Microsoft India has announced plans to increase investments in the eight North Eastern states of India. The company said that it will focus on the education sector, enhancing transportation and utilities, and enabling better citizen services in the North East by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and cloud technologies. As part of its commitment to partner the region in its transformation, Microsoft signed an MoU with the Government of Sikkim today to revamp the educational system in the state.
Under the MoU, Microsoft will support Sikkim to build new age tech capacity among students and faculty in government schools in the state. This will include:
- Integration of IT content in the state board curriculum to build student capacity
Whole school reform through the Microsoft Innovative Schools Program
- Building teacher capacity – through the Microsoft Educator Network and Innovative Educator Program
- Enhancing digital literacy and digital citizenship
Speaking on this, HRDD Minister R B Subba, said, “We are committed to harnessing the power of the technology to transform e-governance and core sectors in Sikkim and we are happy to partner with Microsoft.”
Manish Prakash, General Manager – Public Sector, Microsoft India, said, “E-governance is the best way to get the benefits of technology to all the residents of North East India. We believe the next step of growth will be to leverage the power of the cloud, artificial intelligence, IoT and data; and are very keen to partner with the North East on this journey.”
Microsoft has been working closely with several state governments in India to support their digital infrastructure, enhance their citizen services and drive efficiencies in their administrative and governance operations. It is deploying AI and cloud computing solutions to transform services in different areas including education, agriculture and healthcare.
Close to 150 govt departments and SOEs across states are currently powered by the Microsoft cloud.
Microsoft is the only provider of services across all three clouds in the country – private, public and hybrid cloud, and was the first global public cloud service provider to be accredited by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY). It has also been recently empanelled by the Government of Punjab for its cloud services, The company has set up three cloud datacentres in Pune, Chennai, and Mumbai three years back and the availability of local cloud services – Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, and Office 365 – is accelerating cloud innovation and opening new possibilities in e-governance and inclusive growth.
Integration of IT Content in State Board curriculum
The government will integrate Microsoft’s IT courseware and content in the state board curriculum for grades 6 to 10. The company will also train 100 master trainers on the curriculum at the State Council for Research and training (SCERT)/labs nominated by the the government.
Whole school reform
Microsoft will adopt two schools identified and nominated by the government to train their teachers and students on Microsoft’s curriculum on creative coding and gaming through apps, robotics, entrepreneurship and tools for collaboration, creativity and communication. The training will be imparted through conduct workshops at these schools as well as online webinars to equip them with technology skills to counter real life challenges.
Building teacher capacity
The initiative recognizes that effective professional development of teachers is a must to prepare students for the future with 21st century skills. Microsoft will provide its Innovative Educator Program to all educators of primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary education to help them use ICT effectively and innovatively in the classroom. Professional development content for educators such as the Microsoft Teaching with Technology (TwT), will also be made available through the Microsoft Educator Network (www.education.microsoft.com). Over and above this, Microsoft will also provide free resources, tools and software through the Microsoft Educator Network, which will enable educators to participate in and garner learnings from global discussion groups and mentoring sessions.
Digital literacy and digital citizenship
Microsoft will train a batch of 20 District Education officers (DEO) and Principals of the Government Schools nominated by the government on Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum & Certification who will go on to further train other schools within their district. Microsoft shall share an online platform to undertake a digital literacy certification after successful completion of the course. The digital literacy content will be available in both online and offline modes free of cost.