Microsoft and NSDC join hands for the Imagine Cup 2021 in India

A promotional poster for the Imagine Cup India.
  • Innovation challenge for youth to solve critical social and sustainability issues with technologies like AI
  • World champions of Imagine Cup 2021 will win USD 75,000 along with a mentorship opportunity with Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella

New Delhi, December 3, 2020: Microsoft India and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) are joining hands for the India edition of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2021, an annual innovation challenge for students and technology enthusiasts. Imagine Cup is a global competition designed to empower students to apply artificial intelligence and other technologies to solve some of the world’s most critical social and sustainability issues.

This year’s Imagine Cup will be held virtually with students competing to solve global challenges across four categories: Earth, Education, Health, and Lifestyle.

As knowledge partner, NSDC will enable nation-wide reach of the competition across states, districts, and skill development centers. Together, Microsoft and NSDC will conduct virtual Imagine Camps across the country to drive awareness and educate students about the use of advanced technologies in their projects. Students will get a chance to hear from past winners of the Imagine Cup about their experience and advice on tips and tricks.

Speaking about this, Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft, said, “As economies focus on building resilience, we are witnessing the power of technology and innovation to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges at scale. The Imagine Cup serves as a platform for the youth of India to couple technology with innovative ideas and build something that matters to them, makes a difference in their communities and creates societal impact. Our partnership with NSDC is aimed at empowering young people across the country to collaborate, innovate and build for a sustainable future.”

Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, NSDC, said, “The country’s economic development depends on innovations, high-tech jobs and new-age skills. Imagine Cup underscores the importance of skills and learning in achieving inclusive and sustainable development of the youth. It is our endeavor to provide opportunities and platforms to harness their talent and prepare them for a globally competitive world. NSDC is pleased to join hands with Microsoft and exchange knowledge related to digital skills demand and future requirements.”

About the Imagine Cup:
Imagine Cup is Microsoft’s flagship technology and innovation challenge for students, designed to inspire students to create innovative solutions that tackle some of the world’s biggest social, environmental, and health challenges. Held annually since 2003, the Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition, affectionately known by participants as the “Olympics of student technology competitions.”

Imagine Cup 2021:
The 2021 edition of Imagine Cup will be the first virtual edition of the challenge. At Imagine Cup 2021, students and technology enthusiasts aged 16+ are invited to build unique technology solutions leveraging Microsoft’s technology to build purpose-driven solutions. The competition will be held in four rounds for participants:

  • Registration and Microsoft Learn Challenge
  • Regional Knockout Series: Project submission
  • National semifinals
  • India finals online

Registrations are now open and will close on December 31, 2020.

Awards: The top two teams from India will get a guaranteed spot in the world finals and will be mentored by Microsoft experts. Four teams (1 per category-Earth, Education, Health and Lifestyle) will get a chance to win a Surface Go 2, with various other prizes for runners up and round winners. At the world finals, the top four teams will be awarded USD 10,000 each for the best solution in each category. The world champion will take home, the Imagine Cup and win an additional USD 75,000 along with a mentorship opportunity with Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella.

About Microsoft India:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 13,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian start-ups, businesses, and government organizations.

About National Skill Development Corporation:
National Skill Development Corporation, working under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, is a unique public-private-partnership which aims to catalyze creation of quality vocational training ecosystem in India. Since inception in 2010, NSDC has trained more than 2.5 crore people through its partnership with 600+ training partners, 11,000+ training centers spread over 600+ districts across the country. NSDC has established 37 Sector Skill Councils and is implementing Government’s flagship skill development schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK), National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), among others.

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