Microsoft India and the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) have got together to launch CyberShikshaa, a 3-year program to create a robust pool of skilled women professionals and bolster the cybersecurity ecosystem in the country. DSCI is a premier industry body on data protection in India, setup by NASSCOM.
The CyberShikshaa initiative is supported by Ministry of Information Technology (MeitY)’s Information Security Education & Awareness (ISEA) and recognizes the growing potential of cybersecurity as a sunrise segment and the need for a large base of diverse industry-ready talent.
According to NASSCOM, the strength of the women workforce in the IT-ITeS industry currently stands at 34%. As part of CyberShikshaa, 1000 women from underserved communities will be trained in ten locations across the country and offered employment opportunities on successful completion of the course. In addition to establishing a strong training network with competent trainers and infrastructure, it will work to facilitate partnerships amongst government, industry and academia.
The program is open to women science graduates between the age of 20-27 years. The curriculum will comprise an interactive, 4-month training course with a combination of theory, case studies and practical hands on projects managed by a group of training partners led by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). It will also include mentoring sessions and workshops with industry leaders; soft skills training and technical sessions by Microsoft employee volunteers.
India is fast emerging as a prime destination for offshore cybersecurity R&D and security operations centers. This will lead to the next wave of jobs and CyberShikshaa aims to develop a comprehensive ecosystem and evangelize women to harness the opportunities of cybersecurity as a career.
The initiative is part of Microsoft’s commitment to providing the underprivileged with the right skills for sustainable livelihood options in a technology driven world. Till date, Microsoft has helped skill around 700,000 young people from rural, tribal, and migrant communities of whom more than 400,000 have been placed in jobs.