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India launches cloud computing upskilling programme

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), and Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced new initiatives to empower students with cloud computing skills and enable entrepreneurs to build innovative education technology (EdTech) solutions on the cloud.

The collaboration aims to strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in India. A Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed between NITI Aayog, which is the country’s think tank, and Amazon Internet Services Private Limited (AISPL), which undertakes the resale and marketing of AWS Cloud services in India. AIM is a government flagship initiative, which sets out to create and promote “a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship” in the country, according to NITI Aayog.

As per the SoI, AIM will leverage AWS Educate, which Amazon’s global programme to provide resources for students and educators to accelerate cloud-related learning. The programme will introduce the fundamentals of cloud computing, such as cloud storage, virtual compute power, web hosting, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and virtual reality (VR).

According to a press release, the initiative will reach students at more than 7000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) across the country. AWS will conduct Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs) for the personnel in-charge at the ATLs. Also, it will provide resources and tools to expedite student learning and enable them to create and build solutions on the cloud.

AIM will also adopt AWS EdStart, a virtual start-up accelerator project that enables EdTech start-ups to develop innovative teaching and learning solutions on AWS. EdTech start-up entrepreneurs from over 80 Atal Incubation Centers (AICs) and Atal Community Innovation Centres (ACICs), will be able to apply for programme benefits. These benefits include AWS Promotional Credits, mentorship, and technical training to help boost growth.

  1. Ramanan, AIM’s Mission Director, explained that the collaboration with AWS will equip the youth of the country with digital and web-based tools to enhance their creative and innovative capabilities. This will, in turn, help the nation to grow manifold in its innovation and entrepreneurship network. “The education and tools will establish a strong foundation in cloud computing for students of ATLs across India, while the support of AWS EdStart for start-ups from AICs and ACICs will accelerate their productisation and potential commercialisation,” he noted.

India will need nine times as many digital skilled workers by 2025. Further, by the same period, the tech jobs in demand will be cloud architecture designers and original digital content creators for software and web applications, targeting the manufacturing sector. The average Indian worker will need to develop seven new digital skills to keep pace with tech advancements and demand. This amounts to a total of 3.9 billion digital skill trainings from 2020 to 2025.

AWS has claimed it is committed to bridging the digital skills gap in cloud computing and empowering entrepreneurs to build innovative products and services on the cloud. It is focused on helping customers deliver transformational change and experiential learning at scale.

Other areas of collaboration between AIM and AWS include joint workshops, tech marathons, and national challenges to develop solutions on the cloud, while solving local community problems, or sustainable development goals (SDGs).


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