How Microsoft's AI Initiative Aims to Bridge the Talent Gap in India

Microsoft has announced the ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA program, aiming to train 2 million individuals in artificial intelligence by 2025. This initiative aligns with Microsoft's Skills for Jobs project and responsible AI principles

Preeti Anand
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Microsoft has unveiled an ambitious programme to train 2 million individuals in India in artificial intelligence by 2025. The ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA programme intends to expedite India's AI transition and prepare its workforce for the jobs of the future. The announcement is part of Microsoft's broader Skills for Jobs project, consistent with the company's responsible AI policies. Training will be provided through collaborations with the government, organisations, and enterprises throughout India. This announcement aligns with Microsoft's Skills for Jobs program and responsible AI principles.


ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA prioritises upskilling people in smaller cities and rural areas

The necessity is evident. According to Microsoft's most recent Work Trend Index, 90% of Indian business leaders want new hires to have AI skills. However, 78% of employees need those skills for their current positions. ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA prioritises upskilling people in smaller cities and rural areas to close the gap. The goal is to increase AI adoption nationwide to promote inclusive growth.

"The ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA initiative is a significant step towards democratising access to AI skills across the nation and reflects Microsoft's deep commitment to enabling inclusive growth with technology," said Puneet Chandok, president of Microsoft India & South Asia.


The program has three main components:

  • Partner with the national government and ten states to train 500,000 students in basic and advanced AI skills at rural vocational centres. This expands an existing collaboration on digital and cybersecurity training.
  • Providing in-depth AI training for 100,000 young women through higher education institutions in smaller cities. This involves distributing Microsoft's AI Trainer Toolkit and industry mentorships.
  • Raising AI career awareness for 400,000 students in remote, tribal areas through Microsoft's TEALS, Farm Beats and AI Guidance for Schools initiatives.

Additionally, Microsoft will help 250,000 government officers gain generative AI knowledge to deliver next-gen citizen services. It will also convene a summit for 2,500 nonprofits to leverage AI in their work with LinkedIn.


Microsoft will collaborate with various stakeholders to deliver training through online platforms, physical workshops, and industry mentorship programs. Partnerships with state governments and higher education institutions will facilitate rural and Tier 2/3 cities training. Microsoft aims to empower Indian citizens with in-demand AI skills, bridging the talent gap and boosting employability. The initiative intends to accelerate India's AI transformation and foster innovation across various sectors.


India has a tremendous opportunity to become a worldwide leader in AI, and achieving AI fluency at scale is a vital step in that direction. This effort intends to move India into a potential era of AI fluency, empowering residents across India with the necessary skills to flourish in the age of AI.