Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer, Microsoft has began his India visit, and has reiterated Microsoft’s commitment to support the country’s transformation into an AI-powered nation by fostering a skilled AI workforce and empowering every sector and industry to transform with artificial intelligence. Nadella addressed a gathering of top business leaders and decision makers at the Microsoft CEO Connection event held in Mumbai on 7 February 2024.
"India is uniquely positioned to make the promise of AI a reality," said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. "We are committed to partnering broadly across the public and private sector to help close the nation's AI skills gap and create new opportunity throughout the country.” Additionally, Nadella also unveiled a new initiative, ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA, through which the company aims to provide 2 million people in India with AI skilling opportunities by 2025.
ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA will focus on training individuals in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, as well as rural areas, enabling people to participate in the new era of AI and unlock inclusive socio-economic progress. “The ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA initiative is a significant step towards democratizing 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. “India has a huge opportunity to be a global leader in AI, and creating AI fluency at scale is a critical step in that journey. This initiative aims to propel India into a promising era of AI fluency, empowering citizens across India with the right skills to thrive in the age of AI.”
To deliver ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA, Microsoft will partner with India’s Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and 10 state governments to provide basic and advanced training in AI to 500,000 students and job seekers in 100 rural vocational education institutions and training centers. In addition, Microsoft will provide in-depth AI technical skills training for 100,000 young women through 5,000 trainers at higher education institutions in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. As part of the initiative, Microsoft will raise awareness of responsible AI use and AI-enabled careers for 400,000 students in schools in remote and tribal regions.
“In the years ahead, AI innovation will play a pivotal role in shaping our future, and we at the Directorate General of Training, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, stay dedicated to realizing the potential of the AI era for India, in partnership with Microsoft and others,” said Trishaljit Sethi, Director General (Training), Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. “This commitment involves equipping the youth with skills through training in tools that redefine how people work, connect, address real-world challenges, and live. Our institutions like ITIs, NSTIs, and our skilling platform are driving the skilling mission for the youth. Our commitment extends to advancing India’s digital future by empowering a substantial workforce across the length and breadth of the country, ensuring that key sectors in India become AI-first and AI-ready.”