While a section of students are rushing to secure admission in Delhi University, there's another section, albeit smaller in number, that is looking at another option — that of community colleges.
"It's a new concept in India but is catching on fast," said VP Jayarajan, principal, Delhi Community College (DCC), Dwarka.
A community college offers mainly vocational education, diploma and certificate level courses. The first community college in India was founded as recently as 1995, in Pondicherry. Today, the number of community colleges has increased rapidly. In just three years, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has over two lakh students in about 600 community colleges across the country.
DCC is one of over 600 community colleges registered under IGNOU. "Community colleges cater to people who are unable, for one reason or another, to go to normal university," Jayarajan said.
All of the community colleges under IGNOU teach a specific skill set that is in demand in India, such as carpentry, computer repair, or building repair.
DCC teaches fire engineering and security management. The school was originally founded six years ago as the Delhi Institute of Fire Engineering for training fire-fighters and fire prevention specialists. "The school was founded because there was a lack of properly trained fire engineers in the country as people manning fire equipment were not properly trained," said Jayarajan.
Two years ago the institution joined IGNOU and was renamed Delhi Community College. Joining IGNOU allowed students who earn associate's degrees at the college to continue their studies at a higher university towards a bachelor's degree.
With demand for properly trained fire engineers growing in India, Jayarajan said, many of the school's graduates find jobs very quickly after they graduate. "They are taken by construction companies, manufacturing units, hospitals," he added.
Students can get more information about courses and the college from the official website —www.dccindia.com.