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10th pass soldiers to get 12th certificates through NIOS

New Delhi: The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is instituting a special programme in consultation with the defence authorities to enable Agniveers who have passed class 10 to further their education and obtain a class 12 pass certificate by developing customized courses that are relevant to their area of service, according to Ministry of Education (MoE) officials.

The Ministry of Defence had on Tuesday unveiled the Agnipath scheme which is a pan-India merit-based recruitment scheme for enrolling soldiers, airmen and sailors. Under the scheme, young persons will be provided with an opportunity to serve in the armed forces as "Agniveer" for a period of four years, including a training period.

Welcoming the "forward-looking" NIOS initiative, Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said his ministry is committed to support the Agnipath scheme.

"The customised programme by @niostwit will be relevant to the spirit of the #Agnipath scheme. This certificate will equip #Agniveer's with relevant knowledge & skills and enable them to pursue jobs and higher education across India," he said.

"Best of our talent in the best of our services is a matter of pride and a win-win for all," he added.

After completion of the four-year tenure of the recruits, the Agniveer scheme provides for retaining 25 per cent of each specific batch for regular service, based on organisational requirements and policies promulgated by the armed forces from time to time. Agniveers shall be recruited between the ages of 17.5 and 21 years. Candidates who are class 10 and 12 pass can apply for the recruitment process.

"The Ministry's Department of School Education and Literacy through its autonomous institution, the National Institute of Open Schooling, is instituting a special programme in consultation with the defence authorities to enable those Agniveers who have passed class 10, to further their education and obtain a class 12 pass certificate by developing customized courses that are not only current but very relevant to their area of service," a senior MoE official said.

"This certificate will be recognised for both employment and higher education purposes in the whole country. This will benefit the Agniveers to gain adequate educational qualification and skills to take up a productive role in society later in life. The special programme of NIOS will facilitate enrolment, development of courses, student support, provision of self-learning material, accreditation of study centres, personal contact programme, evaluation and certification," the official said.

The MoE had announced on Thursday that it will launch a special three-year skill-based bachelor's degree programme for such defence personnel which will recognise the skill training received by them during their tenure in the defence establishments.

The degree programme offered by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will be recognised both in India and abroad for employment and education. The Army, Navy and the Air Force will sign a memorandum of understanding with IGNOU for the implementation of the scheme, ministry officials said.

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