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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Co-Operative University

India to get its first co-operative university

THE National Co-operative Union of India (NCUI) is all set to establish the firstever co-operative university. According to NCUI officials, the proposed Jawahar Lal International Co-operative University would be functional from the forthcoming academic session.

Set to offer professional courses on law, management, cooperation, international trade and information technology, the university would consist of 20 cooperative institutions across India offering vocational and professional education.

Bhagwati Prasad, chairman and chief executive, NCUI, said: "We have placed our proposal to the University Grants Commission (UGC) and after the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) gives its approval, which could take around five to six months, we would be ready to offer courses as an university.The 20 co-operative institutions across India would be converted to deemed universities and would be a part of this international university." The university's main campus would be located on the premises of Vaikunthbhai Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VMNICM), Pune. The VMNICM and the existing institutes of co-operative management would be affiliated to this university, which would be federal in character.

"The unique feature of this university is that it would be the first in India.The university would be the result of the cooperative movement in India and would be funded by the movement. A university for the co-operative sector, it would initially offer undergraduate and postgraduate including doctoral degrees/courses,'' added L D Ahuja, officer on special duty, NCUI.

The university aims to involve youths in large numbers to disseminate knowledge, equipping them to accept challenging jobs and hone their entrepreneurial skills to tap self-employment opportunities. The university also aims to establish links with international co-operative organisations and international agencies like the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), PACTA, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Colombo Plan, among others.

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

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