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The concept of Community Colleges in India is relatively new. The first Community College in India is believed to be Pondicherry University Community College opened in 1995.  Community Colleges provide an alternative system of education to socially and economically backward students.  Skill development, easy access, and cost effectiveness are some of the highlights of Community College education.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University will be opening 200 community colleges across 10 states starting this July.

School-dropouts and the underprivileged will benefit from the concept, said V N Rajasekaran, Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU.

These colleges concentrate more on skill development and cater to a cross-section of society — from school dropouts to a post-graduates — who want a recognised certificate on a particular skill to gain employment.

With adequate infrastructure, and financial backing of the government, Community Colleges could serve as a platform to bring the lesser privileged into the main stream. Whether it can be able to do that, remains to be seen. Read more here.

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