Monday, April 16, 2012

AICTE adopts Microsoft’s cloud-based solution to improve technical education

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Microsoft Corporation announced that AICTE will deploy Microsoft Live@edu over the next three months to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India. The cloud deployment will expand students’ access to high-quality technical education and collaboration.

Live@edu is a hosted communication and collaboration service that offers e-mail, Microsoft Office Web Apps, instant messaging and storage to AICTE’s more than 7 million students and nearly 500,000 faculty members, for a total reach of 7.5 million users — roughly double the size of the Los Angeles population. Live@edu is the leading cloud suite for education, with more than 22 million people using the service worldwide. At 7.5 million users, the AICTE is Microsoft’s largest cloud customer ever. 

“Microsoft’s cloud platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country’s technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students,” said Dr. S. S. Mantha, Chairman of AICTE.

AICTE is the governing body for technical education in India and is responsible for certifying and managing technical colleges and institutes. The technology industry and higher education are both becoming increasingly vital to the economy. To carry out its charge of evaluating the curriculum and quality of education for all technical institutes across the country, AICTE needed to have consistent and timely communication with these colleges, some of which are located in the remote districts of the country. Live@edu is the first step in AICTE’s deployment of Microsoft cloud computing for education. AICTE also plans to deploy Microsoft Office 365 for education when it becomes available later this year, providing access to Microsoft Exchange Online e-mail and calendar, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and Microsoft Office Professional as the technical infrastructure to support member colleges and institutes.

Kapil Sibbal, Union Minister for HRD, said, “India is seeing rapid economic activity and growth.  Developing India’s youth and their skills is going to play an important role in the country’s inclusive growth.  The union budget also laid emphasis on skill development and so does the proposed 12th Five Year Plan with a National Policy on Skill development. The PPP model (public-private partnership) is most essential in running and managing training institutions to address the skill gap most efficiently. Microsoft’s commitment to empower students by deploying Microsoft Live@edu for 7.5 million users across the country with AICTE is commendable and a step towards an informed and developing India. I congratulate both AICTE and Microsoft on this significant milestone.”

The implementation is already underway and is being managed by Microsoft and a set of Live@edu partners. Full deployment is expected to be complete by summer 2012.

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