Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), The Advanced Center for Informatics and Innovative Learning (ACIIL) and IBM India have signed an MoU that will reinvent and reform IT education in the country. The collaboration, co-operation and joint working of IBM, with IGNOU, will bridge the gap that exists between education, skills and national development. As a part of the MoU, IGNOU and IBM India will partner to skill students on the IT standards in the emerging verticals like healthcare, financial services and retail that have a significant growth potential, in addition to the skills demand of Open Source software and Open Standards, with live projects.
Under the MoU, the first phase will offer three programs that will include a certificate in open source software, diploma in open source software and industry vertical domain open standards, and advanced diploma in industry vertical domain open standards (healthcare/ retail/ insurance). The Innovation Center for Open Standards (iCos), an online platform, will be the underlying framework for the engagement between IBM and IGNOU for the execution of the courses. The IBM iCos platform links students' project-based learning with IT industry and mentors. This will be seamlessly integrated into IGNOU's in house developed Unified Learning Platform in due course. This effort will fill up the Finishing School efforts of the IT Industry today, enabling DAY One deployment. The students will immensely benefit from the flexibility of learning at their own pace, anytime, anywhere, anyhow and make the students future-ready. IBM said it has a long-standing commitment to furthering education, including its IBM Academic Initiative, which offering a wide range of technology education benefits from free to fee that can scale to meet the goals of most colleges and universities. IBM will work with universities and colleges that support Open Standards and seek to use Open Source and IBM technologies for teaching purposes, both directly and virtually via the Web. IGNOU's Unified Learning model, which is being launched shortly, will support all learning models such as face-to-face, online, in-line, print based, self learning, Web-based and thus match with the flexibility of learning at one's own pace, anywhere, anytime, anyhow. The continuous assessment will enable skills development, to match with the emerging global demands of industrial workforce.