Thiruvananthapuram: After making its presence felt in various fields from pickle making to IT business, Kerala's woman self-help group Kudumbashree is stepping into the higher education sector by setting up a community college in the state.
The flagship initiative is to be implemented with the support of Mumbai-based prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
Eligible members of the all-woman network could avail a post-graduate diploma in Development Praxis free of cost under the programme, Kudumbashree officials said.
The fee of a similar one year-course would cost about Rs one to Rs 1.5 lakh at TISS, they said.
"The community college initiative is a milestone in the history of Kudumbashree. We have a number of educated members and this project will help them expand the horizons of their dreams of higher education," Kudumbashree Executive Director K B Valsala Kumari told PTI.
TISS, one of the pioneers in the education of social sciences, would provide all technical and other back support for the programme.
The syllabus and study materials of the course, which comprises nine months' classroom study and one month's field work, are drawn out by professors and TISS experts, she said.
Kudumbashree members with at least two years' experience in the mission and the daughters of those members who are five years' old in the network can apply for the course.
The selection will be made through a multi-level process, comprising an entrance test, group discussion and interview.
An advisory committee, in which education experts and social activists of high repute are members, would monitor the execution of the programme.