All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Microsoft Corporation announced today that AICTE is deploying Microsoft Live@edu as one solution amongst many such initiatives with IT majors and Industries, 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.
In one such initiative being implemented, Live@edu is a hosted communication and collaboration service that offers email, 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 - making AICTE Microsoft's largest cloud customer ever. 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 email and calendar, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and Microsoft Office Professional as the technical infrastructure to support member colleges and institutes.
"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.
Part of India's Ministry of Human Resource Development, AICTE is the governing body for technical education in India, certifying and managing technical colleges and institutes in a country where 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 remotest districts of India. AICTE and the ministry wanted to deploy a technology system that would provide an efficient platform for students and the institutional framework and would foster efficiency and support broader educational reforms. Microsoft's cloud services for education is one such commitment to education across all the company's products and programmes, as well as the system's seamless interoperation with the entire Microsoft product portfolio. The council was also impressed by Microsoft's extensive experience in higher education and ability to deploy a system across geographically distributed locations without adding significantly to the institutions' IT management costs or complexity.
"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," said Mr. Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for HRD
"We are delighted with the confidence posed by AICTE in Microsoft", said Sanket Akerkar, Managing Director, Microsoft Corporation India Private Limited. "Microsoft has always seen education as a priority area and believes that technology offers possibilities that can help empower not just teachers and students but collectively India as a nation", he added.
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.
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 deployment is the largest cloud deployment ever. Other recent Live@edu adoptions include a 700,000 cloud-based collaboration solution for the Kentucky Department of Education. The online service helps educational institutions provide email and enterprise-grade online tools to students and faculty while helping to reduce costs and simplify IT management.
About Microsoft Live@edu
Live@edu is a no-cost hosted platform for student communication and collaboration, providing industry-leading services to the global education market. Email and calendars with a 10GB inbox, 25GB of additional file storage, document sharing, instant messaging, video chat and mobile email are just part of the feature set. Live@edu provides students with the professional tools to prepare them for college or work from day one. Live@edu is accessible through popular Web browsers for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems - and easy to set up, administer and manage. More than 10,000 schools in more than 130 countries have enrolled in Live@edu, serving 22 million people worldwide. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/liveatedu.
About All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
The AICTE was constituted in 1945 as an advisory body in all matters relating to technical education. AICTE became a statutory body through an Act of Parliament 52, in 1987. The Council, i.e. AICTE was established with a view to the proper planning and co-ordinated development of the technical education system throughout the country. For more information, www.aicte-india.org
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in nine cities - Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune.
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