Connect with us

Industry

Skilling enterprises, start-up developers key to India’s digital dream: IBM

Published

on

digital-transformation-deal

With digital transformation comes the daunting task of preparing a workforce for technologies like Big Data, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) that can address the massive demand coming from governments and businesses in India.

According to a top IBM executive, the time is ripe to start the journey right from schools and universities, leading to up-skilling and re-skilling the enterprise and start-up developers’ community in the country.

Between 2010 and 2030, India’s working population is expected to expand from 750 million to almost one billion.

Image result for artificial intelligence digital transformation ibm

“Without adequate education and training, such population growth poses an increased risk of the emergence of a growing class of under or unemployed. Skill is emerging as the new currency across businesses globally and in India,” Seema Kumar, Country Leader, Developer Ecosystem and Start-ups, IBM India/South Asia, told IANS.

“We believe the industry is no more bifurcated into blue-collar and white-collar jobs. The ‘new collar’ job community is embracing technology rapidly, forging deeper relationships with ecosystem partners and acquiring ‘in-demand’ skill-sets,” Kumar emphasised.

Sensing the urgent need to build a talent pool for the future, IBM recently announced a collaboration with the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) to spur emerging technology skills in the domestic telecom industry.

The agreement outlines a roadmap to build capabilities in the areas of information and communication technology (ICT) to provide the required and relevant skills for the telecom Industry.

“This collaboration will provide an opportunity to students and young professionals to get skilled in emerging technologies including Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT and mobile applications that have a huge potential in the telecom sector,” Kumar said.

IBM’s student developers’ programme (career education) that infuses software capabilities that are industry specific and market relevant has helped more than 24,000 students and faculty members develop industry-relevant software capabilities.

Developers are the new marketers and decision-makers across organisations and it has become imperative to make them the centre of the core strategy.

“We also have collaboration with US-based Galvanize and Coursera to offer cognitive and Cloud curriculum to developers to help them equip with new age requirements around data science and Machine Learning (ML), etc,” the IBM executive said.

In 2017, IBM organised “IBM DeveloperConnect Roadshow” in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad where it offered day-long workshops that combined technical sessions and hands-on activities, led by technical experts from IBM around data science, ML and Cloud.

“We are going to organise the ‘IBM Code’ day for developers in Bengaluru on February 14 which is another step towards introducing the developer community to IBM technologies,” Kumar told IANS.

IBM also has an online learning platform Cognitiveclass.ai that offers several online courses in the area of data science, AI, big data and Blockchain.

“We also work with external Edtech partners who offer structured courses and curriculum based on these technologies. For instance, Jigsaw Academy is leveraging the IBM Data Science experience platform and CognitiveClass.ai to offer advanced customised learning to students and professionals on data science,” Kumar noted.

Similarly, GlobalKnowledge is a training partner offering detailed courses on Cloud and cognitive development, also enabling professional certifications in these domains.

“Today, we are witnessing start-ups adopting Cloud at a fast pace, looking at creating enterprise class solutions and use best practices at a competitive cost, more agile systems and greater efficiency,” Kumar said.

IBM Cloud Private is an integrated Cloud platform built on a Kubernetes-based container architecture.

It is a pre-packaged offering with enterprise-grade content, bringing Cloud native environment to Private Clouds so that start-ups can maintain control over core data while giving developers the flexibility to easily update and launch new apps in a secure manner.

“We foresee start-ups in the FinTech, e-commerce and HealthTech space leveraging IBM Cloud Private for on-premises software portfolio or easily integrate next-generation data and software optimised for Cloud,” Kumar added.

By : Nishant Arora

(Nishant Arora can be contacted at [email protected])

India

Railways start work under MGNREGA scheme

Published

on

Indian Railways

Agartala, Dec 13 : The Railways, for the first time, have started utilising the government’s rural job flagship scheme – MGNREGA – to undertake railway work, a senior official said on Thursday.

“The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) has started works of widening railway embankment in Kishanganj area of Katihar division in Bihar and Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal under the MGNREGA,” NFR’s Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma told IANS.

He said that if the state governments of the northeastern states and concerned District Magistrates agree, similar works can be undertaken in the region where NFR has railway lines.

The NFR serves seven districts in West Bengal and five districts in north Bihar, besides the northeastern states, excluding Sikkim.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) mandates 100 days of employment in a financial year to at least one member of each rural household in the state.

Sharma said that in Kishanganj, the proposal of railway line embankment repair was sanctioned for 5.7 km of track at an approximate cost of Rs 13.4 lakh.

“Around 30 labourers are turning up on a regular basis and all are being provided with job card against MGNREGA. Similarly, the District Magistrate of Uttar Dinajpur had also sanctioned supplementary estimate of embankment repair for 8.3 km of railway track at an approximate cost of Rs 21.5 lakh under the rural job scheme,” he said.

He said that the joint initiative of NFR and the Bihar and West Bengal governments will be helpful in providing rural jobs and also the repair and maintenance of railway assets without any additional cost to the Railways.

The works proposed under the MGNREGA include construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings, developing and cleaning silted waterways, trenches and drains along the tracks, construction and maintenance of approach roads to railway stations, repairs to earthwork to the existing railway embankments, cuttings, clearing vegetation growth and plantations at extreme boundary of railway land.

Continue Reading

Blog

Universities should consult industry on designing courses to make students employable

Such initiatives hold the key to driving India’s innovative capacity forward and making the country more competitive.

Published

on

Enhancing employability

Even though the idea of globalisation has come under fire in the last few years, with increasing levels of discontentment over inequity in the distribution of gains, the benefits that the world economies have derived from it are often overlooked.

One unmistakable benefit has been the transfer of productivity-enhancing technology between nations and diffusion of innovation worldwide. The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook released in April this year also pointed out that globalisation has given a significant boost to the diffusion of knowledge and technology across the world through free trade, higher foreign direct investment and the international use of patents and copyrights.

Innovation has become the key to gaining greater market share and more and more countries are shifting their policy focus on building their innovative capacities to strengthen the competitiveness of their economies. Competitiveness is defined as “the ability of firms to compete, grow and be profitable in the long run”. Studies find an unequivocal link between innovative capacity and competitiveness of nations and regions. In fact, it is almost next to impossible for businesses to become competitive without innovating in its products and operations.

With the world innovating at breakneck speed, no country wants to be left in the lurch. Most significantly, China has laid out a plan to become an “innovative nation” by 2020 and an “international innovation leader” by 2030 in its current Five-Year Plan. Even countries like Saudi Arabia that have historically been heavily resource-dependent are making a conscious move towards higher innovation. These countries are beginning to recognise the fact that building a competitive advantage based on factor endowments (cheap labour in case of China and oil reserves for Saudi Arabia) cannot be sustained over the long run. A transition to a knowledge-based economy is imperative.

India can ill-afford to find itself lagging on the curve. The country had missed out on the first industrial revolution on account of being at the receiving end of colonial history. No other phase of innovation in history has transformed industry to such an extent. Only the digital revolution at the end of the 20th century came close. It is, therefore, a rare and opportune time for India to accelerate its development process and move into the next stage of growth by focusing on strategies to foster innovative capacity.

In recognition of the urgency to act, a roundtable on “Innovation for Prosperity” was organized by NITI Aayog and the Institute for Competitiveness last week to draw actionable policy recommendations for NITI Aayog to work upon to improve India’s innovation capacity. One of the most pertinent issues raised at the roundtable was the issue of industry-academia linkage in the Indian education system.

Around the world, universities are seen as hubs of innovation where experts from varied fields come together to share their ideas for developing new technologies, systems and processes. Such innovation originating from universities usually attracts huge demand from industry. This results in diversified products and market development, which leads to the nation gaining a competitive edge in the world markets.

Such industry-academia linkages are missing in the Indian economy. Universities are meant to play a dual role of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer. But the latter is found wanting in the Indian context. The problem resides in the abysmal quality of the country’s education system that focuses more on quantity than quality from a very early stage. For instance, the focus is always on the number of hours taught rather than the quality of education imparted in those hours.

At every level of education, students are never encouraged to think. Rote-learning is encouraged through an incessant focus on marks, which leaves no scope for thinking or innovation. Further, higher education is mostly outdated and hardly industry-oriented. Therefore, the human capital in India is barely equipped to innovate for industry. Another factor that hinders any industry-academia linkage is an utter lack of clarity on who owns the IP for collaborative innovation. Until these problems persist, any collaboration between industry and academia will be difficult to achieve.

One way to move away from the status quo is to encourage universities to consult industry while designing course curricula so that the graduates are more employable and innovative. The government can also play an enabling role in facilitating higher collaboration. It can provide tax incentives or subsidise setting up of research infrastructure in universities that can be used for industrial innovation. The government could also push for higher academic exchanges by funding the transaction costs involved in the process, which can particularly help in better understanding of what industry requires from academia.

Such initiatives hold the key to driving India’s innovative capacity forward and making the country more competitive.

(Amit Kapoor is chair, Institute for Competitiveness. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at [email protected] and tweets @kautiliya. Chirag Yadav, senior researcher, Institute for Competitiveness, has contributed to the article)

Continue Reading

Business

Ratan Tata conferred steel industry’s lifetime achievement award

Published

on

Ratan-Tata
Ratan Tata (File Photo)

Mumbai, Dec 10: Eminent industrialist Ratan N. Tata was conferred the Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI) Lifetime Achievement Award for his association and contribution to the industry, an official said here on Monday.

The award was bestowed on Tata by Union Minister for Steel Choudhary Birendra Singh and other dignitaries on Sunday night, besides 450 delegates from 10 countries representing the industry attending the 2nd SUFI Steel Awards.

The other prominent awardees included Hall of Fame category’s ‘Steel CEO of the Year’ for Vipul Mathur, CEO, Welspun Corp. Ltd; Tata Steels Ltd. and Maharashtra Seamless Ltd sharing the ‘Steel Company of the Year’; and POSCO Maharashtra Steel Pvt. Ltd and Naresh Steel Industries Ltd. jointly bagging the ‘Emerging Steel Company of the Year’ honours.

In the special category, M. Junction won the ‘Digital India Award’, JSW Steels Ltd. got the ‘Make In India Award’ and Metal Street bagged the ‘Start-Up India Award’.

Addressing the gathering, Singh said that the steel industry needs in-depth research and motivation to stay ahead of competition globally, and accommodate the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“The government is pacing towards boosting and assisting the steel industry towards innovations and technology revolution,” said Singh.

SUFI President Nikunj Turakhia said that recognising the disconnect between the industry and government, the organisation has been instrumental in bridging the gap.

“We believe it is imperative that the contribution of those who have made the steel industry reach its heights today is recognized through these awards,” Turakhia added.

The SUFI Steel Awards with several categories added this year, were conducted in association with the Steel Group, Steel Scenario and ASSAR.

IANS

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular