Incorporate course on rural community engagement in higher education curriculum

The Centre has asked all higher education institutions including engineering colleges to develop course content on rural community engagement and make them an "integral part" of the curriculum for all academic programmes that they offer.

On an instruction from the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, the higher education regulators have directed all universities and colleges to "immediately" seek the assistance of the Hyderabad-based National Council of Rural Institute (NCRI) for development of the proposed courses so that they could be “formally” incorporated into the existing curriculum.

“The ministry wants incorporation of courses on rural community engagement and process into the academic curriculum of the universities and all other higher education institutions,” an official of the All India Council for Technical Education said.

A decision in this regard was taken by the ministry recently.

“The ministry has directed both the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the AICTE to ensure that all higher education institutions under them revise their curriculum to incorporate course content on rural community engagement and process,” they added.

Several higher education institutions have specialized departments to offer academic programmes on rural development which includes rural technology and management study.

The ministry, however, wants the institutions to make courses on rural community engagement and process “a universal feature” of the higher education system in India.

“The ministry's intend behind its decision is to provide students with opportunity, irrespective of their academic streams and interests, to have a practical understanding of the problems and challenges that the rural masses face in their daily lives across the country so that their academic pursuits could get channelised into socially relevant areas,” an official said.

The ministry has not fixed any timeline but higher education institutions are “expected to act swift” on the directives issued to them by the UGC and AICTE in this connection so that proposed courses on the rural community engagement becomes part of all academic curriculum from this year itself, the official added.

The move comes close on the heels of the HRD ministry expanding its 'Unnat Bharat Abhiyan' to engage country's higher education institutions into rural development.

As many as 750 higher education institutions on Wednesday came forward to take up research and development projects for improving the socio-economic conditions of the people living in country's villages under the programme.

 

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Incorporate course on rural community engagement in higher education curriculum

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