The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced new initiatives to strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in India, by empowering school students with cloud computing skills, and enabling entrepreneurs to build innovative education technology (EdTech) solutions on the cloud.
A Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed between NITI Aayog and Amazon Internet Services Private Limited (AISPL), which undertakes the resale and marketing of AWS Cloud services in India.
As per the SoI, AIM will leverage AWS Educate, Amazon’s global program that provides resources for students and educators to accelerate cloud-related learning.
This programme will introduce the fundamentals of cloud computing such as cloud storage, virtual compute power, web hosting, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and virtual reality (VR), to students at more than 7000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) in India.
AWS will also conduct Faculty Development Programs (FDPs) for the personnel in-charge at the ATLs, and provide resources and tools at each ATL to expedite student learning, and enable them to create and build solutions on the cloud.
AIM will also adopt AWS EdStart, a virtual startup accelerator program that enables EdTech startups to develop innovative teaching and learning solutions on AWS.
EdTech startup entrepreneurs and founders in more than 80 Atal Incubation Centers (AICs) and Atal Community Innovation Centers (ACICs), will be able to apply for AWS EdStart program benefits, such as AWS Promotional Credits, mentorship, and technical trainings, to help speed their growth.
Atal Innovation Mission Director R Ramanan said the collaboration with AWS will equip the talented youth of the country with digital and web-based tools that can enhance their creative and innovative capabilities, in turn helping the nation to grow manifold in its innovation and entrepreneurship network.
“The education and tools will establish a strong foundation in cloud computing for students of ATLs across India, while the support of AWS EdStart for startups from AICs and ACICs will accelerate their productization and potential commercialisation,” he said.
AWS India and South Asia Public Sector – AISPL President Rahul Sharma asserted that India will need nine times as many digital skilled workers by 2025, according to the report Unlocking APAC’s Digital Potential: Changing Digital Skill Needs and Policy Approaches, prepared by strategy and economics consulting firm AlphaBeta, and commissioned by AWS.
“AWS is committed to bridging the digital skills gap in cloud computing, and empowering entrepreneurs to build innovative products and services on the cloud. We are focused on helping customers deliver transformational change and experiential learning at scale. It is a privilege to team up with Atal Innovation Mission to foster ideation, curiosity, and innovation among India’s students and youth,” added Rahul Sharma.
Other areas of collaboration between AIM and AWS include joint workshops, tech marathons, and national challenges to develop solutions on the cloud, while solving local community problems, or sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, housed at the NITI Aayog, to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country.
AIM under NITI Aayog is envisaged as an umbrella innovation organization that plays an instrumental role in alignment of innovation policies between central, state and sectoral ministries, by incentivizing the promotion of an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship at various levels – higher secondary schools, higher educational and research institutions, and SME/MSME industry, corporate, and government ministerial level, by public-private partnership.