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How education ministry is pitching in to make 'Agniveers' 'future-ready'

A special, 3-year skill based degree programme will be launched for them


The education ministry is coming up with plans to recognise in-service training received by 'Agniveers' as credits for graduation.

On June 14, the Union defence ministry unveiled the 'Agnipath' scheme, a pan India merit-based recruitment scheme for inducting youngsters into all three services of the armed forces. Under this scheme, young persons will be offered an opportunity to serve in the armed forces as 'Agniveer'. They can serve in the regular cadre of the armed forces for four years, including training period. 'Agniveers' will be recruited between the ages of 17.5 to 21 years. Candidates who have passed class X/XII can apply for the recruitment process.

In order to enhance the future career prospects of 'Agniveers', and equip them for various jobs in the civilian sector, the Union ministry of education is set to launch a special, three-year skill based degree programme for serving defence personnel that will recognise the skill training received by them during their tenure in the defence establishments.

Under this programme, designed by IGNOU, 50 per cent of the credits required for a graduate degree will come from the skill training—both technical and non-technical— received by the 'Agniveer', and the remaining 50 per cent 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 and jyotish, as also ability enhancement courses on environmental studies and communication skills in English. This programme is aligned with UGC norms and with the National Credit Framework / National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) as mandated under the National Education Policy 2020. Army, Navy and the IAF will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IGNOU for implementation of the scheme.

Support has also come from the Department of School Education & Literacy under the ministry through its autonomous institution, the National Institute of Open Schooling. It is instituting a special programme, in consultation with the defence authorities, to enable those 'Agniveers' who have passed class X to further their education, and obtain a class XII pass Certificate by developing customised courses relevant to their area of service.

"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," tweeted UGC chairman Jagadesh Kumar. 

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