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Monday, July 23, 2007 1:30PM IST (8:00AM GMT)
National Institute of Open Schooling and Cisco Collaborate on Network Academy Program
New Delhi, Delhi, India

Cisco® today announced that it is collaborating with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to begin the Cisco Networking Academy® Program in 10 accredited vocational institutes across the country, including one in northeast India. Each of these institutes, called a Cisco Local Academy, will provide PC hardware and networking information technology (IT) essentials to around 100 students each year.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Mr.D.S.Bist, Secretary of NIOS and Cisco Systems Inc. Each Local Academy will receive comprehensive training, the Networking Academy curriculum and technical support from Cisco.

"Through the Networking Academy program, students of accredited vocational institutions across India will receive the benefit of Internet and networking education," Shri M.C Pant, Chairman-NIOS said. "This will not only help students tap opportunities in the IT world but also help to meet the Honourable President of India's vision of a knowledge-based economy by 2020."

"Cisco has always believed that the Internet and education will be the two great equalizers of the next century, creating enormous opportunities for people and countries that succeed in harnessing the power of information and knowledge. India has been early to realise this. We are proud to collaborate with NIOS in its efforts to bring world-class networking education to the country," said Lokesh Mehra, Regional Manager, Corporate Responsibility, Cisco-South Asia.

Cisco will make free Web-based course materials available for the Networking Academy program, provide 24-hour technical support to all the accredited nonprofit educational institutions, and nominate a representative to aid in the implementation of the program. It will also implement the Networking Academy quality-assurance plan to maintain the highest quality of training and education at these institutions. NIOS plans to expand the program to more accredited vocational institutes in due time.

The 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 online learning. Worldwide, there are 10,000 Networking Academy institutions and more than 1.6 million students in over 160 countries. In India there are 160 Networking Academy institutions in 26 states and union territories, enrolling more than 7,400 students. Since the inception of the program in India in 2001, 4,000 students have graduated from these schools.

About NIOS

The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), established as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in 1989, caters to the educational needs of the out of school children in general and those belonging to school drop-outs and socially and economical backward section of the learner population. It has developed into the largest Open School in the world with 14,27,000 students on its roll. NIOS is now focused on occupational and life related needs of learners through its vocational courses. Presently NIOS offers about 75 vocational courses in various areas such as Agriculture, Engineering and Technology, Health and Paramedical, Home Science and Hospitality Management, Computer and IT, Teacher Training, Business and Commerce. NIOS has entered into agreement with RCI, IMA, CIDC, and AYUSH, Ministry of Health for providing skill to large population. NIOS can be reached at site: www.nios.ac.in & www.nos.org

About Cisco

Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to newsroom.cisco.com. Cisco equipment in India is supplied by Cisco Systems International BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.

Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Systems, the Cisco Systems logo and Networking Academy are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

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Tarun D. Nagrani, Text 100 India, +91 9810118234, tarunn@text100.co.in
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