IBM, Orissa Government Sign MoU To Introduce STEM For Girls

The collaboration is part of a three-year programme between IBM and Indian state governments to increase the participation of girls and women in STEM careers.

IBM, today, announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with The Department of School and Mass Education, Government of Orissa to introduce 'IBM STEM for Girls' programme across 100+ high secondary schools across districts that will advance the skills and careers of 20,000 students and 10,000 boys  in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

'STEM for Girls' is an IBM Corporate Social Responsibility initiative primarily aimed at improving education-to-work and career pathways for girls who are studying in Government schools. The collaboration is part of a three-year programme between IBM and Indian state governments to increase the participation of girls and women in STEM careers.

"It is important for the entire ecosystem to come together to address the rising skill gap in the country and invest in the future of our workforce. Our collaboration with IBM  will equip students with the right skills for jobs of the future and represent a diverse workforce," said Chitra Arumugam, Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Government, School & Mass Education Department, Bhubaneswar.

The demand for a highly qualified workforce in India is quickly increasing with the acceleration of emerging technologies like Cloud and AI. The ‘IBM STEM for Girls’ programme features a comprehensive approach that builds technical capabilities as well as life and self-actualization skills.

The programme includes imparting training in digital literacy, coding and technology skills; 21st-century skills and career development, with an aim to enable girls’ empowerment and increase their interest in STEM education and careers.

Rumi Mallick Mitra, Leader, Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM India Pvt. Ltd, said, "If we want India’s talent base to compete in the global economy it becomes imperative to upskill them. Our collaboration with Odisha government  will help students to better align with market shifts and industry needs. IBM has been at the forefront and investing in the empowerment of the students to make them future-ready and increase the talent pool."

In March this year, IBM announced a significant engagement in India to advance the skills and careers of more than 200,000 (2 lakh) female students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The collaborations began with the signing of agreements with three state governments -- Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh -- and are planned to widen to several other states. The programme will enrol hundreds of more schools in the coming months.

IBM new collar skilling initiatives in India also include:

  • A two-year Advanced Diploma Programme in emerging technologies created in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, which will be available to 100 Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), including 50 all-women ITIs, over the next three years. IBM will also offer internships of up to five months to some students, presenting an opportunity for them to further deepen their skills and understanding in emerging fields such as Cloud and AI. Currently, 40 ITI’s have been enlisted to initiate the 2 years diploma programme in this academic year.
  • As part of IBM’s ongoing engagement with the Government of India targeting young innovators through the Atal Tinkering Labs initiative, some 4,000 mentors and 600,000 mentees will benefit from a unique AI-powered Mentor Platform. Developed with the IBM Watson cognitive engine, the platform monitors mentor and mentee interactions to provide personalized support to those using the platform. IBM has thus far on-boarded 2,500 mentors, including 300 IBMers, to this platform by collaborating with the national Mentor of Change mission.

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