SAP India and Microsoft on Thursday announced the launch of a joint skilling programme ‘TechSaksham’ for empowering young women students from underserved communities to build careers in technology. Through the joint initiative, SAP India and Microsoft aims to skill 62,000 women students in areas like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, web design and digital marketing.
The programme will work in collaboration with the AICTE Training and Learning Academy-ATAL and state collegiate education departments to support the professional development of faculty at participating institutes, a statement said. 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, it added. The pan-India initiative will be implemented by Edunet Foundation that will develop future-ready skills in young women graduating in sciences, engineering, computer applications, and vocational studies.
The 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. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, chairman of AICTE, said TechSaksham will transform the landscape of workplaces. “More than 60,000 women being trained will create a massive impact. Moreover, with more than 1,000 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,” he added.
SAP Indian Subcontinent President and Managing Director Kulmeet Bawa said the company has always been at the forefront in advancing digital inclusion and equity across India through its flagship programmes like Code Unnati, where it has enabled more than 1.8 million 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,” he said.
Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari said 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,” he added.
Select teachers and institutes will be identified during and after the first year of programme implementation to establish a nodal centre in each target geography, the statement said. In the subsequent years, these nodal centres will drive outreach to regional institutions and motivate students and teachers to participate in the programme, it added. 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 certain outcomes in the first year of implementation, including directly training 2,000 students across India for employment in tech-related fields, supporting students with opportunities for internships, jobs and micro-entrepreneurship opportunities to 50 per cent of the qualifying students, and driving capacity building by training 1,500 teachers and establishing five nodal centres.