The Indian Air Force (IAF) Monday signed an agreement with the
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for a project to
enable around 100,000 serving airmen to complete the bachelor's
degree in any stream, including arts, science, business and music.
According to the IGNOU-IAF project, called Akashdeep, the existing
airmen training institutes will be registered as community
colleges and personnel would be able to obtain a bachelor's degree
within 8-13 years of their service, an IAF spokesperson said.
This "addresses the professional certification needs of higher
learning of IAF personnel below officers rank".
The accord was signed by Air Officer-In-Charge Personnel Air
Marshal K.J. Mathews and IGNOU Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan
Pillai here. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik,
senior IAF and IGNOU officials were also present.
As per the agreement, two modules of the Joint Basic Phase
Training will enable airmen to earn credit points that would be
transferred to IGNOU for completing their certificates, diplomas
and associate degrees in arts, science, commerce, business
administration, hotel management, hospitality services, medical
services, para-medical sciences, office management, automobile
trade performing skill, music and instrument music.
"Subsequent to this, an airman can enroll for a one-year distance
learning programme with IGNOU leading to award of bachelor's
degree," the IAF spokesperson said.
The launch of the project will immediately benefit nearly 100,000
IAF personnel who will, on completion of the syllabus, receive a
degree from the university that has the potential to transform
their post-retirement life besides helping them prepare for
competitive jobs, he said.
"Better qualified human resource will help the IAF in gainful
utilisation of its resources. The programme, while validating IAF
training curriculum is also one among the several welfare measures
for its personnel. Project Akashdeep also signifies the IAF's
association with the sky and its quest for knowledge."