Microsoft Launches AI Digital Labs in India to Build Future-ready Workforce


Microsoft will support 10 higher education institutions with infrastructure, curriculum and content, access to cloud and AI services as well as developer support.

Tech giant Microsoft is planning to train nearly 1.5 lakh students in AI (artificial intelligence) in the next three years to build a future-ready workforce in India.


As part of its Intelligent Cloud Hub programme, the company on Thursday announced the launch of AI Digital Labs in collaboration with 10 higher educational institutions in the country.

The institutes covered under this programme include BITS Pilani, BML Munjal University, ISB, Kalpataru Institute of Technology, KL University, Periyar University, Karunya University, SRM Institute of Science & Technology, SVKM (NMIMS) and Trident Academy of Technology.

India is the first country to launch the programme. Under this programme, Microsoft will support the selected institutions with infrastructure, curriculum and content, access to cloud and AI services as well as developer support.

The company will also facilitate setting up of core AI infrastructure and IoT Hub as well as provide access to a wide range of AI developmental tools and Azure AI Services such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning and Bot Services.

Training programmes for the faculty will include workshops on cloud computing, data sciences, AI and IoT. Additionally, the faculty of the institutions will receive assistance in strategizing content and curricula for project-based and experiential learning.

“This collaboration with colleges and universities will ramp up institutional setup along with educator capability, and provide relevant educational choices for students, helping them acquire the skills needed to fill the wide skills gap emerging across India and the global economy,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft also took to Twitter to announce the launch of the AI Digital Labs in India.

Key challenges faced by Indian organizations in adopting AI

According to a recent Microsoft and IDC Asia/Pacific study ‘Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI’, lack of skills, resources and continuous learning programs emerged as one of the top challenges faced by Indian organizations in adopting AI to accelerate their businesses.

“As AI becomes mainstream, organizations will require talent with skillsets that are very different from what exist now. Educators and institutions are integral to the skilling revolution taking root in the country. With the right technology infrastructure, curriculum and training, we can empower today’s students to build the India of tomorrow,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.

The three-year programme will help these Indian institutions to emerge as learning centres of intelligent technologies and innovation hubs of path-breaking solutions, the company said.