With a shared commitment to enable digital equity, SAP India and Microsoft announced the launch of a joint skilling program, TechSaksham, for empowering young women students from underserved communities to build careers in technology. Through this joint initiative, SAP India and Microsoft will skill 62,000 women students in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, web design, and digital marketing.
The program will partner with the AICTE Training and Learning Academy-ATAL and State Collegiate Education departments, to support the professional development of faculty at participating institutes. In the first year of implementation, the initiative will train 1,500 teachers and each faculty trained will be equipped to support over 50 students in one year, impacting 60,000 – 75,000 students.
A collaborative, pan India initiative, this program will be implemented by Edunet Foundation, who will develop future-ready skills in young women graduating in sciences, engineering, computer applications, and vocational studies. The program offers a core curriculum to understand the application of technology and activity-based engagements to implement the skills under expert mentors, ensuring job readiness. Students will also get an opportunity to showcase their work to business leaders and experts from local industries, helping establish early linkages with industry ecosystems.
Sharing his thoughts, Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, said, “TechSaksham, an initiative of SAP India and Microsoft for empowering women in India in the emerging technology areas of AI, web design, cloud computing, and digital marketing in association with AICTE ATAL will transform the landscape of workplaces. More than 60000 women being trained will create a massive impact. Moreover, with more than 1000 women faculty certified, it will bring big ticket changes not only in employability of graduates but will encourage many more students to start their startup journey. AICTE has been constantly engaged in creating awareness and empowerment of all stakeholders to make India a global technology hub. TechSaksham is the right platform to do this. AICTE wishes the new age learners a great time.
Kulmeet Bawa, President and Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent, said, “We have always been at the forefront in advancing digital inclusion and equity across India through our flagship programs like Code Unnati where we have enabled more than 1.8 Mn adolescents and children. Our partnership with Microsoft is an expansion of this vision where we focus on equipping the young women of our country with skills in emerging technologies like AI and cloud computing empowering them to be a part of the future ready workforce. Through this initiative, we aim to build an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace of tomorrow.”
Speaking about the partnership, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said, “At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to democratize access to technology. As we rapidly move towards a digital economy, the skills of the future will look very different from the skills that are needed today. Digital fluency will not just be a competitive advantage but a necessity to qualify for jobs. This requires a massive effort to skill India’s talent and workforce. Our partnership with SAP reflects our commitment towards strengthening the skilling ecosystem and closing the digital skills gap by enabling Indian women to pursue the path to success in a digital-first economy. In addition, we are working closely with the government and industry partners like NASSCOM and National Skill Development Council (NSDC) on several skilling initiatives that contribute to creating a vibrant skilling ecosystem in India.”
Centers of Excellence for enabling employment opportunities
Select teachers and institutes will be identified during and after the first year of program implementation to establish a nodal center in each target geography. In the subsequent years, these nodal centers will drive outreach to regional institutions and motivate students and teachers to participate in the program. Furthermore, the initiative will help create local community linkages and develop connections with local industry to create strong career pathways for all participating students.
The program will focus on delivering the following outcomes in the first year of implementation:
- Build skills of the future. Directly train 2000 students across India – for employment in tech related fields.
- Establish college to industry linkages. Support students with opportunities for internships, jobs and micro-entrepreneurship opportunities to 50% of the qualifying students
- Build scalable ecosystems for sustenance. Drive capacity building by training 1500 teachers and establish 5 nodal centers. With each teacher having the potential to influence over 50 students, around 60,000 students will be indirectly impacted in the first year.
- Engage in a cultural relook. Drive students towards innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurial mindset to raise students to be original thinkers who can be uniquely productive. Showcase 50 technical solutions that solve local problems delivering societal impact.