The five postgraduate courses offeredby the Rajiv Gandhi National Instituteof Youth Development (RGNIYD),Sriperumbudur, which wasaccorded deemed university status by the UniversityGrants Commission in October 2008,have evoked encouraging response from acrossthe country.RGNIYD Deemed University had its genesisin 1993 as a premier national-level apex instituteunder the Ministry of Youth Affairs andSports, Government of India, with a laudablemission of empowering youth to embrace thechallenges of the 21st century.The postgraduate courses - M.A. in YouthEmpowerment, Career Counselling, Local Governancefor the Panchayati Raj, Life SkillsEducation, and General Studies - have attracteda good number of youths from various partsof the country. When these courses were initiallyintroduced, RGNIYD was not a university.Now that it has attained the university status,the courses are expected to attract moreyouths, according to the director of RGNIYD,G. Rajasekaran.He said the main objectives of the M.A. inLife Skills Education programme included familiarisingstudents with theoretical basics inLife Skills Education; orienting youths to trainingmethodologies; enabling them to apply lifeskills in various spheres; and developing professionalsin the subject. There was also a widespreaddemand for the appointment of LifeSkills teachers in schools on the lines of craftteachers of the past, he said.The M.A. Local Governance for PanchayatiRaj was yet another innovative course, whichwould impart training to the youths to strengthenthe local bodies, he said.Buoyed by the patronage for these five courses,the university had proposed to offer twomonthand three-month certificate courses inthese five subjects soon. The university hadalso planned to introduce M. Phil. and Ph.Dcourses next June, Mr. Rajasekaran said, referringto the excellent infrastructure, includingthe state-of-the-art auditorium and libraryat the institute. The Community Radio operatedfrom the institute covered about 200schools creating awareness among students onvarious adolescence issues. It had beenplanned to offer correspondence courses takingadvantage of this service.SYED MUTHAHAR SAQAF