With an aim to empower women and make them financially independent by starting small businesses of their own, officials of Uttar Pradesh Rajashri Tandon Open University (UPRTOU—UP’s lone state open varsity) has decided to launch five new vocational courses from the coming academic session.
The highlight of these new courses is the fact that students getting enrolled need not even be literate and could belong to any age group. The only prerequisite would be that they want to pursue these courses which would be mainly short-term certificate courses, the varsity officials said.
The female candidates, who would be coming to pursue these courses do not have to give any entrance test or approach the university with a recommendation of anyone.
“Since 1999, UPRTOU had started the initiative to make learning free from all the technical glitches and reaching to those who were otherwise ‘unreached’. Along with traditional degrees and diplomas, our focus has been on imparting professional courses too and these new courses are also a small effort to make our womenfolk, especially of the rural areas of our university and its study centres, skilled so that they can earn for themselves and become self-reliant,” said UPRTOU vice-chancellor, Prof Seema Singh who coincidently is the first woman VC of this university.
The five courses that would be launched by UPRTOU include home gardening, handicrafts and embroidery, sewing, painting and cooking.
Director of the centre for internal quality assurance of the university, Prof Omji Gupta said, “We had recently presented a proposal to the vice-chancellor for starting these courses in our university following which she has taken the approval from the chancellor, the Governor of the state Anandiben Patel. Now after the unanimous approval of the courses in the meeting of the Executive Council held on November 12, the admission process for these courses will soon be started.”
VC Prof Seema Singh said that illiterate women can also take admission in any of the five vocational courses. There is no age limit, minimum qualification or for that matter even number of seats for admission to these courses, she added.
“Admission for these courses would be given in the main campus of the university under the pilot project. Following the acceptance of the courses among the womenfolk and their response, this new system will be implemented in all the study centres spread across the state,” said Prof Singh.
The certificate will be given after training for two months, she added.
The training in these courses will be based on practical sessions. The assessment will also be done based on grading in these sessions with “A” meaning excellent, “B” standing for good and “C” meaning satisfactory, explained the VC.
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