Monday, October 25, 2010

IGNOU to set up Local Governance centre

New Delhi, Oct 23 : Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will be setting up the National ODL Centre for Local Governance for conducting research on problems and issues of local self-government institutions and design and develop appropriate multi-mode educational and training courses for members of the local self help bodies.

It is also expected that the multi-media package for elected members of Panchayats prepared under UNDP sponsored projects could be transferred to the above National Centre for offering a non-credit certificate programme to the Sarpanchs of Panchayats, initially in English and Hindi and subsequently in other languages.

Similarly other programmes including Diploma in Panchayat Level Development and Administration and Masters DegreeProgramme could also be expected to be developed under the Centre, said officials.

The task of education and capacity building for an equitable and just social and economic development is huge. It involves the involvement of grass roots level institutions in the development processes of the country.

The 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments not only sought to correct this imbalance but also to endow these institutions with the strength and prestige associated with self-governance structures sanctified by the constitution itself.

The task involves coordinated approach for massive awareness generation, orientation and skill development of over 34 lakh elected representatives and about 20 lakh development functionaries.

Added to this is the vast number of elected and nominated members of the urban local bodies. Distance educationprovides an appropriate and cost-effective means to empower local communities.

The creation of the National ODL Centre for Local Governance will help in empowering millions of elected members of Panchayats, local bodies and other development functionaries in the country through appropriate educational and training programmes.

The Centre is also expected to facilitate sustenance of various activities which get generated from such projects such as Panchayati Raj Projects and capacity building of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PSIs) through multi-mode training interventions.

The Centre will also establish similar institutions in the country and internationally and serve as clearing house for information sharing.

It is expected that the proposed centre will facilate developing a clear vision and strategy to plan and provide for an appropriate educational and training intervention to meet the challenge of facilitating and expending the silent revolution expected to be brought about by the 73rd and 74th amendments of the constitution.

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