Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is to set up a mega community college campus project in Pathanamthitta, according to Anto Antony, Member of Parliament.

Mr. Antony said the proposed IGNOU campus would be the first of its kind in the whole country, other than the Delhi campus, to be directly managed by the university itself.

Dr V.N.Rajashekharan Pillai, IGNOU vice-chancellor, said the university has already reached an understanding with the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church for hiring 10,000 sq. ft. space in two buildings situated in Pathanamthitta town and nearby Kaippattor to start the proposed project in a time-bound manner.

Mr. Antony said the IGNOU project would open a new chapter in the development history of this highly literate Central Travancore belt, adding that he has already sanctioned Rs. 20 lakhs from his Local Area Development fund towards its preliminary expenses.

He said the State should take necessary steps on a warfooting basis to facilitate the land required by IGNOU for setting up a full-fledged campus of its own in the district, he added.

The MP said the proposed community college in Pathanamthitta will start functioning in January, 2010, itself. Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, D. Purandeswari, will formally inaugurate the IGNOU campus later, in November, he said.

He said Dr. Pillai has promised to launch a range of job-oriented industry-trained academic programmes at affordable costs at the community college, offering opportunities to all segments of the disadvantaged sections of the society.

Mr. Antony said the IGNOU campus will be beneficial for school drop-outs, late entrants into higher education and working people who find entry into the formal system rigid.

The MP said IGNOU has agreed to set up different divisions of the proposed community college at different parts of the district, depending on the availability and allotment of land for the same in a phased manner.

The proposed community college offers certificate course, diploma course, besides undergraduate and post-graduate courses, in as many as 37 subjects, including Agriculture, English teaching, Heatlh and Nursing, Law, Management, Commerce, Economics, Environment and Arts and Culture.

MLA seeks co-operation of people's representatives

Mr K.Sivadasan Nair, MLA, has called for whole-hearted co-operation of all people’s representatives, above all political differences, in facilitating land for the proposed IGNOU project.