An official Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed by Krishna Vavilala, chairman of the Foundation for India Studies, and Mary S. Spangler, chancellor of the Houston Community College System, to collaborate in the Indo-American Oral History Project.
The purpose of the MOU was to affirm the creation of a partnership and working relationship between FIS and HCCS to produce oral histories of the first generation Indian immigrants living in the greater metropolitan area of Houston.
Under the terms of the agreement, the HCC will serve as an advisor to the FIS on video recording technology and ensure that recorded interviews meet appropriate standards of quality.
Organized by HCC outreach director Nelli Bradly and attended by Indian Consul General Parvathaneni Harish and HCCS trustee Neeta Sane, the MoU was signed against the backdrop of colorful Diwali festival decorations arranged by HCC staff under the supervision of Indian American professor Dr. Ritu Raju, professor of English and assistant chair of Technical Communications, and Rima Adil, the HCC Communications Outreach Coordinator.
The signing of MOU with the HCC marks another significant milestone in the history of the FIS, which initiated the Indo-American Oral History Project.
In his speech thanking HCC for the partnership, FIS chairman Vavilala suggested that the HCC should consider introducing courses in India studies for a better understanding of Indian culture by the mainstream community.
HCC Northwest president Dr. Zachary Hodges was reportedly receptive to the idea and asked for information on other community colleges in the country that have programs in India studies.
During the signing ceremony, Vavilala noted that 15 interviews have been done so far and that with this new partnership with the HCC, the interviews will be expedited to achieve the goal of 100 by the end of 2013.
According to a press release, the program began with showing of an excerpt from an interview done earlier at HCC by Nimmi Vale, a community supporter of the project.