etiquette, and
Diploma in Advanced Computing.

IGNOU Certificate programmes are for six months each. The Diploma programme will be for a year. After clearing the certificates or the diploma, the successfully passed youths will be given employment. The students will be given opportunities to enroll into the programmes of IGNOU on a flexi-mode of learning system.

The programmes will be conducted through a Common Service Centre (CSC) in each village panchayat office at six states – Orissa, MP, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

All programmes will be carried out online from application to certification stages. For this, the process is on for hiring services of trained teachers from nearby areas to teach and guide the IGNOU students in every village panchayat.

The pass-out students will be employed in various industries in East Zone of India. Initially, the programmes will be run from the hired house until the construction of the Regional Institute for Vocational Education and Training for East Zone (RIVET-EZ), gets completed and handed over to IGNOU. The RIVET-EZ will primarily cover six states – Orrissa, MP, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

According Prof. Pandav Nayak, former Vice Chancellor of Utkal University and the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for the RIVET-EZ project, which was cleared by IGNOU Board of Management on November 19, 2008 at its 97th meeting chaired by Vice Chancellor Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, construction of the building will soon start. The Council for Integrated Tribal Research and Programmes (CITRAP), which is a non-governmental body taking care of the regional tribal area development, has already allotted a 16.8-acre plot to IGNOU. The CITRAP has joined IGNOU in the project on a public-private partnership understanding. Educational Consultants India Limited (Ed.CIL) has been appointed as the Project Management Agency (PMA) and assigned the responsibility to submit the master plan for the RIVET-EZ in a time-bound task.

For the CSCs, recently IGNOU has signed a memorandum of agreement with SREI Sahaj e-Governance (SAHAJ), a Koltata-based educational and vocational training NGO. The SAHAJ has already obtained a mandate from the Union Department of Information Technology (DOIT) to set up over 27,000 CSCs at six states in the village panchayat level within the current fiscal. The six states are Orissa, four districts of north-west Tamil Nadu, Bihar, eastern UP districts (from Lucknow to Varanasi), Jharkhand and West Bengal. All these areas do not strictly fall under IGNOU’s RIVET-EZ jurisdiction. Nevertheless, according to vice president of SAHAJ, Dr Ranabir Das, who is also the nodal officer incharge of the IGNOU educational and training programmes, the SAHAJ will use all these CSCs for running the RIVET-EZ programmes in its target areas.

Confirms Dr Nayak, “Since the SAHAJ has already started working in villages which do not fall in the RIVET-EZ jurisdiction strictly, and because of the fact that the IGNOU’s RIVET programme will gradually be expanded to cover entire under-developed areas of the country, we have agreed to take our programmes also to the existing SAHAJ target areas.”

For the youths of the BPL families in these under developed tribal areas, the CSCs at village panchayats will ensure an environment both for learning and employment. The concept of CSCs is particularly helpful to women and children of the villages and the BPL families who for various socio-economic reasons cannot travel a distance to attend a school or training institute for education and vocational apprenticeships. The CSCs will provide these opportunities.

The RIVET-EZ is a part of development programmes of IGNOU through education and training to the grassroots. For the eight states in the North East, a RIVET-type IGNOU Institute of Vocational Education and Training (IIVET) has already been made functional from a hired house at Shillong, Meghalaya. Four more RIVETS will be set up soon for other zones of the country.

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