It has been observed that engaging in community service provides students with the opportunity to become active members of their community and has a positive impact on society at large. Community service also enables students to acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as provide services/solutions to those who need it most. The Andhra Pradesh government is now looking into ways to amalgamate higher education institutes (HEIs) with the community at large. This initiative has been appreciated by the NITI Aayog as well.
As part of this initiative, the state higher education department is setting up a community planning board at HEIs. The community engagement of HEIs is incorporated into a course or a series of courses by way of a project that has both learning and community action goals. The project is designed via collaboration between faculty and community partners. The project will ask students to apply course content to community-based activities.
The community planning board aims to advise the government on matters affecting community development by incorporating the services of HEIs, including engineering, pharmacy, education, law and conventional degree colleges.
Neduramalli Ram Kumar Reddy, community planning and development board chairman, AP state government, said, “The community planning and development board acts as a bridge between the government and the people. This step will enable students becoming socially responsible.”