The Army in association with IGNOU today inaugurated a satellite link with Leh for facilitating distance education to its personnel in remote areas, apart from announcing the setting up of an Information Technology Academy jointly with Microsoft India.
Army Chief General V K Singh inaugurated the IGNOU satellite link with a military base in Leh, thus extending the
university's educational online resources to the army troops deployed in the Ladakh region.
This facility, as part of the university and the Army's joint project Gyandeep, will be replicated soon in other parts
of the country, the Army announced in the presence of IGNOU Vice Chancellor Prof Rajashekaran Pillai, Microsoft India
chairman and vice president Ravi Venkatesan and Army Western Command chief Lt Gen S R Ghosh.
The IT Academy, which is part of the Army-Microsoft's 'Kshamta' project of the last one year under the umbrella of
'Samarth' initiatives, would train Army personnel in IT courses of various levels to empower them with skills to find
an alternative post-career retirement.
The flagship initiative under 'Samarth' is 'Gyandeep', which recognises 'in service' training done by soldiers and
makes them eligible for the award of certification by IGNOU.
Under this initiative, over 68,000 soldiers have been registered so far and over 2,300 of them have been awarded
diplomas and degrees already.
'Kshamta' was an outcome of an understanding with Microsoft India aimed at imparting specialised skills like
Information Technology and spoken English to soldiers.
More than 1,000 master trainers have been trained in the first phase of Kshamta, and they are expected to train other
soldiers in similar skills.
The third initiative was vocational training to personnel aimed at arming them with skills in demand by both the
industrial and services sector, thereby equipping them with a viable chance for a second career.
The training is backed by certification from reputed institutions, and necessary arrangements are also being made
to help the individuals secure a job once the training is complete.
At a function to mark the success of these initiatives at the Rajputana Rifles Regimental Centre here, the Army
personnel who had excelled in the training were honoured and the key players in the projects recognised.