Education on move: DU is in talks with IRCTC to launch a college on train

Call it a whacky idea or being ahead of times, but Delhi University (DU) is planning to launch a new college that will run on wheels.

The university is working on setting up a college on board a train which will travel across the country to give students a slice of life.

The university is in talks with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to lease a train, which will be customised to create a well-equipped mobile college.

The students will stay, sleep and study on the train for a semester, which may stretch from three to six months.

DU officials hope the ‘college-on-wheels’ will add zing to the four-year undergraduate programmes, proposed to be introduced next year.

“We are working on launching a regular college on a train which we will take on a longterm lease from IRCTC. People are quite receptive to such innovative ideas. I hope the college-train should be running in a couple of years, though we would want it to be launched in the next session itself,” Prof. Dinesh Singh, DU vice-chancellor, said.

The train will cost DU at least Rs.50 crore for one-time lease. “We would like to have the train for 50 years. But we will probably fix the lease period at 20 years. This college is going to be a great learning experience,” Singh said.

DU plans to run it like a usual college with classrooms, libraries, common rooms and accommodation on board. “It will have internet facility, reading rooms, a good stock of books with, of course, enough security on board. The train will have space for 800 to 1,000 students,” said Singh.

DU is also planning to ask IRCTC to identify stations where students can camp.

“Learning also happens outside the classroom. The college-on-wheels will go to different destinations in different semesters. We will take a fresh batch of 1,000 students each semester,” the V-C added.

The mobile college will also keep its doors open for students from other universities and even abroad.

IRCTC, too, is upbeat about turning this never-heard-of concept into reality. The corporation calls it Project COW.

“COW stands for college-onwheels… The V-C shared this idea with us about a month ago. We are preparing the conceptual framework. We have to work out the design and costs,” IRCTC managing director said Rakesh Kumar Tandon said.

However, the launch of the college train will take time as a lot of work needs to be done.

Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/delhi-university-irctc-mobile-college-train/1/229151.html

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Published in: on November 17, 2012 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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