The National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) and Microsoft have collaborated to promote cybersecurity skills through their Cyber Shikshaa and Ready4Cybersecurity programmes. The collaboration aims to reduce the talent deficit for cybersecurity professionals and provide employment opportunities for 1100 underserved youth in remote areas.
With this partnership, NIELIT and Microsoft will deploy CyberShikshaa and Ready4Cybersecurity programmes in 30 training centers of NIELIT in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and states in the North-East region of India. These programmes would be scaled in subsequent years to integrate cybersecurity training programmes in all the training centers of NIELIT.
According to an official statement, nearly 3,500 learners will undergo training and receive internship or employment opportunities for in-demand cybersecurity jobs under the project. Besides providing grants for training, Microsoft’s support will include curriculum content, certifications, and mentorship opportunities. Current programme partners Data Security Council of India, Tata Strive, ICT Academy and Quick Heal Foundation, will partner with NIELIT to carry out the deployment of CyberShikshaa and Ready4Cybersecurity training programme, the release added.
Combined with 90 hours of business English curriculum, CyberShikshaa aims to provide more than 400 hours of cybersecurity curriculum for underserved women engineering students. On the other hand, Ready4Cybersecurity is a 120-hour virtual instructor-led training programme delivered by the NIELIT Centers for beginners in rural colleges and higher education institutions. Learners will further get access to internship opportunities through partner recruitment platforms of the Future Ready Talent Programme, the statement further added.
Commenting on the collaboration, Director General of NIELIT, Madan Mohan Tripathi, said:
Recognising the challenges owing to the lack of trained cybersecurity professionals, NIELIT is committed to training people for in-demand jobs, especially in remote regions, so that they can participate in today’s digital economy. This will enable a robust pool of skilled professionals who can help protect organisations from cyber threats.
Microsoft’s assistance will not only come in the form of training funding but also in the form of mentorship opportunities, certificates, and course content. Through the design and development of curricula and the acquisition of content, NIELIT, the nation’s leading organisation for examination and certification in the field of Information, Electronics and Communications Technology (IECT), seeks to create skilled professionals and offer support to students and trainers.
Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India, added:
There is a need to add more diversity in today’s workforce to solve cybersecurity challenges swiftly and innovatively. Since its inception in 2018, the CyberShikshaa programme has driven tremendous impact in skilling for employability of women and underserved youth – and is now expanding to reach 45,000 learners over the next three years.