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Amazon Arm Can Create A New-Age Tech Workforce in India

The functionality within the AWS AI platform leverages 'Amazon Polly' -- a text-to-speech service that uses advanced deep learning technologies

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robots
Robots are revolutionary and are changing the tech world.

Realising the need to create a workforce for Next-Gen technologies, several tech companies have started accelerators and incubators in the recent past to nurture talent in disruptive technologies in India.

On the other hand, global Cloud services platform Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon.com, started on the mission long back to prepare an industry-ready workforce and nurture start-ups in the country. According to a senior AWS executive, the company is working very closely with the entire accelerator and incubator space in India.

Amazon Arm can change the tech world. Wikimedia Commons

“AWS has various programmes that it runs in India that help all the stakeholders further drive invested or incubated companies move forward on New-Age technology. This includes giving AWS credits for free. We do mentorship, we do training. We take them through labs,” Bikram Bedi, Head (India Region) at Amazon Internet Services Pvt Ltd (AISPL), told IANS.

AISPL is an Indian subsidiary of the Amazon Group which undertakes the resale and marketing of AWS Cloud services in the country. “Next, we help them in terms of ‘connect’. One programme we run is called ‘Enterprise Connect’ where we go to a bank or a manufacturing company, for example, and ask what kind of new solutions they are looking for in the digital space.

“They tell us that they are looking at such-and-such five areas. We will then go back to our start-up space and say hey, these AWS customers want these five kinds of solutions. The next step is proof of concepts (POCs) and then adoption,” Bedi informed.

When it comes to creating the right set of skills in the market, AWS has a clear-cut strategy. “The effort is broken into a couple of things. The first is around the existing workforce — start-ups, big enterprises and the thriving small and medium businesses (SMBs), etc. We regularly run training classes. Every office that we open in this country has a training room attached to it,” Bedi told IANS. AWS has been running training prgrammes for the existing customers across segments — around system administration, solution architecture and more.

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“The second piece you need to focus on is the emerging workforce, like students. We’ve built two separate programmes for them. One is called ‘Educate’ and the other is called ‘Academy,'” the AWS executive said. With the increasing demand for Cloud employees, AWS Educate provides an academic gateway for the next generation of IT and Cloud professionals.

Educate is primarily a shorter duration programme that helps academicians build assets, study programmes and learning modules around AWS. “Academy is the full-term course. We are working with a number of educational institutes to see how we can help build the right skill-sets for the market,” Bedi added.

The third part of building skills is to go out and organise regular outreach programmes across communities. AWS recently organised a full-day programme around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) called the “AIML Conclave” in Bengaluru that was attended by business leaders, data scientists, engineers and developers.

The event helped developers learn about Amazon AI and real-world use cases developed by Amazon and AWS customers — to build smart, customer-centric, scalable solutions in the Cloud and on the edge, using Amazon AI, AWS Internet of Things (IoT) and AWS Deep Learning.

This revolutionary technology can assist in IoT and Machine Learning.

AWS AI is also helping Indian developers build chatbots. Haptik, an AI-based chatbot platform, has partnered with AWS to offer solutions to customers in the country. In cooperation with AWS, Haptik aims to rapidly expand in the Indian chatbot AI market.

The functionality within the AWS AI platform leverages ‘Amazon Polly’ — a text-to-speech service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesise speech that sounds like a human voice. “We are striving hard to reach out to the wider community in India. We are trying to connect several pieces into one and create a right mix of skilled workforce for the new technologies in the market,” Bedi told IANS. IANS

Next Story

National Clean Air Programme Should Set Higher Targets

Air pollution in India is now a national security issue. It needs as much attention and budget provision as discussion and sense of urgency in the procurement of defence equipment

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India, air pollution
An Indian Air Force soldier drinks tea as he stands guard next to rifles during a break at the rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a cold winter morning in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

By Rajendra Shende 

There is a striking similarity between Paris Climate Agreement and India’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) launched recently. The Paris Agreement is an agreement by the countries to map a global action to keep global warming two degrees centigrade below pre-industrial level.

It utterly lacks teeth to deal with issues, among others, non-compliance and the essential need for finance and technology transfer for achieving that target. Volunteerism is the undercurrent on which the shaky edifice of Paris Agreement rests.

India’s NCAP is a similar story. It is a plan to make a plan to keep the air quality that meets the norms of the World Health Organisation (WHO). While the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) deserves all the appreciation and encouragement to get going on the job, though quite late and definitely five years behind schedule of another polluted country, China. Non-recognition of the nation-wide threat seems to be the undercurrent on which this well-intended and much-needed national programme rests.

To be fair, the anti-pollution measures have already begun in India over the last decade, though in bits and pieces and through knee-jerks, mainly in setting air quality and vehicle emissions standards, national air quality monitoring programme and indices, fuel quality norms etc.
Even after 42 measures issued earlier by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and graded response action plan that addresses the seasonal and level of severity for Delhi and other cities, air pollution remains a national challenge of Himalayan proportions.

The only major action that has been effective in providing the immediate benefits is extraordinary and accelerated level of penetration of LPG-use in the household and in public transport like buses and auto-rickshaws. Energy efficiency measures through use of LED bulbs, efficient fans, refrigerators and air conditioners have helped in reducing the consumption of fossil fuel in generating extra electricity and the air pollution.

Credit certainly goes to the present government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal. Sadly, India still remains on top of the list of the countries where a majority of the mega cities have air quality which is a hundred times worse than the WHO norms.

Nearly 50 per cent of the top most polluted 30 cities are in India. Delhi is now more known dubiously as the world” air-pollution capital rather than India’s political capital. Out of the seven million deaths that take place globally, as per WHO, due to outdoor and indoor pollution, nearly 1.25 million deaths ( 2017) take place in India.

Delhi. air pollution
A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

About 51 per cent of these deaths were of people younger than 70. More than four decades of the efforts on a ‘smokeless chulha”(domestic cooking stove), first by the government and then by the mushrooming national and international NGOs, the deaths in 2017 due to indoor pollution caused by the burning of the solid fuel in cooking stoves stands at half a million, as per one report. This in a country where clean environment and pollution-free air and water are constitutionally mandated.

India” efforts at the highest level really started more than four decades back when The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, was enacted under Article 253 of the Indian Constitution to enhance the well-being of its citizens which is now deep-rooted in India” development philosophy and strategy. The 106 pages of the NCAP with nearly 63 pages of substantive text and rest broad strategies and annexes represent, at best, good intentions and a structured way to move forward. The document, however, grossly overlooks the nation-wide emergency and drastic measures needed to redress the grim, dangerous and fast-deteriorating situation.

In a country where emergency measures are not unfamiliar, one wonders why the NCAP sounds like any other plan that embodies elephantine speed of execution.

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The goal of the NCAP is to meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in the country in a stipulated time-frame. It recognises that internationally, the successful actions had been city-specific rather than country-wide. It also recognises that 35-40 per cent reduction of pollutants in five years for cities, such as Beijing and Seoul, particularly in regard to particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10) concentrations. Hence, the target of 20-30 per cent reduction in such concentration by 2024 is proposed under the NCAP (2017 as base year).

Recognising Modi” proclamation that the 21st century is going to be India” century, it is not clear why the NCAP target is lower than what is achieved in Beijing and Seoul. If India takes the top place in GDP growth globally, why do we have such low targets in meeting air quality over five years, particularly considering the fact that it is the 65 per cent of India” young population would be the main victims of the worsening air quality?

Air pollution in India is now a national security issue. It needs as much attention and budget provision as discussion and sense of urgency in the procurement of defence equipment. (IANS)