For two years, Ram Kishore (29) wanted to acquire a degree in Masters in Business Administration (MBA), but kept postponing his plans owing to lack of money.
But Kishore, an under-trial lodged in Tihar Jail, facing forgery charges, does not need to think twice about pursuing the course any more.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), which runs a study centre at the jail to facilitate distance education, has decided to waive off fees it would have otherwise charge from inmates to pursue its courses from the next academic year.
“The decision is aimed to encourage higher studies among the inmates,” said
Tihar jail spokesperson Sunil Gupta, according to the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), communication received by the jail administration.
According to Gupta, till last year, the inmates were paying around Rs. 1.5-to-2 lakh to the university by enrolling with its study centre located inside the jail's premises.
Every year, around 125 inmates at this jail enroll for one of the courses available at the study centre and thereafter, avail of its study material.
Under the jail administration’s ‘Study Or Teach’ drive, educated inmates undertake to give tutorials to these ‘students’ in case they wish to supplement the study material.
Apart from the waiver of fees, IGNOU, said Gupta, is
also set to introduce a few additional graduate/post graduate level courses.
These include a post graduate/graduate course in Masters in Social Work, diploma/certificate courses in HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and Family Education. Currently, three Tihar inmates are pursuing the Masters in Business Administration (MBA), course from the on-campus study centre.
Six other inmates are enrolled in the Masters in Computer Application course as well.
Among the jail’s inmates, alleged gangster Pappu Yadav, said a jail source, had done a “one year certificate course in Human Rights” from the study centre.
The source added, “It has been seen that those inmates who are busy in pursuing education indulge less in violent activities. So, we encourage educational initiatives.”