At a press conference in New Delhi, India, representatives of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) announced that the council would deploy Microsoft’s Live@edu over the next three months to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India.
AICTE is the governing body for technical education in India which certifies and manages technical colleges and institutes in a country while Live@edu is a hosted communication and collaboration service that offers email, Microsoft Office Web Apps, instant messaging and storage facilities to students. The service is being provided for free by Microsoft as part of its education initiative.
It is estimated that more than 7 million students and nearly 500,000 faculty members of AICTE will be getting access to the service which will make AICTE Microsoft’s largest cloud customer ever. In return, the cloud deployment will help a student access high-quality technical education and collaboration.
Dr. S.S. Mantha, Chairman of AICTE was quoted saying:
Microsoft’s cloud platform will make for a truly progressive ecosystem and contribute to the country’s technical education by providing a better communication and collaboration platform for institutes and students.
Microsoft looks at education as a priority area and firmly believes that it is technology which offers possibilities to empower teachers, students and nation as a whole. And no doubt India is witnessing rapid economic activity and growth. This is one of the main reasons in the decision to choose Microsoft’s cloud services for education. Also, large government departments are prime targets for vendors such as Microsoft and Google.
In addition, users find cloud computing as inexpensive and simple – because it cuts short both, the time and money required for installing software and managing servers. AICTE is also planning to deploy Microsoft Office 365 for education sometime soon.
The full deployment of Live@edu is expected to be completed by June 2012.