"The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Community College initiative is now finalizing a partnership with the well-established US Community College system through the latest Obama-Singh initiative 2011," said Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU.

"With the introduction of the proposed National Vocational Educational Qualification Framework by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), the community college initiative would contribute significantly to the enhancement of the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) since it provides lateral entry to the university degrees," he said.

The Open University started the community college initiative leading to the award of certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas and associate degrees. Many collaborations were made with both public and private organisations of diverse grassroots level.

Government departments like the information technology, rural development, textiles, technical education, Indian Army, Naval and Air force collaborated with the university in this nation-wide skill development initiative, leading to certification of employable skills and the enhancement of livelihood opportunities of the underprivileged sections of the society.

"We could get the community college scheme incorporated in the 11th five year plan and we followed the National Knowledge Commission recommendations for the starting of the associate degree programme for the first time in the country," he said.

Reference: India Education Review