“India Skills Forum: Advancing Innovation and Inclusion Showcased How a Brighter More Inclusive Future Is Being Built for a New Generation”

(Diya Koshy George, yourstory.com, 21 March 2019)

“The Atal Tinkering Labs, under Niti Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission, is an example of how IBM is working with the Government of India to help nurture a new generation of innovators (…) by giving them hands-on experience with new technologies and mentorship to hone their ideas

According to Amitabh Kant, CEO at Niti Aayog, India’s workforce’s average age is 29 years; India will have the youngest workforce by 2022 and the largest - by 2027, while the rest of the world’s population is getting older. Some of the challenges that India is facing are: a) necessity for technology to teach new skills to its population; b) only 24 % of the workforce is comprised of women when, reaching the world’s average 48 %, India could increase its GDP of 700 bill $. In the partnership with Indian Government, IBM encourages women in the workforce and changes India’s education system by promoting STEM (Ciencia, Tecnología, Ingeniería y Matemáticas) and inspiring future innovators. So, one of the IBM internship programme’s students in Bengaluru created a robot, an application, and a website FarmConnect “to help farmers have a better harvest”. One more Atal Tinkering Labs programme’s intern built a platform to replace the written institutes’ exam with the computer-based testing. According to Arvind Krishna, Senior VP at IBM, everyone should acquire artificial intelligence (AI) skills to contribute to their profession and global economy. So, IBM is going to provide an 8-12 week programme of 100 hours to its employees and partners to teach and train their AI skills. IBM will also continue investing in students’ programmes in India by collaborating with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and training teachers. Diane Gherson, Senior VP at IBM, reckons that in India, women often face “mindset, bias and physical barriers” at the workplace, and that IBM is also working on using “more agency over their career paths”.

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