December 12, 2011 -- Montgomery College, a public two-year community college in Montgomery County, Maryland, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Wadhwani Foundation and Jindal Education Initiatives to strengthen vocational education and instructor capacity in India. The goal of the collaboration is to develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate an instructor training program—the India Vocational Faculty Development Center for Excellence (IVFDCE)—and instructional materials in automotive technology, construction trades, and emerging technologies.
Montgomery College President DeRionnne P. Pollard signed the agreement in Delhi during Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s economic trade mission to India. Dr. Pollard and Dr. Sanjay Rai, vice president and provost of the College’s Germantown Campus, accompanied the governor as members of the state delegation.
As part of the MOU, Montgomery College will share its expertise in curricula, pedagogy, and learning environments. The partnership will train India’s trainers who will, in turn, prepare India’s burgeoning population for careers in today’s global, knowledge economy. It is expected that IVFDCE will become a major instructor development center in India with its centers across the country, designed to educate prepare instructors to meet the national workforce demands and respond to rapid technological advances.
With over 500 million of India's population under 25, India is in need of an accessible, affordable and market-driven post-secondary education model. Community colleges serve as a natural basis for a model that could potentially address India's need in higher education.
“The egalitarian notion of community colleges with their commitment to access resonates in India,” said Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, president of Montgomery College. “Indeed, the American community college model may indeed be Maryland’s most valued export to India.”
The MOU is the result of relationships forged during Montgomery College’s grant-funded educational trip to India earlier this year. The Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State awarded Montgomery College a $195,000 grant to coordinate a national community college symposium in Delhi, develop a faculty exchange program, and create a program to promote faculty development. The U.S. India Educational Foundation (USIEF) Fulbright Commission helped with grant implementation.
For more information about Montgomery College and its ongoing India initiative, visit
www.montgomerycollege.edu/indiainitiative and click on the Reflections link.
Jindal Education Initiatives, a philanthropic initiative of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, has opened O.P. Jindal University, a nonprofit global university established by the Haryana Private Universities (Second Amendment) Act of 2009, and O.P. Jindal Community College of Technology and Skills, which seeks to develop a skilled workforce by empowering competency-based, skill-oriented technical and vocational training. JSPL also runs four ITIs, which are adopted under the public/private partnership initiative of the government of India. For more information, visit www.opjcc.org.
The Wadhwani Foundation, founded by IT entrepreneur Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, seeks to accelerate economic development in India and other emerging economies through large-scale job creation and skill development. The philanthropic foundation works across the higher education spectrum, leveraging government resources and market forces to achieve scale. For more information, visit www.wadhwani-foundation.org