The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has recently signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) with Intel to announce a national initiative for empowering teachers to develop 21st century skills through the professional development programs to be deployed at the IGNOU-Institute of Competency Advancement of Teacher (iCAT) centers. The pact was signed by Mr. U.S.Tolia, Registrar, IGNOU and Mr. Anjan Ghosh, Director, Corporate Affairs Group, Asia Pacific, Intel in the presence of Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, VC, IGNOU, Dr. Latha Pillai, Pro VC, IGNOU, Prof. K. R. Srivathsan, Pro VC, IGNOU, Mr. Ashutosh Chadha, Director- Corporate Affairs Group, Intel South Asia, Dr. Anita Priyadarshini, Project Director, Distance Education Programme- Sarva Shikhsa Abhiyan (DEP-SSA) among others. The collaboration offers an Intel Teach Program for in-service teachers for their professional development while supporting 21st century skills. It aims to build the capacities of the in-service [PRT (Primary); TGT (Secondary) & PGT (Senior Secondary)] teachers at school level as well as the teacher educators from colleges of education and student teachers who are undergoing teacher training programs. The program will help to develop the technological skills of personnel from university departments, resource institutions, NGOs and partner institutions of IGNOU. i-CAT is an initiative of IGNOU for building capacity of in service & pre service teachers with the aim of providing them an opportunity for professional advancement. The i-CAT Institutes will work in close collaboration with DEP-SSA, IGNOU, to provide both existing programme as well as to design and develop need based local specific programmes. “Such collaboration between IGNOU and Intel will lead to creation of new models of teaching and learning and will help upgrade the capabilities of current and future teachers. This pact is a part of IGNOU's concept of societal responsibility to enlarge the knowledge based egalitarian society, and in cooperation with Intel, we hope that this will also help the national perspective of human resource development to lead India into a knowledge economy,” said the Vice Chancellor of the university. He also emphasized the need to involve more universities especially in distance education mode to tie up with teacher training institutions. “If we can network like this, then lots of synergies can be created and we can trigger a movement in this country for advancement of teacher education. Networking can trigger the movement in all the open universities. In that case, we can also emulate the system followed by the Chinese Open University which has its own faculty for educating teachers,” he said. “IGNOU will integrate relevant level curriculum in the professional development programs to be conducted at the iCAT centers. It will identify the Key Resource Persons (KRPs) in each of its iCAT centers who will be responsible for conducting regular training programs through these centers. Intel will conduct empowerment programmes for the KRPs identified by IGNOU who will be given intensive training by the Intel Senior trainers on the Intel curricula. These KRPs will conduct further training programs for the participants in each of the iCAT centers,” said the MoU.