Jindal Education Initiative signs MoU with Montgomery College, USA and Wadhwani Foundation

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INDIACSR News Network

NEW DELHI:  In order to strengthen vocational education courseware and instructor training in India through industry relevant train-the-trainer curriculum and materials development, Jindal Education Initiatives, a philanthropic initiative of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL); Wadhwani Foundation and Montgomery College (MC); USA have entered into a strategic partnership.

Recognition of India’s need to increase significantly the numbers of educated and skilled young adults to compete in an increasingly globalized, knowledge-based economy is the context for the MoU. The goal of the collaboration is to develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate a technical trade instructor training program and related instructional materials with a view to scale-up nationally.

“Given the complementary objectives and capabilities, the MoU proposes to collaborate on developing a state-of-the-art, world class, advanced training program for technical trade instructors comprising curricula that are industry job driven and progressive,” said Mr. Naveen Jindal, CMD, JSPL.

Jindal Education Initiatives (JE) will be the implementation partner providing “hard infrastructure” i.e., fully-equipped trade instructor training facility and staffing, while Montgomery College will provide technical expertise using a mutually agreed upon cost recovery model. The Wadhwani Foundation will be the capacity building partner augmenting “soft infrastructure” like curriculum and courseware development, faculty development and enabling technology platform.

It may be recalled that Jindal Education Initiatives had launched Community Colleges across India early this year providing vocational education certificates and diploma programmes in 37 market-demand trades for 5,000 students. The OP Jindal Community College (OPJCC) campuses are located in Angul and Barbil in Orissa, Patratu and Godda in Jharkhand and Punjipathra in Chhattisgarh. OPJCC is registered under the IGNOU Community College Scheme and the certificates and diplomas are recognized by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development.

Over the next five years, OPJCC intends to enroll over 100,000 vocational education students.

Jindal Education Initiatives had also partnered with Montgomery College, Maryland, USA for this purpose. The partnership entailed workforce development curricula in automotive technology, construction management and building trades to lead an initiative to build critical capacity in the community college/technical education sector in India through faculty exchange programmes and development of curricula.

Wadhwani Foundation launched a similar initiative last year called “Wadhwani Skills Colleges” with the goal of creating capacity for industry linked vocational education of 3 million students over the next decade. As the name indicates, it marries the usefulness of jobs driven skills into the pathway for prestigious college degrees. This partnership with Jindal Education and Montgomery College is a first step towards creating capacity for a national level Teacher Training Program.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Sanjeev Sahni, Head, Education Initiatives, JSPL, Dr. Derionne Pollard, President, Montgomery College and Dr. Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation at a glittering event here on 2 December 2011. Also present on the occasion was Mr Naveen Jindal, CMD, JSPL and the Governor of Maryland Mr. Martin O’Malley and the First Lady, Ms. Catherine O’Malley.

In keeping with its Founder Chairman, O. P. Jindal’s mission to establish global institutions in India that are comparable to the best in the world, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) has started a number of philanthropic educational initiatives under the aegis of Jindal Education Initiatives.

The foremost among Jindal Education’s initiatives is the O.P. Jindal Global University, a non- profit global University established by the Haryana Private Universities (Second Amendment) Act, 2009 at Sonipat, Haryana. The University has three schools, the Jindal Global Law School (JGLS); the Jindal Global Business School (JGBS) and the Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA).

Apart from this, Jindal Education runs two institutes in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh. While the O.P. Jindal Institute of Technology (OPJIT) is an engineering college affiliated to Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekananda Technical University, the Jindal Institute of Power Technology (JIPT)’s primary objective is to create a nationwide pool of trained manpower in the power sector.

In order to develop a skilled workforce by empowering competency based, skill oriented technical and vocational training, the O.P. Jindal Community College of Technology and Skills (Industrial Training Centres) have been established. JSPL also runs four ITIs which are adopted under the public private partnership scheme of the Govt. of India. They are located at Sarangrah, Kharsia and Gharghoda in Chhattisgarh and Barbil in Odisha.

JSPL is also running English medium CBSE affiliated schools at various plant and project locations like Raigarh, Tamnar, Nalwa, Angul and Patratu, wherein quality education is being imparted to over 9,000 students.

Montgomery College is the oldest and largest community college in Maryland and one of the best public higher education institutions in the United States. The college serves over 60,000 students annually, offering a diverse array of flexible, customizable workforce development certificates, associate’s degree programs and continuing education courses. The Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the Unites States Department of State awarded the college a $195,000, 12-month grant in October 2010 to coordinate a national symposium on community colleges in New Delhi, develop a student and faculty exchange program, and create opportunities for faculty development. Extending the College’s global footprint, the grant has fostered mutual understanding and capacity development in automotive technology, building and construction trades.

Wadhwani Foundation was founded in the year 2000 by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, an IIT-Bombay alumnus with a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and an IT entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, California. The mission of the philanthropic foundation is to accelerate economic development in India and other emerging economies. [AK] This is achieved through two primary thrust area: Large Scale Job Creation and Skill Development. Entrepreneurship and Innovation focus on Job Creation whilst skilling is achieved through Skill Colleges Initiatives. Two parallel Chairs with CSIS in Washington and ICRIER in Delhi support Indo-US Policy Studies.  The foundation works across the higher education spectrum, leveraging Government resources and market forces to achieve scale.

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