Microsoft India announced a partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) to launch DigiSaksham – a collaborative digital skills training initiative to empower job seekers in an increasingly tech-driven economy on Thursday. This joint initiative is an extension of the government’s ongoing engagement to upskill youth from rural and semi-urban areas.
Through this initiative, Microsoft, and the Ministry of Labour and Employment will provide 10 million active registered jobseekers on the National Career Service (NCS) platform, access to inclusive computing and computer science training, equipping them with the skills required to thrive in a digital economy. Conceptualized and designed by Microsoft India, DigiSaksham will be implemented in the field by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme India (AKRSP-I). The program will impact more than 300,000 job seekers in the first year, training them in subjects like programming languages, data analytics, software development fundamentals and advanced digital productivity.
The initiative was launched in New Delhi in the presence of Bhupender Yadav, union cabinet minister for environment, forest & climate change and labour & employment, Government of India, Rameshwar Teli, union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, labour and employment, Government of India, Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, and Apoorva Oza, chief executive officer, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India.
The forum highlighted the importance of skilling in bridging India’s digital divide, placing the country on the path to inclusive economic recovery and preparing India’s talent to thrive in a digital future.
Inaugurating the initiative, Bhupender Yadav said, “India is accelerating its digital revolution. Today, whether it is the expansion of digital services or digital enablement for opportunities for skilling in different trades, the government has led and developed many pathbreaking initiatives. However, if India has to realize all its ambitions, it is important that our youth are proficient in computer and digital skills. DigiSaksham is being offered free of cost on the ministry’s national career services portal. One can enroll and join the programme to enhance their digital skills and opportunity for jobs and employment in the digital world.”
Speaking about the partnership, Anant Maheshwari said, “Ensuring equitable access and opportunity to digital technology and skills will be vital for realizing the Digital India vision. Our collaboration with the Ministry of labour and employment reflects our commitment to bridge the digital equity gap and empower the youth of India to succeed in a digital economy. We have a unique opportunity to become an increasingly important tech engine of the world. Providing equal opportunity and access to digital skills for all will be the key to long-term economic and social value creation for India.”
Rameshwar Teli said, “Ministry of labour & employment understands the critical need for training in this digital era. Understanding this, our Ministry provides trade and career guidance to socially underprivileged groups who are keen to get employed, through our network of 25 National Career Service Centres across India. In addition, the Ministry also facilitates diverse education and employability initiatives for these youth. DigiSaksham programme is specially focused to provide digital productivity skills to socially and economically backward groups. I believe that trainees from SC/ST groups and persons with disabilities will definitely benefit from this programme.”
DigiSaksham will leverage the strengths of MoLE’s platform, National Career Service (NCS) to equip youth with skills and industry-recognized credentials that increase access to employment opportunities and promote skills-based hiring. Jobseekers registered on the NCS portal will be trained in specialized technology modules aligned with their existing educational qualifications. The technology modules will be taught at intermediate and advanced levels, equipping participants with digital skills.
Speaking of the association, Apoorva Oza, CEO AKRSP(I), said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition of India to a digital economy and digital society. Unfortunately, rapid transitions tend to leave out the disadvantaged and the poor. In this context, AKRSP(I) is partnering with Microsoft India and MoLE to reach out to the millions of youths – to ensure their poverty and geographical remoteness do not prevent them from being part of a steadfastly digital economy. AKRSP(I) commends MoLE for this pro-active initiative to create a society which leaves no one behind.”National, News