Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Kanshiram Urdu Arabic-Persian University will together start study centres in each district of UP to promote teaching of Urdu at certificate, diploma and degree levels. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between IGNOU, New Delhi and Urdu-Arabic and Persian University, Lucknow, was inked on April 1 this year for cooperation in achieving the common goals of higher education, said an official release. IGNOU presently has enrolment of around 35 lakh students and is the largest university in the world offering more then 300 courses through open university and distance education mode. Kanshiram Urdu University was set up by the UP government in October 2009 to promote Urdu, Arabic and Persian languages and to enable the linguistic minorities to become employable by acquiring higher and need based education. Both the universities have agreed to offer joint degree, diploma and certificate programmes with particular emphasis on the promotion of Urdu, Arabic and Persian along with vocational and other important subjects. This will also include vocational and other courses run through Urdu medium as also through distance learning and online mode. Both universities will undertake and support staff training in the techniques and management, facilitate inter-institutional communication links, support evaluation and applied research.