Thiruvananthapuram: As part of efforts aimed at upgrading the skills of engineering students in the networking arena, ICT Academy of Kerala will collaborate with Cisco India to launch Cisco Networking Academy Programme in the state, Kerala IT Secretary M Sivasankar announced here today.

Cisco will extend the programme to 50 engineering colleges in Kerala, he said, on the sidelines of the two-day ‘Huddle Kerala’ event, one of Asia’s largest startup congregations, which got underway at The Leela Raviz Beach Resort, Kovalam.

Created by Cisco Systems Inc, the parent company of Cisco India, this programme is intended to integrate curriculum in computer networking which has been developed by Cisco. It is to be managed by Nasscom Foundation.

“This intervention by Cisco is of utmost importance to bring about a tremendous change in the networking field as the state is making progress by leaps and bounds in the aforementioned domain,” he noted.

Sivasankar said the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM- K) would also collaborate with Cisco India to launch ‘ThingQubator’ — the first of its kind in the country — which will be an Internet of Things (IoT) networking incubation programme.

Elaborating on the subject, Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), said the CISCO programme is a pre-incubator to help college students create a product in the IoT space. This will be launched in the IIITM-K campus. “To learn the technological advancements, you need the assistance from global industry leaders and Cisco’s intervention here thus is of great prominence,” he added.

Harish Krishnan, CEO, Cisco India, said, “We believe we can learn more through the associations evolve the programme and take it ahead. With high social index in Kerala, the state can be the prime mover as far as technology is concerned and the learning can also be replicated elsewhere.”

In the Cisco Networking Academy programme, the organisation will provide the course, curriculum certification and other infrastructural facilities. “This will generate employment opportunities, especially for women,” he said.

Shrikant Sinha, CEO, Nasscom Foundation, said, “Over the last few years, we have been running social innovation forums and we realized that people needed business inputs and that’s why we decided to create entrepreneur contents to be provided to students which will expose them not only to IoT devices and maker spaces but also to course content and mentorships.”

The next prominent thing is the Singularity University’s Global Impact Challenges (GIC), which are annual competitions held in partnership with sponsor organisations worldwide. The university, a Silicon Valley think tank that offers educational programmes and a business incubator, is globally acclaimed for its new technologies. Its first Indian chapter will be set up in Thiruvananthapuram.

“How this exponential technology can be used to solve problems in environment and education will be its major focus. These challenges are an open call to entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas leveraging exponential technologies,” said Dr Gopinath.

Huddle Kerala is organised by the KSUM in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation. Pointing out that the event has created a positive stir among the students and startups, Sivasankar said around 1300 participants were registered for Huddle Kerala.

Dr Gopinath noted that the main intent of Huddle Kerala is to ‘huddle together’ startups, investors, technology experts and meet on one on one basis, thereby boosting the ecosystem.

“Procure investment and technology opportunities for the startups in Kerala and introduce the Kerala startup ecosystem to the startups outside the state and the country are the potent priorities of the event which will provide a common link between the two parties and thus helping in the next level of development,” he said.

Observing that there are only a few such events in the world, Dr Gopinath said the KSUM is keen to develop it as a property and will hold it annually. Subho Ray, President, IAMAI, was also present.

By Manoj

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