Mahindra edx

Anant Agarwal, Indian American former director of MIT’s artificial intelligence lab, is president of edX, a nonprofit startup launched by MIT and Harvard. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Times)

Tech Mahindra Jan. 9 announced it has partnered with edX.org, a nonprofit open-source learning platform led by Indian American MIT professor Anant Agarwal and founded by Harvard and MIT.

The initiative is aimed at reskilling Tech Mahindra’s more than 117,000 employees in India and across the globe, enabling their development and growth through world class programs offered by leading universities in areas like Internet of things, cyber security, virtual reality, machine learning, big data and analytics, among others.

“edX is driven by the mission to provide access to high-quality education that transforms lives and advances careers to all learners, everywhere,” Agarwal, the chief executive of edX, said in a statement. “This groundbreaking partnership with Tech Mahindra furthers our mission and underscores our commitment to edX learners in India and around the globe.”

As part of the partnership Tech Mahindra will also offer opportunities for pre-identified learners enrolled in an edX MicroMasters program. Anyone who completes these programs and meets the minimum criteria of education and work experience, Tech Mahindra will assure a job interview with the company.

The MicroMasters programs are an in-depth and rigorous series of courses, with a path to credit from prestigious universities.

“Training and reskilling are more imperative and relevant to reinvent and tap into new market opportunities arising out of technological change and new customer requirements,” Tech Mahindra chief executive officer C.P. Gurnani said in a statement. “Today’s disruptive business landscape demands for our talents to be future ready and it is our prime responsibility that the right tools and innovative pathways are facilitated for them. However, in the new world the employee has to bear the onus as learning accountability is now increasingly shifting to the employee.”

This engagement empowers Tech Mahindra associates with much needed learning opportunities to enhance their careers and stay relevant in the digital age, it said in a statement.

Tech Mahindra has worked out special schemes for its employees where they can self-fund the certifications at discounted rates to be reimbursed on successful completion of the course. The edX platform leverages the years of classroom learning experience of best universities in the world with neuroscience to deliver an active learning experience and holds the learner's interest while learning online.

This is edX’s first ever collaboration of this kind with a global technology brand headquartered in India, and comes on the heels of recent partnership with GE, wherein the company has also guaranteed interviews to learners who complete specific MicroMasters programs, the news release said.

Since first announced in September 2016, edX and 25 international partners have launched 46 MicroMasters programs. Since edX began in 2012, India has consistently remained the platform’s second largest learner base, underscoring the strong need for high-quality education in India and the enthusiasm of Indian learners (see earlier India-West story here).

edX has seen 96 percent growth in its Indian learner base the past several years, it said. With more than 1.5 million Indian learners, India makes up 11 percent of the edX learner base overall.

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