IBM recently announced that the Department of School and Mass Education, Government of Odisha has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them to launch ‘IBM STEM for Girls’ program for more than 100 high secondary schools in different districts that will boost the careers and skills of 20,000 students along with 10,000 boys in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The association will be part of a 3-year program between the Indian state government and IBM to boost the participation of women and girls in STEM careers. 

With the acceleration of emerging technologies like AI and Cloud, the demand for a highly qualified workforce in India is rapidly increasing. The ‘IBM STEM for Girls’ program includes a thorough methodology that builds technical capacities along with self-realization and life skills. 

‘STEM for Girls’ is an IBM Corporate Social Responsibility activity essentially designed to improve career pathways and education-to-work for girls who are now studying in various Government schools. The program includes 21st-century skills and career development, coding and technology skills and imparting training in digital literacy, mainly to enable girls’ empowerment and boost their interest in STEM careers and education.

Chitra Arumugam, Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Government, School & Mass Education Department, Bhubaneswar, said that it is significant for the whole ecosystem to invest in the future of our workforce by addressing the rising skill gap in the country. In Chitra Arumugam’s opinion, this collaboration with IBM will be representing a diverse workforce and equip students with the right skills for jobs of the future. 

Rumi Mallick Mitra, Leader, Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM India Pvt. Ltd. said that this collaboration with Odisha government is going to help students to better align with industry needs and market shifts. She added that IBM is investing to increase the talent pool by empowering the students to make them future-ready.

In March 2019, IBM also announced a significant commitment in India to boost the careers and skills of more than 2, 00,000 female students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The collaboration efforts started with the signing of an agreement with 3 state governments—Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka – and expected to widen to various other Indian states. The ‘STEM for Girls’ program will select many schools in the coming months. 

IBM’s new collar skilling initiatives in India additionally include: 

  •  A two-year Advanced Diploma Program in emerging technologies created in a joint effort with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, which will be accessible to hundred Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), including fifty all-women ITIs, in coming next 3 years. IBM will likewise offer internships of up to 5 months to certain students, giving them an opportunity to further boost their skills and comprehension in emerging fields, for example, AI and Cloud. At present 40 ITI’s have been enrolled to start the 2 years diploma program in this academic year
  •  As per the IBM’s ongoing engagement with the Government of India focusing on young innovators through the Atal Tinkering Labs initiative, approximately 4,000 mentors & 6, 00,000 mentees will get advantage from a remarkable AI-powered Mentor Platform. Designed with the IBM Watson cognitive engine, the platform will monitor the interactions between mentor and mentee to give customized support to those utilizing the platform.