While the fight is on for admissions into some of the best colleges, there are some youngsters who are opting for community colleges. Community colleges are a new concept which is liked by lot of people in India. A community college primarily offers vocational education, diploma and certificate level courses. The first community college in India was founded as recently as 1995, in Pondicherry. In nearly three years, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has over two lakh students in about 600 community colleges across the Indian sub-continent.
IGNOU and the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to start a joint Centre of Excellence at the IBAB campus, Bangalore to commence MSc Programme in Bioinformatics and Applied Science. The programme will start under IGNOU’s School of Science. Director and Professor of Bioinformatics, Mr. N. Yathindra said, "There is a serious dearth of professionals in this field in our country. The proposed programme is a unique programme, which is not being offered anywhere else in the country and will prepare manpower in Bio informatics and applied biotechnology." The programme is expected to start in the near future.
IGNOU has introduced new professional programs like An Executive MBA, eight new finishing school courses and a B.Sc. IT course. These courses have been designed in tandem with the dynamic business needs and for job-hunting purposes. IGNOU Vice Chancellor Mr. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai and NIIT Chairman Rajendra S. Pawar have signed the partnership agreement on July 10, 2010. These programs will be launched in partnership with NIIT. Mr. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, IGNOU Vice Chancellor said, "These courses will go a way ahead in realizing our aim of inclusive education. This is the decade of innovation and we have to train more than 500 million youth in India in this time.” NIIT Chairman, Mr. Pawar said, "These courses are for students from all walks of life. Not all may score high in exams; these courses give an opportunity to them as well.”
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has launched three new programs in Economics stream namely, Actuarial Economics, Applied Quantitative Finance and Environmental Economics. The University spokesperson said , “Those interested in pursuing Actuarial Economics, Applied Quantitative Finance and Environmental Economics can now apply at the School of Social Sciences at IGNOU.” IGNOU and Madras School of Economics are jointly offering these programs on a full-time basis. The classes will be held in IGNOU campus at Maidan Garhi and MSE, Chennai. The candidate should have a bachelor’s degree for these programs with sound mathematical or statistical knowledge. Selection will be based on a common entrance test, which will be held on 14th July at Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai centers.
Students planning to enroll for Indira Gandhi University (IGNOU) can now write their exams in their regional languages. This is really a great step to give education a wider perspective. IGNOU Vice Chancellor, Professor VN Rajasekharna Pillai said, “The University has been working on a series of new path breaking ideas to meet the diverse and often daunting expectations of a large number of learners, who cannot afford to acquire education from a conventional university.” IGNOU has taken several other initiatives for the benefit of its students.