Kerala

New challenge awaits local body members

Having emerged triumphant at the hustings, yet another challenge awaits the newly-elected local body members in the State. The representatives of local bodies will soon undergo a full-fledged academic programme that will involve classroom sessions, online learning, examinations and dissertation.

Marking a unique collaboration seldom witnessed in the State, Sree Narayana Guru Open University has joined hands with the Kerala University of Digital Science, Innovation and Technology (Digital University) and Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) to conduct a six-month certificate course under distance education mode on decentralisation and local governance starting March first week.

Unlike the regular training programmes conducted by KILA to groom local body members, the course will provide an opportunity for people’s representatives to undergo an in-depth study. Joy Elamon, director-general, KILA, said it would focus on the peculiarities in the State, even while imparting lessons on decentralised governance.

The course content will be delivered at three levels – virtual learning, contact sessions that will be held in each district at least once a month and through distribution of study materials. While at least half of the nearly 21,000 local body members could enrol for the course, a minimum of 5,000 participants is expected to complete the course successfully, Dr. Elamon said.

Sree Narayana Guru Open University Vice Chancellor P.M. Mubarak Pasha said the ‘students’ would have to earn 16 academic credits by clearing examinations and other activities to obtain the course certificate that would be issued by the university. The participants will also be required to chalk out five-year perspective plans for their respective wards during the course of the programme.

The digital university will conduct a module on technology in governance that will delve upon e-governance. The possibility of employing data intelligence analytics in governance, geospatial planning for resource management, and e-commerce to market local produce were some futuristic avenues that could prove relevant in the times to come, Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology Vice Chancellor Saji Gopinath said.

The university will also play a role in integrating multimedia tools such as augmented reality in the content prepared by the other associating establishments. The online content will be delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous manner to enable the participants to view instructional materials offline at a convenient time.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 1:01:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/new-challenge-awaits-local-body-members/article33593849.ece

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