Inauguration of ICRDCE
Inauguration of MCRDCE

The Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICRDCE), Chennai is an initiative of Jesuit Madurai Province and ICRDCE Trust of Chennai. It was started in January 1999. It is a facilitating and coordinating agency for Community Colleges in India. It has been involved in the preparation, establishment, monitoring and evaluation of 343 Community Colleges in 19 States of India. It has also trained 2,285 teachers. The Centre has conducted 144 Workshops & Consultations involving 2,478 Organisations, 6,283 participants and has also organised 12 important National Consultations/Conferences with 1,591 participants. It has also prepared the basic curriculum material and supplied to all these Community Colleges. It has published 44 books and Textbooks on the movement and 88 articles in the leading educational journals of India and abroad on the concept and implementation of the system. The Centre also has an up-to-date documentation on the movement by way of newspaper clippings, video, audiotapes, CDs, photographs, etc. and lobbing with State and Central Governments for the recognition of the Community College System.

The Tamilnadu Open University (TNOU) has recognized 221 Community Colleges as per Government order (G.O. (Ms) NO:163). The State Government of Tamilnadu has issued a Government Order (GO) recognizing the system in May 2008. It has also sanctioned Rs. 10 million Indian Rupees by way of scholarship to 10,000 students of Community Colleges in Tamilnadu for the current year. The Government of India is considering the proposal for national recognition and funding to Community Colleges all over India . It is also discussing the vertical mobility of these students to the mainstream of higher education through credit transfer.

The Community College movement has drawn the attention of the Government of India from the year 1999. Dr. Xavier Alphonse has made a few presentations to the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Dr. Xavier Alphonse has been appointed as the Chairman of National Committee on Community Colleges to discuss the concept and methodology for establishment and functioning of Community Colleges, appointed by UGC in January 2007 and Dr. Xavier Alphonse has been the Chairman of Expert Committee to frame Guidelines/Re-visit the Guidelines developed by the MHRD on Community Colleges by UGC (October, 2013), based on the Guidelines, 150 UGC Community Colleges all over India under UGC. They have been selected by the Selection Committee appointed by the UGC. These Community Colleges will conduct Certificate course - 3 Months, Advanced Certificate - 6 months, Diploma - 1 year and Advanced Diploma - 2 years. Students minimum qualification for admission is 12th passed.

Found mention in the planning commission documents of 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th documents especially special mention about the Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education (ICRDCE). The following is the quotes "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."

10th Anniversary of ICRDCE

ICRDCE, which has been involved in the preparation, establishment, monitoring, training and evaluation of 244 community colleges in 19 states of India, celebrated its tenth anniversary on the 07th of March 2009 at Francis Hall, Stella Maris College, Chennai. Five hundred people including the staff and the students from the Community colleges attended the celebration. His Highness, Prince of Arcot, who was the Chief Guest of the function, said the Christian community that had done so much in the field of education has to be applauded instead of being targeted by the communal forces. Dr. T.A.K. Tareen, who presided over the function, challenged the mainstream education of Higher Education sector to reduce the dropout rate in order to decrease the intake of Community Colleges. Mr. N. Ram, who delivered the key note address, appealed to ICRDCE to bring Community Colleges into election manifestos of different political parties and he also expressed his admiration for the crystal clear focus of Community colleges in facilitating skill development leading to employment. Dr. Palanichamy, the former vice chancellor of TNOU praised the Community Colleges that they were able to transform underprivileged youth into employable persons. Dr. Kalyani Annie, the present vice chancellor of TNOU said that the Community Colleges need to train and retrain the students towards employability.

Dr. Selvaraj, one of the industrial partners of the movement, stressed the importance of the industrial tie ups and appealed to the industrialists to absorb community college students into their industries. To mark the tenth anniversary celebrations, three books Beyond Margins edited by Fr. Xavier Alphonse, Believing in Miracles (two volumes) and Change is Certain edited by Frs. Xavier Alphonse, S.J., and M.S. Jacob, S.J., were released. A scintillating and mind boggling cultural programmes depicting the rural and folk art, were given by our Community college students. It won the hearts of all the participants. Fr. Jacob welcomed the gathering and honoured the dignitaries and Fr. Xavier Alphonse shared his experience of founding the Community College movement in India and bringing it to sky high. Mr. Johnson proposed the vote of thanks to all the dignitaries and all the participants for joining the movement of Community colleges in the service of the marginalized and downtrodden.

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