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Education Ministry to launch special programme for ‘Agniveers’, with aim to boost job prospects

Ministry says programme will enable ‘Agniveers’ who are '10th Class pass to obtain a 12th Class pass certificate by developing customised courses that are relevant to their area of service'.

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Education announced Thursday that it will develop courses for Class 10 and 12 school students in line with the ‘Agnipath’ scheme launched by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) this week.

The scheme envisages recruitment of youth aged between 17.5 and 21 years as soldiers in the armed forces for a period of four years. Class 10 or Class 12 is the minimum eligibility criterion, according to a press statement issued by the Education Ministry Thursday.

The courses will be developed by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) in consultation with the MoD. This special programme of NIOS will facilitate enrolment, development of courses, student support, provision of self-learning material, accreditation of study centres, personal contact programme, evaluation and certification.

“The special programme will enable those ‘Agniveers’ who are 10th Class pass to further their education and obtain a 12th Class pass certificate by developing customised courses that are not only current but very relevant to their area of service,” the Education Ministry said in the press statement.

The certificates issued to ‘Agniveers’ will be recognised for both employment and higher education purposes all over the country, the statement said, adding that the move will allow the recruits to “gain adequate educational qualifications and skills to take up productive roles in society later in life”.

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took to Twitter to hail the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, terming it a “forward-looking initiative”.

“The customised programme by NIOS will be relevant to the spirit of Agnipath scheme. This certificate will equip Agniveers with relevant knowledge and skills and enable them to pursue jobs and higher education across India,” he wrote on Twitter.

Also Read: India is seeing its worst ‘edu-cide’. First survey after Covid shows

‘Agnipath’ & IGNOU

The Ministry of Education announced Wednesday that it will launch a special three-year skill-based bachelor’s degree programme for serving defence personnel that will recognise the skills and training they receive during their tenure with the armed forces.

The Army, Navy and Air Force will sign Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for implementation of the scheme.

“Under this programme that has been designed by IGNOU and will also be executed by them, 50 per cent of the credits required for a graduate degree will come from the skill training — both technical and non-technical — received by the Agniveer, and the remaining 50 per cent will come from a basket of courses that cover a wide variety of subjects like languages, economics, history, political science, public administration, sociology, mathematics, education, commerce, tourism, vocational studies, agriculture and jyotish, as also ability enhancement courses on environmental studies and communication skills in English,” said a press statement issued by the Ministry of Education Wednesday.

The statement added that the programme framework has been recognised by regulatory bodies, including the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) and the University Grants Commission (UGC).

‘Agniveers’ who enrol in this programme will be awarded degrees by IGNOU in line with UGC nomenclature [BA, BCom, BA (vocational), BA (Tourism Management)], and will be recognised both in India and abroad.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

Also Read: Army’s ‘Agnipath’ plan is ambitious but has flaws. Here’s how it can be made more attractive


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