The ICRDCE has succeeded in influencing the State and Central Governments for Recognition and Accreditation of the system and for Student Centered Funding.  

(a) Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD)
•  Letter Dated 26 th of July 1999, Mr. Champak Chatterji, Joint Secretary (HE) & CVO, Ref No. D.O.No.F.3-13 / 99 – U.I

Content: To discuss the concept of Community Colleges in India and replication of the same elsewhere in the country.
•  The meeting held at the Education Secretary Government of India Shri. M. K. Kaw's Chamber on 6th of August 1999 from 11.20 a.m. – 1.15 p.m.
•  Letter Dated 16th of August 1999, Mr. Maharaj Krishen Kaw, Secreatry, Department of Education, MHRD, Ref.No.F.3-13/99-U.I.
•  Presentation to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India on 7th of September 1999.
•  Letter Dated 4th of October 1999, Record of discussion held during the presentations by experts on Vocational Education on 07.09.1999
•  18th and 19th of February 2000, National Workshop on Community College system as an Alternative system of Education in Collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi
•  22nd, 23rd and 24th of February 2000, Workshop on National Qualification Framework organized by NIEPA, New Delhi
•  Letter Dated 18th of February 2005, Committee Constituted to go into various issues concerning role for Community Colleges in Indian Education system – notice for first meeting. Ref. No. F.5.2/2005 – U.3
•  20th of September 2006, Working Paper from MHRD submitted to the planning commission in which community college is included.


9th Five Year Plan (1997 - 2002)
3.3.48 Concerted efforts were made to make higher education relevant by introducing career-oriented courses as a part of the first degree programme. Further restructuring of courses was undertaken to provide an application component to university education. A study was undertaken to examine the concept of community colleges.  

10th Five Year Plan (2002 - 2007)
There should be focus on convergence of schemes like the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Adult Education, and Vocational Education Programme at schools, ITIs, polytechnics, community colleges etc.  

11th Five Year Plan (2007 - 2012)
1.3.71 Setting up of additional 210 community colleges, mainly in northern, western, and eastern parts of the country will be supported on placement based funding. Existing 190 community colleges (largely in southern States, some of which offer diploma courses) will also be supported for capacity building, training cost (equipment, faculty development, TLM, stipend, etc., but not for civil works and other capital costs). Funding will be based on MoU between community colleges, States, and MHRD. (With allocation of Rs.100 Crores). 

Mid Term Appraisal for Eleventh Five Year Plan 2007-2012
6.141 Academic programmes of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institutions need to be assessed and monitored for quality output. It would be worthwhile if Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and ODL are integrated into, say, 100 selected institutions to develop, implement and refine the Blended Model of Learning which can later be up-scaled. The number of community colleges needs to be increased as it would open up opportunities for accessing higher education and income generating skills to a large number of aspiring learners. The convergence model operational in IGNOU can be modified and up-scaled with additional funding. The regulatory framework of Distance Education Council (DEC) needs to be rationalized to prevent mushrooming of poor quality distance education institutions.  

12th Five Year Plan (2012 - 2017)

(A) Targeting Out-of-School Children
21.57. In order to achieve universal elementary education in a planned and time-bound manner, better targeting of uncovered and under-covered children is necessary. Concerted and flexible efforts are needed to reach out to all OoSC, including children with special needs (CWSN) and street children. Bridging the social and gender gaps in enrolment with regard to SCs, STs and minority girls should receive special attention. Residential programmes for the 11–14 age group need continued support as do the efforts to ensure sustained mainstreaming into the regular school system. The option of open schooling needs to be strengthened so that rural labour, artisans and others in petty jobs in villages and urban slums achieve some learning equivalency in order to enable them to continue in community polytechnics,part-time community colleges, Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) and accredited Skill Knowledge Providers (SKPs) to pursue secondary education and acquire upgraded vocational skills. Those who have dropped out before completing the elementary stage need opportunities for education and certification in a flexible manner. Helping such children (those who have been left out or left behind) to accelerate to the learning levels of their counterparts in school has to be an important part of the strategy for mainstreaming. Hence, the identification of OoSC should include an assessment of current ability to read and to do arithmetic, comprehension, critical thinking, problem solving as well as their ability to express themselves. Teachers would require special training for ‘accelerated learning' of OoSC to be mainstreamed into age-appropriate class. States would need guidance for this. (Page No.60, Vol: III)

2. At the Gram Panchayat level and at the equivalent levels in the urban areas, the existing well equipped ICT-enabled multi-purpose Adult Education and Skill Development Centres (AESDCs) would be strengthened (or set up where these do not exist) to offer a range of adult learning and education programmes to meet local needs of the adults. For higher levels of adult education, secondary level institutions at the block and community colleges at the district level need to be set up. (Page No.89, Vol: III)

Expansion of Skill-Based Programmes
21.220. Special emphasis will be placed on expansion of skill-based programmes in higher education during the Twelfth Plan. A framework for setting up community colleges based on the North American model is under development and has been endorsed in principle by the Central Advisory Body on Education (see Box 21.10).

Box 21.10
Concept and Framework for Establishing Community Colleges
•  Community Colleges will provide modular credit-based courses with entry and exit flexibility that conforms to the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF).
•  They will offer programmes leading to certificates (after one year), diplomas, advanced diplomas or associate degrees (after two years) with options to transfer to regular degree programmes.
•  Their curricula will include an appropriate mix of academic and vocational skills and will be aligned to national occupational standards determined by employer-led sector skill councils.
•  The assessment of vocational skills and training provided by Community Colleges will be done in accordance with assessment protocols developed by sector skill councils.
•  Their faculty will typically consist of a permanent core, who will teach fundamentals (language, mathematics, science) and a large pool of adjunct or part-time faculty who will focus on specialisations.
•  Well-designed online offerings would be integrated with face-to-face instruction to enhance and maintain quality.
•  Community Colleges will be located in habitations with large potential student population.
•  There will be local community involvement in their academic and administrative boards.
•  They could be established in the premises of existing colleges, polytechnics, or even higher secondary schools and use online training and industry sites, wherever possible.

21.221. Community Colleges can serve multiple needs, including ( i ) provide career oriented education and skills to students interested in directly entering the workforce; ( ii ) provide contracted training and education programmes for local employers; ( iii ) provide high-touch remedial education for secondary school graduates not ready to enrol in traditional colleges, giving them a path to transfer to three or four year institutions; ( iv ) offer general interest courses to the community for personal development and interest. Given these objectives, community colleges would be located to afford easy access to underprivileged students. Such colleges could either be established as affiliated colleges of universities governed, guided and managed through a ‘Department of Skills and Lifelong Learning' (DSLL) or as entirely autonomous institutions linked to sector-skill councils.

21.222. Ongoing UGC initiative that supports career oriented add-on courses in traditional universities and colleges and the IGNOU's scheme of community colleges would be reviewed. Technical support of Philanthropic Foundations and the Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (which has 230 community colleges in its fold) would be taken to build on the current initiatives and create a robust framework for skill-based education within the higher education sector in the country. This could include institutional arrangements for recognition of prior learning. (Page No.101, Vol: III)

4. Use the ‘community college' as a key vehicle for entry into regular higher education by way of widely located, community-based institutions offering relevant education of high quality. (Page No.103, Vol: III)

Focus on Muslims, SC, ST and OBCs
21.237. Schemes for establishing model degree colleges, community colleges and new polytechnics in the low GER districts would be modified to cover districts that have concentration of Muslims. Setting up of Women's Colleges in small towns and quantum jump in the capacity as also number of hostels for women would be given high priority. All these schemes should be included within the ambit of the State strategic plans for higher education to take into account the local context of each State. (Page No.105, Vol: III)

21.241. Schemes for establishing model colleges, community colleges and new polytechnics in low GER districts may be modified to cover minority concentrated districts and Fifth Schedule Districts with greater focus on States with low enrolment. Targeted schemes will be launched to draw students from especially vulnerable communities such as the most backward amongst the Muslim and the minority community. Given the negligible presence of such groups in higher education, these schemes will have to combine special incentives to the very tiny pool of school pass-outs from these communities with a pro-active approach to identification of beneficiaries with the help of non-governmental organisations working among these communities. (Page No.106, Vol: III)  

Speech of Dr M M Pallam Raju, Minister of Human Resource Development, At the 61st Meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education on 2nd April, 2013 At New Delhi.

Extracts from "Development of skills in Higher Education space through setting up of community colleges and polytechnics is another priority. To ensure equity in higher education, regional and social imbalances will be reduced through National initiatives for greater inclusion of disadvantaged sections of SCs, STs, Minorities, backward classes, girls and persons with disabilities. Similarly, Indian languages will be strengthened to ensure balanced linguistic growth. National Initiative to foster social responsibility and community engagement in higher education is also on the agenda."


F. No. – 1-4/2011-VE, Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi, dated the 3rd September, 2012

iii. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): Currently, India's VET system has almost no system where the prior learning of someone who may have worked in the unorganized sector for decades is recognized and certified. This is specifically relevant to the diverse traditional occupations of the various parts of the country. Institutions with requisite experience will be authorized to conduct assessment through RPL, such as the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) at the lower rung and community colleges/polytechnics at the higher level . Objectives of RPL will be two pronged: (i) recognition of prior learning or qualifications acquired outside the learning path, and (ii) recognition of credits obtained through formal learning. This would lead to career progression and skill upgradation of the learners as well as engagement of the experienced practioners as resource persons. ( Page No. 2 ).

For enabling flexible skill programmes community colleges/polytechnics could allow learners after assessing their prior learning to acquire credits through modular courses and certification would be done on the basis of cumulative credits earned corresponding to the NVEQF levels. ( Page No.3 ).

ii. A Steering Committee will be set up under the chairmanship of Minister for Human Resource Development (Annexure V) for inter alia laying down broad policy guidelines for the revamped vocational education, reviewing progress of programmes at various NVEQ levels to ensure seamless transitions, cross sectoral works and industry participation. To support the Steering Committee, a Core Committee headed by Additional Secretary, MHRD (nodal officer for NVEQF) and including Joint Secretaries in charge of Technical Education, UGC, Community Colleges, Vocational Education in schools and Adult Education and representatives of AICTE, UGC, Chairman CBSE & NIOS would meet once in two months to co-ordinate the roll out of the NVEQF in the Ministry and iron out bottlenecks if any. The Director/DS in charge of Vocational Education in Department of School Education & Literacy and Director/DS in charge of Technical Education in Department of Higher Education would be joint Member Secretaries of the Core Committee. The core committee could invite any State representatives where necessary for co-ordination & implementation issues. ( Page No.5 )  

University Grants Commission (UGC)

Consultation on Community Colleges conducted by University Grants Commission (UGC)
•  14th of November 2006, Meeting of Dr. Arjun Singh, Minister for MHRD at the UGC Commission in which the Honourable Minister refers to the Community College system that merits the attention of UGC.
•  5th of January 2007, UGC finalises the working paper to the Planning Commission in which Community College System is included. Dr. Xavier Alphonse, S.J., is appointed Chairman of the National Committee on Community Colleges.
•  31st of March 2007, The National Committee on Community Colleges appointed by the UGC Chairman to draw up guidelines for the implementation of the Community College scheme headed by Dr. Xavier Alphonse S.J.,. The Committee interacted with the participants from 100 Community Colleges all over the country.
•  2nd of April 2007, The report of the committee was submitted to Prof. Thorat, Chairman, UGC by Dr. Xavier Alphonse, S.J.
•  27th of June 2007, The Chairman of UGC requested Prof. (Dr.) Xavier Alphonse, S.J., to make a presentation on “Community Colleges” on 2nd of July 2007.
•  2nd of July 2007, Dr. Xavier Alphonse, SJ., made a presentation to the UGC members and the Officials of UGC
•  10th of September 2007, The Chairman of the UGC has constituted the second Expert Committee to deliberate on the issue regarding concept and methodology for establishment and functioning and funding of Community College – Eight Member Team
•  19th of September 2007, The Committee met at UGC and discussed Recognition and funding to the Community College.
•  February 2008, The Members of the Committee submitted the Report to UGC
•  21st May 2008, The UGC has constituted an Expert Committee to formulate the guidelines for establishment and functioning of Community Colleges. – 7 Member Committee
•  18th and 19th of June 2008, the 448th meeting of the University Grants Commission discussed the proposals
•  1st of September 2008, The Commission finally decided that the same Committee by request to work out the operational mechanism taking into account the above dated discussion. – 9 Members Committee – D.O.No.F.1-2/2007 (CPP - II)
•  18th September 2008 – UGC Expert Committee on Community Colleges – No.F1-2/2007 (CPP - II).
•  5th of February 2009 – Meeting at IGNOU about Community Colleges and Associate Degree
•  6th of February 2009 – Meeting with the Honourable Minister Dr. Arjun Singh at his office in New Delhi


Restructure undergraduate Colleges
The system of affiliated colleges for undergraduate education, which may have been appropriate 50 years age, is no longer adequate or appropriate and needs to be reformed. There is an urgent need to restructure the system of undergraduate colleges affiliated to universities.
•  The most obvious solution is to provide autonomy to colleges either as individual colleges or as clusters of colleges, on the basis of criteria that have been stipulated. However, this would provide a solution for a limited proportion or number of undergraduate colleges.
•  Some of these affiliated colleges could be remodeled as community colleges, which could provide both vocational education and formal education.
•  A Central Board of Undergraduate Education should be established, along with State Boards of Undergraduate Education, which would set curricula and conduct examination for undergraduate colleges that choose to be affiliated with them. These Boards would separate the academic functions from the administrative functions and at the same time, provide quality benchmarks.
•  New Undergraduate Colleges could be established as Community Colleges and be affiliaged with the Central Board of Undergraduate Education or State Boards of undergraduate Educational or with some of the new universities that established.  

Compilation of Recommendations on Education, 2007 by NKC
•  Revitalise and reform polytechnics through industry linkage and teacher development, establish 210 community colleges and 700 polytechnics. Stengthen open universities and reform statutory bodies, scale SAKSHAT as the educational portal for 50 crore people.  

(a) National Institute of Open Schooling [NIOS]
The issue of Accreditation was examined closely by the NIOS, New Delhi at the direction of the MHRD, Government of India, New Delhi.
• The NIOS has given accreditation so far to 18 Community Colleges in the country.

Directory of Courses accredited by NIOS
•  Diploma in Radiography
•  Certificate in Catering Management
•  Certificate in Janswasthya
•  Certificate in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
•  Certificate in Radio and T.V. Technician
•  Certificate in Electrical Technician
•  Certificate Computer Applications
•  Certificate in Cutting and Tailoring and Dress Making
•  Certificate in Secretarial Practice
•  Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education.


The Community College, as a teaching cum training institution, is one of the most significant innovations in the history of higher education. Origination in America, the Community college is now gaining momentum in India in recent times in the backdrop of emerging employment, economic and social realities of the country. This institution offers extended post higher secondary education imparts job-oriented, work related, skill based, life long and continuing education specifically to 12th passed students and Under Graduate. The courses are designed to increase the employability of the students and thus prepare the youth for employment in Government and Private sector or for self employment and small business development. Therefore, the Community College is an alternative to the traditional system of higher education and it satisfies the current canons of higher education, namely, relevance, excellence, access and equity. A chief hallmark of the Community College is the distinct participation of the different segments of the community such as, industry, commerce, agriculture, fisheries and service sector in all educational activities of the College since the stage of identifying and designing the courses to the stage of placement of the successful students of the College. 

The mission of the Community College is to provide accessible and affordable quality education to the members of its community and hence to the development of the community, economically, socially and culturally. The Community College has a greater role in bridging economic and social inequalities by providing opportunities to all the haves and the have nots, the advantaged and disadvantaged, the old and the young, the prepared and the u prepared, the bold and the timid. It aims to include the excluded, poor rural youth of all communities, women and members of SC and ST communities. Age is not barrier at all.  

The Vision of the Community College is to be of the community, for the Community and by the community and to produce responsible citizens, employable family members and self sufficient individuals. The vision and mission of this college is different from a liberal Arts College. Hence the Rules and Regulations governing a community College should be distinctly different. Since the College would be experimenting various innovations in higher education like flexibility of courses offered based on manpower survey, placement of trained manpower, imparting training to the employees of both the formal and informal sectors, mobilizing financial resources from the community utilizing the infrastructure and the expertise of the community for the development of the college and so on the college is to operate in an exclusively independent, the Community College should develop an independent structure which would help the process of modernization; improve standard of education; design curricula; evolve methods of teaching and learning; frame qualification for admission, prescribe rule for admission and prescribe courses of study as approved by the University. Keeping this perspective in mind, the Community College should be governed by the Rules and Regulations.  

The Community College System recognized by TNOU aims at the empowerment of the disadvantaged persons through appropriate skills development leading to gainful employment thus making a qualitative difference in the lives of the urban poor, rural poor, tribal poor and women in collaboration with local industrial establishments and potential employers, voluntary organizations after taking into account the opportunities available for employment and self employment in the local area. The Government of Tamilnadu have authorized the Tamil Nadu Open University to give recognition to Community Colleges for offering job oriented programmes. [G.O.(Ms).No.163 Higher Education (K2) Department dated 22-05-2008]. - 184 Community Colleges affiliated to TNOU.

A few examples are furnished below

Diploma in DTP Operator (DDTP)

Course Code

Title of Course



Windows & MS Word



Page Maker



Corel Draw



Photo Shop



Life Coping Skills



Communication Skills



Practical – 1: Windows & MS Word and Page Maker



Practical – 2: Corel Draw and Photo Shop


Total Number of Credits


Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (DECE)

Course Code

Title of Course



Child Development and Psychology



Early Childhood Education (Pre School Teacher Training)



Nutrition, Health, Hygiene and First-Aid



Communication skills and Fundamental Computer Knowledge



Project Work (Practical in a School)


LCS – 1

Life Coping Skills


Total Number of Credits


Dr. Xavier Alphonse, S.J., Director, ICRDCE has been appointed as a Chairman, Expert Committee to frame Guidelines/Re-visit the Guidelines developed by the MHRD on Community Colleges by UGC (October, 2013)



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