Three universities picked to train 10 lakh Indians in climate, health data work

Ashoka University, BITS Pilani, and IIIT Delhi will receive funding of Rs 18.7 crore to train 1 million data practitioners by 2032.

Universities will design curriculum, resources, and interdisciplinary and experiential learning programs. (Representational photo: Wikimedia Commons)Universities will design curriculum, resources, and interdisciplinary and experiential learning programs. (Representational photo: Wikimedia Commons)

R. Radhika | May 16, 2023 | 10:51 AM IST

NEW DELHI: A UK-based organisation–Wellcome, announced selection of three universities in India for its workforce training network in India aimed to tackle climate and health related challenges.

Ashoka University, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani), and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Delhi will receive a funding of Rs 18.7 crores or $ 2.3 million to join’s effort to train 10 lakh “purpose-driven data practitioners by 2032”.

The three universities will engage in designing and rollout of curriculum, resources, and interdisciplinary and experiential learning programs to create and engage top data talent under this programme. The training network convening took place at the University of Chicago Center in Delhi on Monday.

The universities will collaborate with the South Asia branch of Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) located in Chennai. The training programme called “India Data Capacity Accelerator” will train emerging professionals in interdisciplinary data skills required to address challenges at the intersection of climate and health, an official statement said.

Lack of talent

Danil Mikhailov, executive director of emphasised on the need for a workforce training programme that could potentially be absorbed in the data for social impact fields in developing countries.

“Our recent Workforce Wanted report identified an opportunity for 3.5 million jobs in the data for the social impact field in developing countries alone over the next decade. The India Accelerator gets us one step closer to our commitment to training one million, purpose-driven data practitioners by 2032. We are thankful for the support from Wellcome and our partnership with J-PAL, and we look forward to collaborating with these three prestigious universities, who, together, will offer a comprehensive platform that combines academic excellence with practical application and classroom learning.”

As per the official statement, the three selected universities demonstrated experience and capabilities in data, climate, and health along with social impact; intersectionality; and inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA).

“Data for social impact is a growing field in India, but until now, there have been limited academic courses, training, or leadership development programs available,” said Ranjan Bose, director of IIIT-Delhi. “Building on our experience of running existing programs in computing, data science, and AI, we are excited to bring our expertise to this partnership as we work toward increasing capacity in India, and, ultimately, helping improve lives.”

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