Microsoft has announced a new initiative called ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA, which aims to provide AI skills to 2 million individuals in India by 2025. This initiative is part of Microsoft’s broader mission to empower people with the essential abilities required for future jobs while adhering to responsible AI principles.
India has a surging demand for AI expertise, with 90% of business leaders believing that new employees will require AI skills. However, a shocking 78% of the existing workforce lacks these essential competencies for their current roles, which creates a gap that needs to be bridged to ensure India’s workforce remains competitive in the ever-evolving job landscape.
Microsoft’s approach is inclusive and far-reaching, focusing on upskilling individuals in smaller cities and rural areas, democratizing access to AI education. The ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA program will comprise three main components:
- Training Rural Students: Microsoft will partner with the national government and 10 states to train 500,000 students at rural vocational centers. These students will receive both basic and advanced AI skills training, building a strong foundation for AI fluency.
- Empowering Young Women: The initiative will provide in-depth AI training for 100,000 young women through higher education institutions in smaller cities. This includes distributing Microsoft’s AI Trainer Toolkit and offering industry mentorships to support their learning journey.
- AI Career Awareness: Microsoft aims to raise awareness about AI careers among 400,000 students in remote tribal areas through various initiatives like TEALS, Farm Beats, and AI Guidance for Schools.
Additionally, Microsoft will assist 250,000 government officers in gaining generative AI knowledge to enhance citizen services. They will also organize a summit for 2,500 nonprofits to explore how AI can be leveraged in their work, with support from LinkedIn.
CEO Satya Nadella stressed the importance of global consensus on regulating AI and expressed his hope that the diffusion of AI technology would lead to a more equal distribution of economic growth. His remarks underscore the significance of responsible AI deployment for the benefit of society as a whole.
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