Kandhamal youths to get vocational training, courtesy IGNOU


New Delhi : After making headlines for communal disharmony for years, Orissa’s Kandhamal district is set to smile – Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will provide vocational education and placement to youths from poor families of this tribal district, beginning January.

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“IGNOU will start here, from the January session, offering vocational and training programmes to educate and train youths from below Poverty Line (BPL) families. A sprawling house in the district has been hired. Five vocational training and educational programmes have been identified,” a varsity spokesman told IANS.

The vocational courses for these BPL youths include certificate courses in advanced computing, job training and interview etiquette, and a diploma in advanced computing.

“While certificate programmes are for six months each, the diploma programme will be for a year. Those who successfully clear the certificate or the diploma course will be given employment in various industries in east zone,” the spokesman added.

After Kandhamal, the plan will be implemented in some tribal districts of Orissa and five other states – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. It will be conducted through a Common Service Centre (CSC) in each village panchayat of these states.

The university said efficient local staff shall be hired to run these courses.

Pandav Naik, a former vice-chancellor of Utkal University and the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for this project, said though the cpourses are starting from a rented building in Phulbani, the district headquarters in Kandhamal, a permanent building will be constructed soon.

A Kolkata-based NGO SAHAJ, which is helping the Orissa government in e-governance, will help the project by setting up common service centres at panchayat level.