Microsoft India has recently announced a partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) to launch DigiSaksham – a collaborative digital skills training initiative to empower job seekers in an increasingly tech-driven economy.
The joint initiative is an extension of the government’s ongoing engagement to upskill youth from rural and semi-urban areas, according to a press statement released by Microsoft India. Through the initiative, Microsoft and the Ministry of Labour and Employment will provide 10 million active registered jobseekers on the National Career Service (NCS) platform access to inclusive computing and computer science training, equipping them with the skills required to thrive in a digital economy, the statement added.
Conceptualized and designed by Microsoft India, DigiSaksham will be implemented in the field by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India (AKRSP-I). According to the company, the program will impact more than 300,000 job seekers in the first year, training them in subjects like programming languages, data analytics, software development fundamentals, and advanced digital productivity.
The initiative was launched in New Delhi on September 30, 2021, in the presence of Bhupender Yadav, Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Labour & Employment, Government of India, Rameshwar Teli, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Labour and Employment, Government of India, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, and Apoorva Oza, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India.
Inaugurating the initiative, Bhupender Yadav, Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and Labour & Employment, Government of India, said,
"Under the august leadership of honorable PM Modi, India is accelerating its digital revolution. Today, whether it is the expansion of digital services or digital enablement for opportunities for skilling in different trades, Government of India has led and developed many path-breaking initiatives. However, if India has to realize all its ambitions, it is important that our youth are proficient on computer and digital skills. To build their competencies and abilities, Government of India’s Ministry of Labour & Employment in partnership with Microsoft India has launched a new program which we have named DigiSaksham. This program is being offered free of cost on Ministry’s National Career Services portal. You can enroll and join the program to enhance your digital skills and through DigiSaksham enhance your opportunity for jobs and employment in the digital world. I want to see our youth grow and get better opportunities for employment, and for that, I encourage everyone to join this program in large numbers."
Speaking about the partnership, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said,
"Ensuring equitable access and opportunity to digital technology and skills will be vital for realizing the Digital India vision. Our collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment reflects our commitment to bridge the digital equity gap and empower the youth of India to succeed in a digital economy. We have a unique opportunity to become an increasingly important tech engine of the world. Providing equal opportunity and access to digital skills for all will be the key to long-term economic and social value creation for India."
Microsoft India said DigiSaksham will leverage the strengths of MoLE’s platform National Career Service (NCS) to equip youth with skills and industry-recognized credentials that increase access to employment opportunities and promote skills-based hiring. Jobseekers registered on the NCS portal will be trained in specialized technology modules aligned with their existing educational qualifications. The technology modules will be taught at intermediate and advanced levels, equipping participants with digital skills.
DigiSaksham is an extension of Microsoft’s global commitment to help 25 million people acquire digital skills in a COVID-19 economy. This project aims to support the existing government ecosystem by upskilling job seekers through a four-step approach:
- Facilitation: AKRSP(I) will curate sector skills requirements and develop customized learning paths to improve the employability of job seekers.
- Content Integration: Microsoft’s technical course curriculum will be integrated on the NCS portal via the Global Skills Initiative to enable access for 10M active registered jobseekers.
- Jobseeker Training: The program will directly train 300K+ beneficiaries across India through a two-pronged approach, a blended model with online training on the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform, and in-person workshops at select Model Career Centers.
- MCT is an Azure-based platform that supports personalized learning for a large-scale mobile-based community. MCT will be integrated on ncs.gov.in, where registered jobseekers will enroll in virtual instructor-led training on technical skills like Programming Languages, Data Analytics, Software Development Fundamentals, and Advance Digital Productivity, etc.
- Pursuant to Government educational institute reopening guidelines, AKRSP-I, in consultation with NICS will identify Model Career Centre’s (MCC) to organize instructor-led boot camps on emerging technologies like Cloud, AI, and Data Analytics to reach 2400 beneficiaries across four MCC’s.
- Employment Assistance: The program will support youth trained and certified under DigiSaksham with placements at four select Model Career Centers. A placement officer will be deputed to facilitate industry-specific placements and explore hyperlocal employment opportunities.