News Release

Cisco Systems Signs Education MoU with WEBEL

Initiative will empower next generation of West Bengal with advanced Internet and networking skills
Mar 21, 2001

KOLKATA, India -- 21 March 2001 - Cisco Systems, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Limited (WEBEL), the Government agency responsible for technology development in West Bengal, to set up the Cisco Networking Academy Program in the state. The agreement was signed between Mr. S. K. Mitra Managing Director of WEBEL, and Mr. Manoj Chugh, President, India and SAARC Region, Cisco Systems.

Webel Informatics Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of WEBEL, will be designated as a Regional Networking Academy and receive networking equipment, comprehensive training, the Networking Academy curriculum, and technical support from Cisco Systems. The Regional Academy will in turn set up Local Networking Academies in engineering colleges across the state. To help maintain the highest quality of training and education at these institutions and the other Networking Academies around India, Cisco will implement the Cisco Networking Academy Quality Assurance Plan.

The Cisco Networking Academy Program focuses on teaching students how to design, build, and maintain computer networks. The program prepares students for the 21st Century workplace, while serving as a valuable model for e-learning. As of today, more than 184,000 students have enrolled in the program in over 6400 academies in 116 countries around the world.

"This is another step to fulfilling the commitment made by John Chambers, President and CEO of Cisco Systems, to establish 34 Cisco Regional Networking Academies in every state and union territory in India," said Manoj Chugh, President, India and SAARC Region, Cisco Systems. "This underlines Cisco's support for the government's objective of developing the local Internet and networking industry to the same world-class standards achieved by the software industry.

"The Government of West Bengal has always been committed to making high quality technical education available in the state, and this partnership with Cisco will help institutions in West Bengal build up a pool of talents equipped with critical skills in Information Technology," said Mr. S.K.Mitra, Managing Director of WEBEL, the nodal IT arm of West Bengal.

The Regional Academy for Networking in Lucknow will join eight other existing Regional Academies - IIIT Bangalore; IIIT, Hyderabad; National Centre for Software Technology, Mumbai; Osmania University, Hyderabad; MS University Baroda; Amrita Institute of Advanced Computing, Coimbatore; Regional Engineering College, Jalandhar; and Centre for Electronics Design & Technology, Gorakhpur.

Established in October 1997, the Networking Academy program is an e-learning model that delivers Web-based educational content, online testing, student performance tracking, hands-on labs, and instructor training and support. With a curriculum developed by education and networking experts, the Networking Academy program is offered at technical schools, colleges and universities, community-based organizations, and other educational programs around the world. It demonstrates a highly successful alliance among Cisco Systems, educators, governments, leading technology companies, and non-profit organizations as it prepares graduates for the demands and opportunities of the New Internet Economy.

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