Sangam

Global tech giant Microsoft’s Indian born CEO Satya Nadella unveiled “Project Sangam” to the world yesterday. Aimed at pushing the Indian government’s much ambitious ‘Skill India’ initiative, the program will not only help the government in training people and instilling in them employable skills but also help them in getting suitable jobs.

The program, which will help Indians in getting jobs via professional networking website LinkedIn, will commence from the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Microsoft shook the tech world last year when it bought popular professional networking platform LinkedIn for a whopping $26.2 billion price tag. Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is its biggest purchase till date. Industry experts pegged the deal as one of the biggest tech deals in the industry so far, only eclipsed by the purchase of EMC by Dell and Compaq by HP. In fact, the LinkedIn acquisition even left behind the much talked about 19 billion WhatsApp acquisition deal by Facebook a few years back.


According to the details shared by Microsoft, “Project Sangam” will be functioning as an open ecosystem where trainers will be easily able pour their well-researched content into the project and then the people in need can take the training right from “Sangam” and apply for jobs.

As and when the training is completed, the US-headquartered tech giant will update the profiles of the now skilled workers on LinkedIn so that employers can easily find them and hire them. The candidates will be provided job options according to their skills set.

Sangam is the first project on Cloud that will see Microsoft and LinkedIn working together to help the unemployed masses of the Indian subcontinent.

Speaking at the “Future Decoded” event in Mumbai, Nadella was joined by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The “Future Decoded” event is Microsoft’s two-day flagship technology and business conference. It is a platform that brings together 1,500 business and government decision-makers to engage in conversations on how technology will help in transforming all aspects of human life.

Microsoft will be putting the Indian government’s much-publicised Aadhaar cards into use for enrolling people into the program.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu lauded Microsoft’s efforts towards the unemployed Indian population. He also added, that by infusing the right ideas with right technology, Andhra Pradesh has what it takes to become the next Silicon Valley.

Naidu is hopeful that becoming a Cloud-first state will help the Andhra Pradesh government in tackling their resources better. He also said, “With the technology revolution, I aim to put my state among the top three states by 2022.”

Taking the podium at the event, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis identified Cloud computing as a game changer technology. He also said that he strongly believes that Big Data analytics can be used by the government’s to put their resources to best use. Fadnavis even took a moment to thank Microsoft for putting in one the biggest data centres in Maharashtra and shared that they have already started migrating to the Cloud. He also noted that Cloud computing and Big Data analytics can significantly help in gaining transparency in governance.

In addition to the Sangam project, the event also saw Nadella also announcing “Skype Lite”, an exclusive “Made for India” app that aims at providing a seamless experience in messaging, audio and video calling even at lower bandwidths.

The app, which supports several Indian languages including Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu, is only available for Android devices. It has been especially designed to save data.

According to Nadella, Microsoft plans to bring Aadhaar integration to the app by June this year. With the Aadhaar integration in place, the users will be easily able to authenticate the identity of unknown callers in situations where identification verification is required.

Nadella also launched three other products — LinkedIn Lite, Starter Pack and Placements. While LinkedIn Lite is a tool that aims to help people connect from low-connectivity zones in the country. LinkedIn Placements, on the other hand, is an app meant for college graduates.

The Future Decoded event also saw Nadella also talking about the digital transformation brought in by Microsoft’s Azure Cloud in startups, retail, auto, and banking sectors. We recently reported about Microsoft announcing a “strategic partnership” with India’s Flipkart that will entail the ecommerce biggie adopting Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

In addition to this, he also talked about how Indian biggies Tata Motors and State Bank of India had realised the power of the Cloud and moved to the Cloud-first infrastructure in recent times. We recently reported how Tata Motors and Microsoft have signed an agreement that will allow Tata Motors to make use of connected car technologies from Microsoft in order to gift the Indian masses advanced machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities in their cars. As a part of the deal, Tata Motors is specifically looking forward to exploring Microsoft Azure global hyper-scale cloud platform as it will make Tata Motors capable of providing the Indian consumers a smarter, safer and more personalised driving experience than the one which it is currently being available to deliver.

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