agencyfaqs! News Bureau
ERNET India, an autonomous society under the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India, and Cisco Systems Inc, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on advancing training and research in networking and Internet technologies. The agreement was signed during the visit of Pramod Mahajan, minister of Information Technology, Government of India to Cisco's corporate headquarters in San Jose, California, recently.
ERNET (Education and Research Network) was initiated in 1986 by the Department of Electronics (DoE), with funding support from the Government of India and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), involving eight premier institutions as participating agencies - NCST (National Centre for Software Technology) Bombay, IISc (Indian Institute of Science) Bangalore, five IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) at Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Chennai, and the DoE, New Delhi.
During the tour, Mahajan met John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems, and reiterated the importance of a good IT infrastructure in the country and said "that while India has excellent educational institutions and produces nearly 100,000 engineers a year, a partnership between India and Cisco to enhance and develop the data and telecommunications infrastructure would truly be a win-win situation for both."
Under the terms of the MoU, ERNET will build the infrastructure for a Centre of Excellence that will showcase state-of-the-art technologies, including the leading networking solutions from Cisco. The aim of the centre will be to raise technology awareness in the country, especially among government organisations. Both ERNET and Cisco will also explore various means of providing networking and Internet training in India, to support the ministry of Information Technology's strategy to increase the number of information technology trained professionals.
"The mind-boggling information technology revolution, driven by the Internet, has made the world a global village. ERNET has made a significant contribution to the emergence of the Internet in the country but this agreement with Cisco will yield great benefit for India and its information technology industry," said Gulshan Rai, executive director of ERNET India. Prem Jain, vice-president of the enterprise line of business of Cisco Systems, added, "It is an honour for us to be able to engage the Government of India at the highest levels and through this contribute to the development of the country. There is no doubt about the strategic importance of India in the new Internet economy and our rapidly growing R&D lab in Bangalore is a testament to that."
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