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

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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.

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“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

‘Ex-HAL chief’s statements on Rafale factually incorrect’

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Rafale deal scam

New Delhi, Sep 20 : Government sources on Thursday dismissed as “factually incorrect” media reports of former Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) chief T.S. Raju claiming that the defence undertaking had signed a work-share contract with French company Dassault Aviation — the manufacturer of Rafale fighter jets.

“In the news item published (Thursday) ex Chairman and Managing Director, (CMD) HAL has been quoted as stating that an agreed work-share with Dassault Aviation (DA) was submitted to government. The same news item also referred to the cost of the aircraft, life cycle cost issues, etc. The statement attributed to ex CMD, HAL is factually incorrect,” said the sources.

The sources said that Raju was a member of the Contract Negotiations Committee of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and “there were many major areas of disagreement between HAL and DA”.

They said that the HAL, in a letter on Oct 10, 2012 to the MOD, “brought out these disagreements pertaining to the work-share between them”.

“Subsequently in July 2014, HAL in its letter to MOD has also highlighted one major unresolved issue regarding responsibility sharing between DA and HAL for licence manufacture of the aircraft.

“Further, the man hours required for manufacture of various components of the aircraft in HAL was also a point of disagreement between DA and HAL. There is, therefore, a contradiction in the claims attributed to Raju,” they said.

The sources also said that the since the work-share between DA and HAL was “never agreed upon”, the statement claiming lower life cycle cost is “completely presumptive”.

They said that because of these reasons, the proposal for 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) could not be progressed further.

In an interview to a national daily, Raju who retired from the HAL on Sep 1, asserted that HAL “could have built Rafale fighters in India had the government managed to close the original negotiations with Dassault”.

Riding on Raju’s statements, the Congress led by its president Rahul Gandhi demanded Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s resignation accusing her of “lying”.

The party claimed that Raju’s remarks “nailed Sitharaman’s lie” that HAL didn’t have the capability to build the Rafale.

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India

Modi, Hasina jointly inaugurate oil pipeline, railway projects

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Narendra Modi Sheikh Hasina

New Delhi/Dhaka, Sep 18 : Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday jointly e-inaugurated the construction work of a cross-border oil pipeline and a railway project, with the former describing the two countries as members of the same family.

Hasina and Modi joined the event in the evening via video-conferencing from Dhaka and New Delhi, respectively.

The 129 km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline connecting Siliguri in India with Parbatipur in Bangladesh will transport petroleum products from Numaligarh Refinery in Assam. Of the total length, 124 km will be constructed in Bangladesh and 5 km in India.

“Geographically we may be neighbours, but emotionally we are members of the same family,” Modi said while addressing the programme.

“Our mutual cooperation in the last few years has shown the world that when two neighbouring countries strive to work together, what all can be achieved,” he said.

“Whether it be a decades-old border problem or development aid cooperation project, we have made unprecedented progress on all issues.”

At the same event, the ground-breaking ceremony of a rail project to improve Dhaka’s connectivity with Tongi and Joydebpur, two towns on the outskirts of the capital city, was also held.

Officials said 48.80 km of the two new dual gauge rail lines would be constructed on the Dhaka-Tongi route and a 12.28 km new dual gauge railway double line on the Tongi-Joydebpur route.

Tuesday’s inauguration of the two projects came a little over a week after both the Prime Ministers inaugurated two railway projects and an electricity project on September 10.

Stating that the pipeline will further boost bilateral cooperation, Modi said that energy was the cornerstone of any country’s development.

“The pipeline will help in the development of the northern Bangladesh. Though it is being done with grant-financing from India, the project will be dedicated to the people and government of Bangladesh once completed,” he said.

Modi said the railway project will not only bring relief to road traffic in Dhaka, but also boost freight revenues.

Speaking from Dhaka, Hasina said that ever since she formed her government in Bangladesh in 2009, she has been working relentlessly to deepen ties with India.

She thanked Modi for the new projects which she said will help in Bangladesh’s development.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan joined the video conference from Delhi and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali from Dhaka.

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No relief in sight from rising oil prices

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Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi, Sep 12 : There is no relief in sight from the rising petrol, diesel and gas prices which are burning a hole in the consumers’ pockets.

The government on Wednesday eluded questions on the subject at an official media briefing here, with Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan asserting that he would not answer questions outside of the day’s Cabinet decisions.

“We will confine ourselves to the Cabinet decisions only,” Pradhan told IANS when asked if a relief was in the offing from soaring oil prices.

The Minister also chose to keep mum when asked if the Union Cabinet discussed the issue on Wednesday.

On Monday, Pradhan had an hour-long meeting with BJP President Amit Shah after the opposition organised a Bharat bandh on the issue.

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