The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI), Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), to launch an Internship/Skill Development Certificate Programme, involving 'hands-on-experience' for the students. The MoU was signed by IGNOU Registrar (Admin) U.S. Tolia and NCRI Member Secretary Upamanyu Basu in the presence of IGNOU Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Department of Higher Education Secretary Vibha Puri Das and Director of the Student Service Centre at IGNOU Dr. Jayshree Kurup. “IGNOU has various programmes, which have practical components. Internships have now been made mandatory in programmes like Master's in Rural Management, which are modular in nature. Keeping this aspect in mind, we thought to collaborate with the NCRI, giving students an opportunity for six to eight weeks to do an internship, to be provided by NCRI itself,” said Prof Pillai. Elaborating upon the responsibilities of the National Council of Rural Institutes, NCRI Chairman Dr. S.V. Prabhat said, “NCRI will identify the rural institutes/NGOs, evaluate their strengths (infrastructure, faculty, past experience, etc.) and come up with a list of them for adoption in order to establish learning/study/practicum centers for the implementation of short-term internship/skill-centric/application-oriented training modules.” While lauding the efforts of NCRI and IGNOU, Das said, “This programme will lend value to those who already have it. In short, it will be more like giving back to the community.” According to the MoU, “The programme has been designed to provide a value addition to the existing academic programmes or to promote skills of the youth with the objective of improving the potential for self employment and greater employability in the job market.”
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