Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella announced on Wednesday that the tech giant will provide AI skilling opportunities to 2 million people in India by 2025, through a new initiative called ADVANTA (I)GE INDIA. The initiative is part of Microsoft’s Skills for Jobs program, which aims to empower India’s workforce with future-ready skills.
Nadella, who is on a three-day visit to India, made the announcement at a CEO Connection event in Mumbai, where he also spoke about the importance of AI innovation and regulation for India’s digital transformation. He said that India has a huge opportunity to be a global leader in AI, and creating AI fluency at scale is a critical step in that journey.
“AI innovation will play a pivotal role in shaping our future, and we at Microsoft stay dedicated to realizing the potential of the AI era for India, in partnership with governments, nonprofits, and corporate organizations,” Nadella said. “This commitment involves equipping the youth with skills through training in tools that redefine how people work, connect, address real-world challenges, and live.”
The ADVANTA (I)GE INDIA initiative will focus on training individuals in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, as well as rural areas, enabling them to participate in the new era of AI and unlock inclusive socio-economic progress. The initiative is aligned with Microsoft’s responsible AI principles, and training will be delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 10 state governments, and various nonprofit and corporate organizations.
According to Microsoft’s recent Work Trend Index, 90 percent of Indian leaders say the people they hire will need new skills to prepare them for the growth of AI. Furthermore, 78 percent of Indian workers say they don’t have the right AI capabilities to complete their current work. To address this needs gap, ADVANTA (I)GE INDIA will provide basic and advanced training in AI to 500,000 students and job seekers in 100 rural vocational education institutions and training centers. In addition, Microsoft will provide in-depth AI technical skills training for 100,000 young women through 5,000 trainers at higher education institutions in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. They will also train 250,000 government officers on generative AI and increase their AI fluency.
The skilling initiative is expected to help close skills gaps across the nation and strengthen India’s posture in the AI era, as well as support the government’s vision of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025.