The Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU) has received requests for setting up study centres at 13 jails of the state to help inmates pursue higher learning courses.
UPRTOU is already providing admission to inmates of Naini central jail and runs a study centre on the jail premises. At present 41 inmates of Naini jail are set to take their exams conducted by UPRTOU.
“The university has received requests from central and district prisons of Agra, central jail of Varanasi, district/division jails of Jhansi and Azamgarh, district prisons of Gautam Budh Nagar, Dasna Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Meerut, Fatehpur and Ayodhya as well as central jails of Bareilly and Bareilly-II to set up study centres”, said vice-chancellor of UPRTOU, Prof Seema Singh.
Barring Fatehpur, the university has already opened study centers at all these cities and soon the study centre of Fatehpur too would be opened, she said.
“The jail inmates of these jails can now take admission in any of the courses as per their eligibility in the current session, last date for which is June 30”, said Prof Singh.
“Following the proposals that have come to the university to provide higher education to the prisoners from the jail department of different districts of the state, we have started the process to admit those willing to study,” she said.
“Course material will also be made available to the prisoners after they are admitted,” she added.
It was in 2019 when UPRTOU decided to provide opportunity to pursue higher education to inmates serving sentences for serious crimes in Naini Central Jail. They were given 75 percent exemption in fee too. After seeing the interest of the prisoners towards studies, the university, while amending the decision, decided to give 100 per cent free education to the prisoners lodged in the jails of the entire state.