Death row convict among 3 complete IGNOU degrees
Three prisoners of the Nagpur Central Jail - two of them serving life sentences and the third a death row convict - have completed BA and MA degrees from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
Narayan Chaudhary (35), the death row convict, had enrolled with the IGNOU for MA (sociology) in 2012.
Similarly, Vijay Mahakalkar (30) and Shyamrao Waghmare (45), serving life sentences, had registered themselves with the varsity for BA and MA sociology courses, respectively.
All three inmates have completed their degrees, a senior official of the university said. However, the inmates could not attend the IGNOU convocation held this month, where degrees were awarded to successful candidates, due to protocol and prison rules.
But they will be handed over their degrees at a function to be held in the jail premises soon, said Nagpur- based Regional Director of IGNOU P Sivaswaroop. As many as 745 prisoners from Nagpur and Amravati jails have applied for IGNOU courses since July 2010, he said, adding most of them opted for social science disciplines.
Prisoners are provided study material by the university like other students, he said.
DIG (Prisons), Eastern Region, Yogesh Desai, said jail authorities have launched initiatives to impart different skills to the inmates.
They are trained in traditional skills like fabrication and carpentry, among others. Besides, a facility has been set up in the jail premises by a company called Sai Minda to manufacture wiring harnesses, he said.
Similarly, the IGNOU, in collaboration with Hero Motors Corp, will be starting a two-month course in auto mechanics, Desai said.
He said the inmates take a lot of interest in skill development courses as these will help them to get jobs or start their own business once they are released.