Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao
Getting closer to the Ministry of Defence, Andhra University is gearing up to conduct 27 courses on skill development and training for defence personnel, especially the retired personnel, from the coming academic year.
Based on a discussion with the Directorate General of Resettlement, Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence, the courses will be taken up under the AU-Defence Joint Education Programme.
Confirming the starting of the courses, Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao said that the participants will be nominated from the tri-services of Army, Navy and Air Force and will be sponsored by the DG Resettlement.
The idea is to empower the retired defence personnel with the skill sets so that they can get employment post retirement from the services. “The courses will be so designed that they can get an opportunity for a second career after serving the nation in the defence sector. And work is on to design the courses which will cover a variety of subject from science, engineering, technical to liberal arts and languages,” said the V-C.
It is estimated that around 5,000 service personnel will be benefited from these courses, annually.
Speaking to The Hindu, Prof. Nageswara Rao said that the 90-year-old university is partnering with the defence sector in a big way to benefit both the establishments.
“The State government has already sounded the idea asking the older universities to become self-reliant. In such a scenario, tying up with the defence sector will not only benefit the university in the area of funds and image building, but also empower the servicemen with the skill sets. We intend to work out a model to earn at least ₹10 crore from these courses in the next couple of years,” he said.
AU has already designed and imparted about 15 short term skill development courses for the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare such as Hull Maintenance, Foreign Language, Fire Fighting and Disaster Management in the last one year.
MoU with Navy, IAF
This apart, AU has an MoU with the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force for offering 117 courses, including B.Tech and M.Tech programmes.
After Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa visited AU and expressed his wish to start a Centre for Defence Studies in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the talks have taken shape and the foundation stone for a Defence Research and Development Centre was laid by President Ram Nath Kovind last year. The funding of about ₹50 crore has been cleared by the MoD and according to Prof. Nageswara Rao the centre will focus on specialise areas such as cyber security, nano technology, corrosion and electro magnetic devices.