The Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN) at Thiruvarur and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) have tied up to offer agriculture-related short-term courses to farmers, who have not finished school, to give them an opportunity to equip themselves with the latest in farm technology. These courses will be offered in the community college mode at the CUTN.

A memorandum to this effect was inked by B.P. Sanjay, Vice-Chancellor of CUTN, and K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor of TNAU, recently in Coimbatore. To begin with, two courses – one in soil management and the other in water management– will be offered at nominal costs. The courses will be conducted for six months each. Those who have passed Standard VIII are eligible to apply for the courses. Persons up to the age of 40 can attend.

Talking to The Hindu over phone, Mr. Sanjay said that the initiative was to promote the National Vocational Educational Qualification Framework (NVEQF) of the Government of India, which envisages to formally integrate vocational education with conventional education across schools and higher educational institutions.

“This is a way for universities to reach out to rural youth and those who have not completed formal education. The CUTN will provide the necessary infrastructure and facilities such as laboratories, demonstration land space, for effective delivery of the content that will be designed by TNAU,” he said.

The university is expecting to admit some 30 students in each batch, depending on the demand. Class hours would be fixed based on the convenience of the participants. On completion of the course, a joint certification will be given. The course is likely to begin in January 2014 once the infrastructure was in place. Those interested can call 04366-220311 / 99449-44356 for details and registration.