Spe­cial Fea­tures: Cisco chants In­no­va­tion Mantra

From so­cial ini­tia­tives to skill de­vel­op­ment, the net­work­ing ma­jor fo­cused on lever­ag­ing to­mor­row’s dig­i­tal op­por­tu­ni­ties

PCQuest - - CONTENTS - Jy­oti Bha­gat | jy­otib@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

At the Cisco In­dia Sum­mit 2018, the com­pany high­lighted its var­i­ous ini­tia­tives and pro­grams to pos­i­tively im­pact 50 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries in In­dia by 2025. This goal is aligned to Cisco’s global vision of im­pact­ing 1 bil­lion lives world­wide by 2025 through dig­i­tal so­lu­tions. As part of its phil­an­thropic and Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity ef­forts, Cisco-high­lighted the crit­i­cal role in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy (ICT) and pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships play to ac­cel­er­ate global prob­lem solv­ing and pos­i­tively im­pact peo­ple, so­ci­ety, and the planet. Cisco is also us­ing its strength in con­nect­ing peo­ple and things to the In­ter­net and work­ing to cre­ate a ro­bust ecosys­tem in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions in In­dia to ef­fect real change in the ar­eas of crit­i­cal hu­man needs, ed­u­ca­tion, eco­nomic empowerment, and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity.

Cisco So­cial Ini­tia­tives and Part­ner­ships to Pos­i­tively Im­pact 50 Mil­lion Ben­e­fi­cia­ries in In­dia by 2025 En­trepreneur­ship

Cisco is setting up a net­work of “Cisco thing Q-ba­tor” IoT mak­erspaces or in­no­va­tion labs in five aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions in In­dia with the ob­jec­tive of dig­i­tal skills de­vel­op­ment and en­trepreneur­ship en­able­ment

“Ac­cord­ing to a Cisco re­search, by 2030 there will more than 500 bil­lion de­vices con­nected to the In­ter­net. This will have a pro­found ef­fect on not just busi­nesses but our ev­ery­day lives too. In or­der to make the most of the plethora of op­por­tu­ni­ties that lie ahead of us, we will need to har­ness the power of tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate an in­clu­sive dig­i­tal econ­omy. With our phil­an­thropic and CSR ef­forts, we are com­mit­ted to pos­i­tively im­pact 50 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries in In­dia the next seven years. We work with some of the most for­ward think­ing part­ners, not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, col­lab­o­ra­tive gov­ern­ments and scores of pas­sion­ate em­ploy­ees to re­ally make a dif­fer­ent to the world that we in­habit.”

among stu­dent com­mu­ni­ties. Cisco is col­lab­o­rat­ing with the NASSCOM Foun­da­tion for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­gram. The mak­erspaces will en­able stu­dents to get hands on with tech­nol­ogy and con­ceive dig­i­tal so­lu­tions to lo­cal prob­lems. The five aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions that have been cho­sen for es­tab­lish­ment of ‘thingQ­ba­tor’ mak­erspaces are In­dian In­sti­tute of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy and Man­age­ment, (IIITMK), Ker­ala, IIT-BHU Varanasi, Am­rita Univer­sity Coim­bat­ore, Indira Gandhi Delhi Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity for Women- Delhi and Tri­dent Academy of Tech­nol­ogy Bhubaneswar.

Cisco is also sup­port­ing N/Core, an in­cu­ba­tor for so­cial sec­tor star­tups, to launch N/Core tech - an ex­clu­sive track fo­cused on in­cu­bat­ing early-stage non­prof­its that lever­age dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy to pos­i­tively im­pact so­ci­ety and solve some of In­dia’s most press­ing so­cial chal­lenges. N/Core tech will pri­mar­ily fo­cus on in­cu­bat­ing com­pa­nies that are devel­op­ing so­lu­tions in the ar­eas of crit­i­cal hu­man needs, ed­uca-

“For In­dia to com­pete in the global econ­omy, strate­gic col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween busi­nesses, gov­ern­ments and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions is crit­i­cal. At Cisco, our col­lab­o­ra­tions and pro­grams are fo­cused on har­ness­ing the power of tech­nol­ogy to sup­port and launch a gen­er­a­tion of prob­lem solvers who will in­no­vate like tech­nol­o­gists, think like en­trepreneurs and act as so­cial change agents.”

tion, and eco­nomic empowerment. Cisco will sup­port up to 20 or­ga­ni­za­tions dur­ing the first year in two co­horts. Each se­lected startup will re­ceive an in­no­va­tion grant of INR 10 Lakhs. In ad­di­tion, the startup will have ac­cess to a set of men­tors and tech­nol­ogy ex­perts from Cisco along with N/Core part­ners.

With the help of Cisco’s CSR grant, N/Core will in­vest in early-stage, tech-led ideas part­ner­ing with high-im­pact so­cial sec­tor star­tups to cre­ate scal­able and sus­tain­able so­lu­tions. In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing cash grants, Cisco will also sup­port these star­tups with men­tor­ing, em­ployee vol­un­teer­ing, and ca­pac­ity build­ing.

As part of its ef­forts to ac­cel­er­ate In­dia’s dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, Cisco is scal­ing up its Cisco Net­work­ing Academy pro­gram to cre­ate a pool of highly-skilled tech­nol­ogy pro­fes­sion­als. Through this pro­gram schools, col­leges, uni­ver­si­ties and other non­profit ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions are pro­vided Cisco- de­vel­oped cur­ricu­lum in com­puter net­work­ing, se­cu­rity and IoT that can be in­te­grated with the in­sti­tu­tion’s own ed­u­ca­tional of­fer­ing. Cisco also sup­ports pub­lic sec­tor or­ga­ni­za­tions like The Te­lan­gana Academy for Skills and Knowl­edge, and the ICT Academy of Ker­ala, to pro­vide train­ing on net­work­ing and cy­ber­se­cu­rity skills aimed at im­prov­ing em­ploy­a­bil­ity of en­gi­neer­ing grad­u­ates in those states. By 2020 Cisco aims to cre­ate a pipe­line of 250,000 skilled stu­dents in In­dia

as well as a mar­ket­place for high-value tech­nol­o­gy­based ca­reers. Al­ready over 155,000 stu­dents have suc­cess­fully picked up es­sen­tials skills from over 306 acad­e­mies across the coun­try.

• Tal­ent Outreach Pro­gram is a six-month pro­gram to pro­vide high school stu­dents an early ex­po­sure to tech­ni­cal skills to bet­ter pre­pare them as global prob­lem solvers. In its sec­ond year, 70 stu­dents from 12 schools have been en­rolled for this pro­gram. The stu­dents of this pro­gram use tech­nolo­gies like HTML, JavaScript, An­gu­larJS, Boot­strap, PHP, MySQL, Python, IoT (rasp­berry pi) to cre­ate plat­forms and apps to ad­dress real life chal­lenges faced by schools and stu­dents. Some of the projects in­clude a school­wide book shar­ing app through which stu­dents can up­load books to share, read and learn with other stu­dents; and an RFID-based at­ten­dance sys­tem for class stu­dents. The lat­ter so­lu­tion elim­i­nates the te­dious time- con­sum­ing task of man­u­ally track­ing at­ten­dance and min­i­mizes risk of er­ror.

Cisco also launched the Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence (CoE) for In­ter­net of Things (IoT) at R V Col­lege of En­gi­neer­ing, Ben­galuru to give the next gen­er­a­tion of stu­dents the dig­i­tal skills and train­ing nec­es­sary for jobs in the dig­i­tal econ­omy. On com­ple­tion of the course, stu­dents and work­ing pro­fes­sion­als re­ceive cre­den­tial cer­tifi­cates jointly given by RVCE and Cisco. In the last one year, 1000 stu­dents have ben­e­fit­ted from this CoE.

• 'Step Up for In­dia – Spo­ken English Pro­gram’ is in its fourth year and has ben­e­fit­ted over 300+ stu­dents from three gov­ern­ment schools in Ban­ga­lore. The pro­gram de­liv­ers struc­tured spo­ken English classes to stu­dents in grade 4 and 5 study­ing in gov­ern­ment schools where the medium of in­struc­tion is the lo­cal lan­guage. These struc­tured in­ter­ven­tions are also ex­e­cuted in the space of STEM learn­ing such as in the case of ‘Project Smiles Through Sci­ence’ which en­deav­ors to pro­vide an ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing plat­form for stu­dents on the ba­sics of ro­bot­ics through struc­tured year-long pro­grams lever­ag­ing the ex­per­tise and men­tor­ship of Cisco vol­un­teers. 120+ stu­dents from Parikrma Hu­man­ity Foun­da­tion ben­e­fit­ted from the pro­gram last year.

• Crit­i­cal Hu­man Needs

Cisco is also sup­port­ing the Ak­shaya Pa­tra Foun­da­tion, the world’s largest (non-profit) mid- day meal pro­gram to help feed chil­dren across the coun­try and dig­i­tize their kitchens across seven lo­ca­tions in In­dia. While em­ployee giv­ing, vol­un­teer­ing and com­pany match­ing grants help feed 35,000 chil­dren ev­ery day, Cisco’s en­ter­prise- grade net­work and col­lab­o­ra­tion suite is con­nect­ing Ak­shaya Pa­tra kitchens and their of­fices to ef­fi­ciently track their kitchen pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion, sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tics. This digi­ti­sa­tion ef­fort is ex­pected to in­crease Ak­shaya Pa­tra’s op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency by about five per­cent which will help them ex­tend the mid- day meal pro­gram to over 28,500 stu­dents ev­ery day and one step closer to their goal of feed­ing 5 mil­lion chil­dren by 2020

• En­vi­ron­men­tal Sus­tain­abil­ity

Cisco is also com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing green­house

gas emis­sions and adopt­ing re­new­able en­ergy. It re­cently signed two so­lar power pur­chase agree­ments (PPAs) that will col­lec­tively de­liver 85,000 megawatthours of clean, re­new­able elec­tric­ity ev­ery year to the lo­cal electric grid near its Ban­ga­lore cam­pus. These agree­ments will pro­vide nearly 40 per­cent of the elec­tric­ity that is needed to power Cisco’s Ban­ga­lore cam­pus.

Cisco has also in­stalled one megawatt of so­lar pan­els across all of its rooftops at the Ban­ga­lore cam­pus. Col­lec­tively, these on­site so­lar in­stal­la­tions and two new so­lar PPAs will re­duce Cisco’s Scope 2 green­house gas emis­sions at its Ban­ga­lore cam­pus by over 70,000 met­ric tonnes per year, which is equiv­a­lent to tak­ing 15,000 cars off roads or plant­ing 1.8 mil­lion trees.

Mean­while in his pre­sen­ta­tion Sud­hir Na­yar, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Cisco In­dia talks about SMBs: The Need to Go Dig­i­tal


• Dig­i­tal Tech­nolo­gies can help SMBs grow be­yond lo­cal bound­aries

• Dig­i­tal SMBs grow prof­its up to twice as fast as coun­ter­parts off­line

• They em­ploy 5 times more em­ployes com­pared to off­line

• Rais­ing In­ter­net Pen­e­tra­tion and up­take of Dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies by SMBs could help in­crease their con­tri­bu­tion to GDP by 10%

But… Tech­nol­ogy Adop­tion is ex­tremely low

• Over 70% are com­pletely off­line / 28% are con­nected - only 2% are dig­i­tally en­gaged

• Avail­abil­ity of IT Skills/ex­per­tise

• Chal­lenges with De­ploy­ment

• In­vest­ments - Fi­nanc­ing, ROI, how to buy?

V C GOPALRATNAM, Cisco Foun­da­tion & Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, IT & CIO – In­ter­na­tional

HARISH KRISHNAN, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Pub­lic Af­fairs & Strate­gic En­gage­ments, Cisco In­dia & SAARC

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