ARMONK, USA & BENGALURU, INDIA: IBM and the Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corp. (KVTSDC), an organization within the Department of Labour in India's fastest growing state, announced a new partnership to help millions of citizens find work using their mobile devices. Once created, this technology could be applied in emerging economies around the world.
The World Wide Web has provided unfettered access to information, opened new business and employment opportunities, transformed the way we communicate, helped eliminate geographical barriers and paved the way for global collaboration and integration. But in many of the world's most rapidly growing economies, there is a lack of affordable access to personal computers and the Internet – and in rural areas in particular, widespread illiteracy compounds this gap.
Today, in India, only 7 percent of the population has access to the Web, but at the same time mobile phones and services are becoming increasingly affordable and reliable, creating the emergence of a Mobile Web and opening the door for citizens to access important government services through their phones.
Recognizing this opportunity, IBM and KVTSDC will team up to leverage cloud computing, the mobile Web and the Spoken Web to help millions of people across the state find work. A new cloud computing platform will allow job seekers and job providers to connect, expand searches and cross reference candidates, get training and certifications, understand emerging job trends and share information all through their mobile devices and in their local languages.
In addition, a mobile crowdsourcing platform will enable candidates to rank and refer jobs to one another and drive rapid dissemination of available opportunities. Unique skill matching techniques will be used to match job seekers with available jobs while employability analytics will allow employers and the government to understand demand and supply trends. The employability marketplace will run on the IBM Cloud providing a pay-as-you-go model and elastic scaling.
KVTSDC believes this technology will increase the penetration of its programmes and enable a vibrant employment ecosystem across the state.
"The Karnataka state government is a pioneer in skill development in the country. Our goal is to empower our citizens and create employment opportunities in the state by creating a conducive environment for all the stakeholders. This platform will help us expand our horizon and reach people in the most remote parts of Karnataka," said Dr. Vishnukanth Chatpalli, executive director of KVTSDC. "We are glad that IBM, one of the largest technology companies in the world, has partnered with us in this first of its kind endeavor."
In addition to cloud computing IBM plans to integrate the Spoken Web. The Spoken Web creates a system that is comparable to the World Wide Web using speech technology and the telephone – landline or mobile. Spoken Web helps people create voice sites using their telephones. The user gets a unique phone number which is equivalent to a URL and when other users access this voice site they get to hear whatever content has been uploaded there.
The first phase of the project will be implemented in two districts, Mandya and Bijapur, and will be expanded to eight more districts in a second phase. Karnataka is the first state to set up a skill commission and take the lead in the Government of India's objective of having 500 million skilled people in India by 2022. The Karnataka Skill Commission and the KVTSDC were constituted in September 2008 with the objective of creating 1 million new jobs within 5 years.
"IBM's vision is to apply technologies that enable skills and education transformation and economic uplift in growing economies around the world," said Paul Bloom, CTO - Telecommunications, IBM Research. "This project is a powerful example of how we can take advantage of societal trends and infuse them with technology to solve real problems in growth economies."