Microsoft Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said that the Indian developers are making a major impact in accelerating Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation globally. He said that the next generation of AI is changing how and what developers build everywhere, including in India.
“It's fantastic to see how India's developer community is applying our technology and tools to build the future for India and the world,” remarked Nadella. He was addressing developers and technology leaders at the Microsoft AI Tour in Bengaluru.
Nadella said that Microsoft will expand its ‘Code; Without Barriers’ program to India this month, as the company is aiming to democratize access to technology skills nationwide. This program was launched in 2021 across nine Asia Pacific (APAC) countries to help close the gender gap in the region’s fast-growing cloud, AI, and digital technology sectors. The program provides support, training, and networking opportunities for female developers and coders, and those in other technical roles to contribute to inclusive economic growth, encourage innovation, and reflect the region’s social makeup. Through ‘Code; Without Barriers’, Microsoft will provide skilling and certification to 75,000 women developers in India in 2024.
Nadella noted that India is the fastest-growing market on GitHub, a Microsoft-owned software collaboration and innovation platform, with 13.2 million developers using the platform. It is expected to overtake the US as the largest developer community on GitHub by 2027. India also has the second-highest number of generative AI projects on GitHub after the United States.
Yesterday Nadella had announced Microsoft’s new skilling investment in India to empower people and organizations to thrive in the AI era. The investment will see Microsoft provide 2 million people in India with AI skilling opportunities by 2025 through its ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA initiative.
During the event the Microsoft AI Tour, in Bengaluru, developers from nonprofit organizations, student developers, and large enterprises showcased how Microsoft technologies have accelerated their AI adoption and empowered them to innovate. For instance a generative AI startup Sarvam AI provides large language models (LLMs) that offer Indic language support. This startup aims to make the development, deployment, and distribution of generative AI apps in India more better performing, and cheaper.
Similarly the Shiksha copilot, developed by the Sikshana Foundation and Microsoft Research India, aims to improve learning outcomes, and empower teachers to create comprehensive, age-appropriate lesson plans with personalized learning experiences. It is using Azure OpenAI models that help teachers develop a complete lesson plan with engaging content in 60 to 90 seconds instead of 60 to 90 minutes. It is currently deployed in about 30 rural and urban schools in Bengaluru..
The Open Healthcare Network (using Microsoft's GitHub Copilot) has helped manage 581 hospitals, oversee 20,712 hospital beds, attend to 362,349 patients, and facilitated over 500 million consultations in India with the support of 1,884 health workers.
Similarly, technology firms such as Persistent Systems has developed an Intelligent Digital Engineering Platform, using Azure AI from Microsoft. It has enabled large enterprises across various sectors in India to adopt and integrate LLM technology. By leveraging Azure patterns for observability, data governance, and model registry, the platform provides a comprehensive environment for developing LLM applications.
In November 2022, Microsoft India had launched the Azure Society of Excellence (ASE) in collaboration with premier technology institutes like IITs, IIMs and BITS Pilani to work with startups and their incubation cells. The exclusive program provides technological support and mentorship to startups, helping them to become future-ready. Microsoft has successfully onboarded over 1700 Indian startups to the Microsoft Founders Hub through the ASE. It has also signed memorandums of understanding with 10 leading incubators across Indian technology and management institutes.
Microsoft India engages with a community of two million professional and student developers across 100 cities in India to help them acquire skills and prepare for jobs. This is done with the help of community leaders, Microsoft Valuable professionals (MVP’s) and Azure industry experts along with partnerships with over 100 academic institutions across the country.
In January 2024, Microsoft enabled 100,000 developers to advance their careers in AI through its AI Odyssey initiative. The initiative allowed participants to take the first step towards becoming a subject matter expert in AI by learning new skills and earning Microsoft credentials. Microsoft is expanding the AI Odyssey program to other Asian countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, China, Vietnam, and Thailand, after receiving an overwhelming response from India. The program will also welcome Indian developers who could not participate in the AI Odyssey challenge in January 2024. Phase 2 of the AI Odyssey will run from February 8th, 2024, to June 25th, 2024, aiming to reach another 150,000 developers across Asia.