Microsoft India on June 24 announced that it has collaborated with ICT Academy to launch a cybersecurity skilling programme for educators and higher education students.
The programme, in its first year, will skill faculty and higher education students from rural engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Assam, Uttarakhand, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan. "As part of its ongoing commitment to create a robust cyber security ecosystem in the country, Microsoft India announced the launch of the Cyber Shikshaa for Educators initiative in collaboration with ICT Academy," Microsoft said in a statement.
The programme will empower 400 faculty members across 100 rural institutions in India with industry-relevant skills in cyber security in its first phase, equipping them with the tools to train students. Through the trained faculty and ICT facilitators, the initiative will further train 6,000 students from rural engineering colleges to prepare them for a career in cyber security.
"In addition, Microsoft and ICT Academy will work with a strategic consortium of partners to facilitate job placement opportunities and internships for over 1,500 students,” the statement said. The programme is geared to ensure higher participation of women educators and women graduating students from rural geographies to create an equitable and diverse cyber security talent pool.
In order to address the gender divide and prepare underserved women for a career in cyber security, Microsoft launched the cyber security skilling programme, Cyber Shikshaa, in collaboration with the Data Security Council of India in 2018.
Further, Microsoft expanded Cyber Shikshaa to collaborate with Tata Strive in 2021, in line with its efforts to democratise access to cyber security skilling for young women from semi-urban and rural geographies.
“Through these partnerships, more than 1,100 young women have been enabled with hands-on experience and technical training in cyber security with mentorship from industry experts. Additionally, over 600 women have been supported for job placements with leading companies,” Microsoft said.