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All colleges to design courses

If you had always wanted your college to offer tailor-made courses to prepare you better for the future, your wish may soon be fulfilled.

Thanks to the community colleges programme of the University Grants Commission (UGC), all cradles will get a chance to design courses according to industrial needs of an area.

The programme, which was introduced last year, aims to make higher education relevant to the learner and the community at large and provide skill-based education.

Until 2013, universities could select only one college under them for the programme. So, Kolhan University chose Tata College in Chaibasa. The cradle had applied to introduce a six-month course on mining. The college has received the sanctioned largesse of Rs 22 lakh to start the course.

However, this year, the UGC is allowing any college to apply. The cradles will have to apply to the university, which will forward the application to the commission.

“We intend to start the course soon. We had applied last year. At that point of time, every university was allotted only one college. This year, however, all colleges can apply to introduce a course depending on the local resources and industrial needs,” said Kasturi Boipai, principal of Tata College, Chaibasa.

Since Chaibasa is a mine-dominated region, it was only natural for Tata College to opt for such a course.

Though the admission process is yet to start, college officials are consulting various mining companies to discuss the syllabus.

“We have received Rs 22 lakh for the certificate course. We will soon start the admission,” said Boipai, adding that the fee for the course would be nominal.

“Though the final amount has not yet been decided, the fee will be something between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000,” the principal maintained.

Classes for these courses will be held in existing colleges. A board of members, comprising representatives from the college, university, partner industries and professors guild, will decide the syllabus and teaching method. College officials have to be in constant dialogue with the industry so that they remain updated on workforce requirements.

“There are many students who would not want leave the town and their families. This industry-oriented course will be beneficial for them. What’s better than a job near home,” said Anusuya Singh, a commerce student from Graduate School College for Women.