Amaravati, Sep 16 (PTI) Global software giant Microsoft, in conjunction with the Higher Education Department of Andhra Pradesh, will soon launch a skilling project to train 1.62 lakh under-graduate and post-graduate students and unemployed youth in 40 certification courses on future-ready technologies.

This is the first-of-its-kind project to be implemented by Microsoft in India, with the add-on benefit of learning Azure and LinkedIn courses to improve employability.

The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet, which met here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, gave its approval for the project on which the state government would spend Rs 30.79 crore a year.

The project will be implemented through 300-plus colleges and skill development centres across the state, at the end of which the students will be awarded the certificates upon qualifying in the final examination, official sources said.

“Microsoft will provide end-to-end holistic scalable skilling solutions, beginning with learning content and curriculum, training, experiential learning through Azure labs and certification. The trainees will be prepared for employment through highly-customised LinkedIn courses,” a note on the project said.

Microsoft Learn (MS Learn), the main platform of the project, will provide self-paced, digital learning resources to build skills and understand technologies.

Microsoft will provide O365 A1 (academic edition), a top productivity software for conducting online course delivery sessions, recordings of the course lectures, identity and access management to the Higher Education Department.

“This is a secured collaboration platform containing various MS tools, Teams, SharePoint online, OneDrive and video portal Streams. This will be used for conducting the sessions and sharing of content,” the note said.

Also, Microsoft will provide Azure for Students, for building apps, exploring Artificial Intelligence and big data with access to over 25 free services, 14 developer tolls and free learning paths.

“Each registered student will get a USD 100 Azure credit, valid for a year, to access various services for preparing and learning for certification,” it added.

“Each student will have to take many mock tests in the run-up to the final certification test, which will be tough. Thereafter, the student can access 20 free LinkedIn courses to learn the latest and in-demand technologies and soft skills,” a top official of the Higher Education Department told PTI.

He said the state government was highly focused on skill development and Microsoft has come up with a holistic package customised as per our requirements.

“The Microsoft and LinkedIn certifications carry a high value and will help our students improve their employability as they will be well-equipped with the latest technological skills. We want to make this project a role model in the country,” the official added.