NEW DELHI

Australian Deputy Premier launches three new IGNOU courses

Bringing smiles: Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard interacting with children during her visit to Ekta Vihar slums at R.K. Puram in the Capital on Tuesday.

Bringing smiles: Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard interacting with children during her visit to Ekta Vihar slums at R.K. Puram in the Capital on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Photo: S. Subramanium

Staff Reporter

The courses have been developed in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology

NEW DELHI: Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday launched three new academic programmes of Indira Gandhi National Open University here that have been developed in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology under an Indo-Australian initiative.

These courses are: ICT-enabled diploma in primary education (DPE); dual doctoral programme for research and teaching assistantships; and an online programme in master of intellectual property law (MIPL).

“It is a very special launch as IGNOU is the world’s largest university and it is an excellent opportunity for Australia and India together to demonstrate quality education for today’s students and also those of tomorrow. Australia shares India’s interest in the world of learning,” Ms. Gillard said after the launch.

According to the terms of the partnership, students will take admission to IGNOU for these courses. After completing some part of the programme at IGNOU, the rest of it will be completed at Queensland University of Technology. The students will get dual degrees, one each from both the universities, said an official release.

“A big gap exists between the demand and supply for quality teachers. This unique collaboration between IGNOU and QUT will go a long way to boost India’s low gross enrolment ratio of 10 per cent as opposed to 27 per cent in the world,” said IGNOU Vice-Chancellor V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai.

Aid to assist slum children

New Delhi: Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited the ASHA Community Health and Development Society and presented a cheque of Rs. 3 lakh (AUD 7,500).

The ASHA society works with 300,000 people in 50 slum colonies located in Delhi. The funding presented by the Deputy Prime Minister will provide secondary school books to children advancing from primary to secondary education.

“This financial contribution will enable students in the Ekta Vihar, Kanak Durga, Hanuman Camp and Dr. Ambedkar Basti colonies in Delhi to get a better chance in life through education,” she said. “The population of these areas is approximately 12,500 persons, and a large number of children will benefit directly from the books funded by this contribution,” Ms Gillard added.

Previous aid

Australia has previously funded the ASHA Community Health and Development Society through the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program, most recently in 2007-08 for the purchase of medical equipment for five slum colonies.

Ms Gillard said, “As Australia’s Minister for both Education and Social Inclusion, I am committed to promoting the causes of women and children. I endorse the work of organisations such as ASHA in bringing positive long term benefits to the lives of the people serviced by them in Delhi.” -- ANI

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