As part of the plan to leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to its customer in India, Microsoft India has decided to set up the core AI infrastructure and an IOT Hub for all selected campuses across India. The company has plans to set up AI labs in 10 universities and train 500,000 youth across the country. A massive upskilling program to prepare over 10000 developers over the next three years in this field is also part of the plan.

“AI will be a game changer for India. We are enabling public and private organisations to apply Microsoft AI technologies to address pressing societal challenges. This includes healthcare, education, agriculture, local language computing, environmental sustainability, accessibility opportunities, and supporting humanitarian action. Microsoft India is also partnering with NITI Aayog to combine the cloud, AI, research and its vertical expertise for new initiatives and solutions across several core areas including agriculture, healthcare and environment. We are also an active participant along with the industry body CII in looking at building solution frameworks for application in AI across areas such as education, skills, health and agriculture,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.

As part of the collaboration, Microsoft will also help participating institutions in branding and to garner recognition through national showcase of selected projects.

Manish Prakash, Country General Manager-PS, Health and Education, Microsoft India said, “AI, the defining technology of our time, is fast transforming our lives, industries and society. Jobs of tomorrow will require a very different set of skills, and collaborating, training and working with AI will be as important as collaborating with people. It is now more critical than ever for education institutions to integrate new cloud and AI technologies. We need to ramp up the institutional set-up and build capability among educators to equip the workforce of tomorrow.”

The Vision

The Microsoft Intelligent Cloud Hub Program aims to catalyze this with technology insights, cognitive skills, and a practical, in-depth understanding of developing intelligent connected solutions for application across industry and citizenship scenarios.

Microsoft’s India vision is to make participating universities and institutions Intelligent Cloud Hubs in their own right at the end of the first three years.

Microsoft will offer a wide range of AI developmental tools and Azure AI Services such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning and Bot Services. Training will include development workshops to help both the faculty and students build their skills and expertise in cloud computing, data sciences, AI and IoT. Additionally, it will assist faculty in strategizing content and curricula for project-based and experiential learning.

For research focused institutions, Microsoft will provide AI-based recommendations for potential areas of research. Support will also be available in terms of an in-campus Cloud Software Research Associate throughout the duration of the program.

Highlights of the plan

  • To equip research and higher education institutions with AI infrastructure; build curriculum and faculty capability to skill students in AI and cloud technologies
  • India is the first country to launch the program
As part of the program, Microsoft will support selected institutions with
  • best-in-class infrastructure
  • onsite training for faculty and students
  • curriculum and content
  • access for participating students to cloud and AI services
  • developmental tools and
  • developer support

In April last year, the company announced the Microsoft Professional Program in AI, the latest learning track in the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) open to the public. The program provides job-ready skills and real-world experience to engineers and others who are looking to improve their skills in AI and data science through a series of online courses that feature hands-on labs and expert instructors.

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