Microsoft Plan for talent pool

In a bid to expand the tech talent pool, Microsoft plans to set up a university in Bangalore to impart high end computer education. If the proposal comes through, this will be the company’s first independent educational venture in the world. If the proposal gets government nod, this may also be India’s first university run by a multinational company.

The university will offer a wide range of high-end computing courses and may train about 1,000 students.

State IT and BT secretary said: Negotiations are still on. Microsoft is drawing up a road map and deciding on the viable media to execute the project. A high level committee headed by chief minister will evaluate the project and take a final decision.

Microsoft will require clearances from the Union ministry of human resources development and the University Grants Commission to open the varsity. This is Microsoft’s first big educational venture in India, though it has taken several initiatives for higher education in China. In fact, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is an honorary trustee of Peking University.

Last year, India produced 26 PhDs in computer science, against 1,007 in the US and 2,000 in China. But the irony is, 275 of the 1,007 PhDs produced by the US are Indians. That shows an increased need for high end computer in India.

A couple of months ago, Microsoft approached the Karnataka government with a proposal to set up a university in the city. Following this, the team is said to have conducted another project presentation at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond.

Microsoft will now come back with a formal request and proposal with details on the project outlay, land required to set up the university, via-media (a society trust or another alternative entity) to enter the country’s education industry as a direct partner, courses to be offered, number of students to be trained and the nature of Microsoft’s contribution to manpower development in the country.

Microsoft had announced the release of several education focused products and resources, including Microsoft Student Encarta Premium 2008.

Microsoft also organizes the Imagine Cup every year that invites students from around the world to showcase their software talents on different themes. This year 36 students from Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, UK, and US had the opportunity to interact with Gates and Craig Mundle, chief research and strategy officer of Microsoft where the duo heard the students’ ideas about how technology can transform education in the future. The competition attracted more than 100,000 students from 100 countries this year. The Cup is one of the premier software design competitions in the world that encourages students to work to work on technological and artistic interests outside the classroom.