To enhance the future career prospects of the recruits or ‘Agniveers’ under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, the Ministry of Education has announced the launch of a special three-year skill-based bachelor’s degree programme that will recognise the skill training received by them during their tenure in the defence establishments. The Army, Navy and Air Force will sign a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for the implementation of the programme.

The programme has been designed by IGNOU and is aligned with University Grants Commission (UGC) norms and with National Credit Framework, National Skill Qualification framework (NSQF), as mandated under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

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Under this programme, 50% of the credits required for a graduate degree will come from the skill training (technical and non-technical) while a remaining will come from a variety of courses across subjects including Languages, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology, Public Administration, Maths, Education, Commerce, Tourism, Vocational Studies, Agriculture and Jyotish, along with ability enhancement courses on Environmental Studies and Communication Skills in English.

The programme will also have options for multiple exit points, which will provide ‘Agniveers’ with an undergraduate (UG) certificate on successful completion of the first year, a UG diploma on successful completion of first and second-year courses and a degree on completion of all courses in the three year time frame.

Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, chairman, UGC, says, “UGC and IGNOU are working together to provide recognition for the skills acquired by ‘Agniveers’. In addition, once the Digital University is established, ‘Agniveers’ will have the opportunity to do courses in emerging areas. This will make them future-ready.”

The framework of the programme has been recognized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) and UGC. The final degrees will be awarded by IGNOU as per the UGC nomenclature of BA, BCom, BA (vocational), BA (Tourism management). The degrees will be recognised both in India and abroad for employment and education purposes by the ‘Agniveers’.

Kumar says that information about the skills that will be provided to ‘Agniveers’ during their four-year training is key, adds Kumar. “Based on this, mapping their skill training with NHEQF will be done. This will then give us an idea about what qualifications can be given to ‘Agniveers’,” he says.

He adds, “The bottom line is that UGC would like to work on this plan to see how ‘Agniveers’ skill training can be mapped into qualifications so that they can acquire additional higher qualifications or be ready for new job opportunities.”



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