Keeping in mind the future career prospects of ‘Agniveers’, the Ministry of Education (MoE) will launch a special three-year skill based bachelor degree programme for such defence personnel which will recognize the skill training received by them during their tenure in the defence establishments, officials said on Wednesday. The degree programme offered by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will be recognised both in India and abroad for employment and education.
Army, Navy and Air Force will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IGNOU for implementation of the scheme, the officials said.
The Centre on Tuesday unveiled a “transformative” scheme called ‘Agnipath’ for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force largely on a short-term contractual basis to cut the ballooning salary and pension bills and enable a youthful profile of the armed forces. Under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, Indian youth will be provided an opportunity to serve in the armed forces as ‘Agniveer’.
After completion of the four-year tenure of the recruits, the scheme provides for retaining 25 per cent of each specific batch for regular service, based on organisational requirements and policies promulgated by the armed forces from time to time.
“The degree programme will recognize in-service training received by Agniveers as credits for graduation and will open up opportunities for them to pursue civilian careers of their choice. Under the programme, 50 per cent of the credits required for a graduate degree will come from skill training — both technical and non-technical, received by the Agniveers,” a senior MoE official said.
“The remaining 50 per cent credits 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, ‘Jyotish’ and ability enhancement courses on Environmental Studies and English Communication Skills,” the official added.
The programme is aligned with the norms of University Grants Commission (UGC), the National Credit Framework and National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) as mandated under the new National Education Policy (NEP). The framework of the programme has been duly recognised by concerned regulatory bodies — All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) and UGC.
“It also has provisions for multiple exit points –undergraduate certificate on successful completion of first year courses, undergraduate diploma on successful completion of first and second year courses and degree on completion of all the courses in three-year timeframe,” the official said.
“The degree will be awarded by IGNOU as per UGC nomenclature — BA, BCom, BA (Vocational), BA (Tourism Management) — and will be recognised both in India and abroad for employment and education,” he said.