Top 3 security priorities for CIOs in 2015

How CIOs should prioritise their efforts around security, from budgeting and managing delivery of service through to working with the rest of the business

When it comes to securing the enterprise, CIOs certainly have their hands full. Whether it’s implementing new services, managing cloud computing and BYOD initiatives, tackling long-standing challenges like data protection, or protecting networks and applications against attacks, there’s plenty going on to keep a CIO awake at night.

However, the danger here is that when something like cloud computing or BYOD comes along and grabs the headlines, resources are directed away from serious security efforts, which puts the business in far more peril.

There’s a lot of investment – from both security companies and businesses – into securing the enterprise from threats targeting those emerging areas mentioned above.

But research has shown that it’s existing threats that are the root cause of security nightmares for CIOs. Nearly half (44%) of all breaches recorded in 2014 came via vulnerabilities that were between two and four years old.

Every one of the top ten vulnerabilities exploited in 2014 took advantage of code written years, or even decades ago, according to research by HP. Known bugs or logic flaws were the primary causes of commonly exploited software vulnerabilities, while server misconfigurations played an important role as well.

This leads to one of the top security priorities for CIOs: updating infrastructure quickly. The previously mentioned research shows that IT departments can neutralise up to 95% of attacks if they make updating their software a priority; updates should be applied as soon as they are available – ideally within two weeks.

For many, that generally means waiting for the second Tuesday of every month when the Microsoft Patch Tuesday rolls around. This is when Microsoft, Adobe and Oracle traditionally release updates and patches for whatever software vulnerabilities they’ve found and fixed.

With the new Windows 10, Microsoft is introducing technology that will further streamline the system of pushing out updates as quickly as possible, moving towards an approach that has become common already in the consumer world. We all know the almost daily cycle of updates we go through with the apps on our mobile devices, while Google Chrome users are already used to continuous updates installing in the background.

This style of fast and automatic update is a great way for businesses to ensure their software is as resilient to attacks as it can possibly be. Automating the update and patching process is a well tested approach to security and well accepted by end-users. However, the IT team has to be confident in the vendors that are supplying updates to them, and be confident that implementing updates won’t upset existing applications or services.

A second priority for CIOs at the moment is one that requires a bit of involvement from the end-user – but it’s one that can make a massive difference to the security of an organisation. It’s to do with improving management of credentials.

This is another area where the enterprise can learn from the consumer space. How many of us have to use some form of two-factor authentication (2FA) when we log into our online banking service? How about email or social media accounts? Having something as simple as a one-time code sent to your mobile device to enable log-on dramatically increases how secure an account is.

Stolen credentials are regularly used in hacking attacks. A recent breach of the German parliament network was enabled by the hackers gaining “administrator rights”, which essentially gave them unrestricted access across the computer network. It’s currently not known what information was accessed or who was responsible – from criminal gangs through to state-sponsored attackers – but fingers have been pointed in Russia’s direction.

Adding that second layer of protection, via 2FA or one-off tokens, won’t make an enterprise totally secure but it will solve a lot of these problems. These days, there really is no excuse for not using 2FA wherever it’s available – long ago, the cost ruled out all but the biggest, most security-conscious companies but that’s no longer the case. In fact, in most instances, adding 2FA support is free.

Adding 2FA is particularly simple for businesses that develop their own software and services in-house. And, this takes us on to our third CIO security priority: securing the development process. More and more businesses are developing their own software, believing that this approach offers the best way to ensure their requirements are met in the most cost-effective manner.

However, if the software development and programming are done internally, they need to be done in a secure way. This emphasis on security is important as it helps the business reduce risk and cut the need to re-work the software at a later date; if and when a vulnerability or other issue is discovered. As pointed out before, the majority of cyber attacks are launched through a vulnerability in an unpatched program, so removing those vulnerabilities reduces that attack vector cyber criminals can use.

There are plenty of courses available that teach developers specific skills that help with building more secure applications or services. If a CIO is going to prioritise developing in a safe and secure way then it may be worth investing in a course for their developers.

These three priorities are simple but incredibly effective ways of making the IT environment – and of course the business as a whole – more secure, and will make a huge difference to the organisation. Things such as automatic updates and enabling 2FA where available are simple to deploy. It’s really not that hard to be a bit more secure.

Sourced from Wolfgang Kandek, Qualys

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Hiring Rockstar’s & Exploring Innovative Minds !!

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RESPONSIBILITY, FREEDOM, EXPLORATION, INNOVATION, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, BECOME FUTURE PROOF, FUN PEOPLE

At BrightStar you will learn, innovate and get freedom to do your work in a way that suits you. With lots of responsibilities accordingly and opportunities for personal- and professional development.

Exploring Innovative Minds !!

Join Our Journey – You have a few years of experience under your belt in Oracle EBS or Oracle Fusion Apps or Oracle Database, and are at crossroads. You know what your career has been missing, and you would like to address it. You are motivated to do something different; something better.

Come talk to us @ BrightStar or send across your latest profile to jobs@bslion.in

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Returning/R2I Professionals

If you are a Oracle FIN/ SCM/ WMS/ EAM/ MANUFACTURING/ FUSION/ BI/ PRIMAVERA professional who lived off the shores for a while and would like to return home – we have terrific opportunities for you. Opportunities span Development (Individual / Lead Roles), Solution Consulting, Sales, Service Delivery, Program Management, PreSales and more. In fact all specializations in Oracle Enterprise Application & Analytics are welcome.


Apply : Interested?

Email us today at jobs@bslion.in or visit our business page at http://www.bslion.in to know more about us.
Remember, don’t forget to tell us about your interests and accomplishments too without being too modest: we want to see you shine! Please also include links to previous work and any online presences, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, or your blog.

Does Inventory Management Solution in the Cloud makes sense!

Inventory management is about knowing what products to have on hand and when to have them on hand. It’s about understanding what you have in your warehouse and where your stock is located. It means maintaining optimal inventory levels that avoid unnecessary capital expenditures, while ensuring you can meet demand and not run out of goods.

Determining the right inventory management system for your business requires assessing your needs today and your plans for future growth. As your company grows, can your inventory management system scale along with it? As your business evolves, does the system offer flexibility to facilitate change? Will it give you the visibility you need to manage inventory requirements?

Traditional on-premise ERP systems and less sophisticated systems like QuickBooks typically lack the real-time visibility required to effectively manage inventory in today’s modern distributors. Many companies resort to unwieldy spreadsheets to manage inventory or rely on gut feel, potentially costing thousands of dollars in emergency replenishment or lost revenue from stock-outs.

Cloud-based inventory management offers a compelling alternative to manual approaches to inventory management or costly on-premise ERP. The best cloud system provides real-time visibility into inventory, with anywhere, anytime access to critical information. It can function at the core of an ERP system, integrating seamlessly with demand planning, financials and logistics. Automated capabilities eliminate manual inputs while maximizing efficiency throughout the inventory lifecycle.

Scalability, flexibility and visibility are the three key elements that comprise an integrated approach to inventory management in the cloud.

Scalability

Spreadsheets or QuickBooks might be adequate for a business just starting out, but growth will quickly outpace their capabilities for inventory management. How can you ensure your inventory management solution scales with your business as you increase your market share and penetration, handling more products, more volume, more customers, more suppliers and more locations over the next two years, five years, 10 years and beyond?

The right cloud inventory management system will scale as your business grows, from a small single-warehouse operation to an international distributor spanning multiple markets. The cloud makes it easy to add users, functionality, warehouses and suppliers—without the large-scale cost and effort required to implement a new on-premise system, or install it in new offices.

A cloud system lets you select the right level of inventory management sophistication for your business or industry. It lets you use only the functionality you need, without needless complexity. As your business grows, cloud inventory management scales with you by offering more sophisticated features and virtually unlimited capacity for more users and information.

Flexibility

With growth comes change in how your company operates. The business processes you had in place five years ago will likely differ substantially from the way you operate five years from now. Can your inventory management system evolve with you? Is it flexible enough to bend with you as your processes change?

These changes could involve simply a modification in reporting to improve inventory management speed and precision. Or they could be changes to how you see information, or deliver data to select managers based on their job function or location. Change could mean adding a new shipper or bar-code system, or introducing capabilities for quantity-based pricing, lot and bin management or landed cost calculations.

A cloud-based inventory management system built with flexibility in mind allows you to define your business processes into the system. It offers flexibility for you to implement customizations and business rules that support your unique requirements. The optimal cloud architecture preserves these customizations for you, so that they remain intact even as the cloud provider periodically upgrades your system to the latest release.

Visibility

Visibility into inventory availability is critical for planning replenishment to meet customer expectations and seasonal or even unexpected changes in demand. Taking this visibility factor further is managing inventory across multiple warehouse locations. In the cloud, this can all be visible from one location or from multiple locations.

In the cloud, you can have real-time visibility into your warehouses and other inventory locations, either domestically or internationally. If you have an international presence, the right multi-subsidiary management system gives you both global visibility and localized control, so that inventory can be managed centrally or managed by location. This type of visibility will help influence purchasing requirements versus transfer requirements.

Unlike spreadsheets or desktop applications, the cloud doesn’t tether you to a desk. Web-based inventory management gives your personnel anywhere, anytime access to real-time data, whether on the road with a mobile device or receiving alerts on the warehouse floor. Metrics-driven dashboards let your managers continuously monitor and improve performance.

The cloud takes inventory management to a new level. It gives you the ability to easily grow with your business. It allows you to configure the system to your business requirements. And it gives you full visibility within your warehouse and across multiple locations.

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Procure to Pay Cycle – P2P : Conceptually

Procure to pay (purchase to pay or P2P) is the process of obtaining and managing the raw materials needed for manufacturing a product or providing a service. It involves the transactional flow of data that is sent to a supplier as well as the data that surrounds the fulfillment of the actual order and payment for the product or service.

The Typical Procure-to-Pay Cycle

These steps are usually involved in your typical procure to pay cycle:

  • Identification of Requirement
  • Authorization of Purchase Request
  • Final Approval of Purchase Request
  • Procurement
  • Identification of Suppliers
  • Inquiries
  • Receipt of the Quotation
  • Negotiation
  • Selection of the Vendor
  • Purchase Order Acknowledgement
  • Advance Shipment Notice
  • Goods Receipt
  • Invoice Recording
  • 3 Way Match
  • Payment to Supplier

Identification of requirement: At this stage the team member of user department (Maintenance, Production, Sales and distribution, administration etc) identifies the requirement and raises the Purchase requisition /Purchase request (PR). This document normally contains description of material, quantity, approx cost, material requirement date, preferred or Standard vendor etc

Authorization of Purchase Request/ Purchase Requisition : If the purchasing value of the PR is higher than that of approval limit of originator then this document is sent to the next higher level (normally immediate supervisor of the originator) for approval. At this stage, the supervisor may return the PR to the originator for modification or can approve it.

Final Approval of PR/Role of Inventory Controller: Once the PR has been authorized by user department then it is available to the inventory controller. Inventory controller shall review the PR and shall check the Open Purchase orders (PO), any other scheduled or planned delivery for the material. If there is any planned delivery or any existing open PO then Inventory controller can return the PR or request the user department to revise the quantity of the material. After the approval of Inventory controller, the approved PR is available to the Procurement department

Procurement: After final authorization of PR, it is available to Buyer. Buyer shall check for any existing Annual Rate Contract or any other contract for the material. If any contract exists then a Call-Off shall be generated and shall be sent to the supplier. In case no contract exists then the Buyer shall initiate supplier search and floating inquiries.

Identification of Suppliers: Buyer shall interact with the user for the possible suppliers, search on the Internet, use referrals, search data base, etc. to identify the suppliers for the material.

Floating of Inquiries: Once the suppliers are identified, Buyer shall send the Request For Quotations/Proposal ( RFQ/RFP) to the supplies. RFQ normally contains Description, Technical Specifications of the material, quantity of the material, term and conditions, delivery date of the material, date of submission of the RFQ,Quality standards, Validity of the suppliers offer, etc.

Receipt of Technical Quotations: After sending the RFQ/RFP to vendors , the buyer shall receive the quotations from the suppliers. Normally, vendors are instructed to send their quotation in a sealed envelope, mentioning only RFQ reference no on it. Quotations are normally opened and signed by 2 or more persons of the department.

Technical Evaluation of Quotations : Quotations are sent to technical department for technical evaluations of the quotations. Here, technical department shall shortlist the quotations based on the technical specifications

Receipt of Commercial Quotations: Once the Technical Evaluation is over, the buyer shall send the advice to shortlisted suppliers for commercial quotations, After receiving the commercial quotations, these shall be opened by two people. Quotation comparison statement is prepared by the buyer to compare all the quotations of the supplies and suppliers are short listed for negotiations.

Negotiation: Short listed suppliers are invited for negotiations. In negotiation buyer can negotiate with the supplier for :

  • Reduction in the prices of the materials
  • Year on year reduction in prices
  • Quantity and Price breaks
  • Delivery Terms and conditions
  • Year on year improvement in the quality
  • Quality i.e. reduction in the nos of defects per lot etc
  • Freight charges
  • Insurance charges
  • Payment terms—for extended payment terms
  • Etc.

Selection of the Vendor: After negotiations with all the selected vendors revised quotations are prepared and vendor is finalized for award of contract based on the weight-age to the commercial, technical parameters, previous performance of the vendor, delivery dates of the material, etc.

Award of Contract : After the vendor is finalized LOI can be sent to him and he may be asked to deposit security or bank guaranty before signing the agreement. Agreement can be of Fixed or Blanket (the same can be mentioned in the RFQ)

Purchase Order : The buyer shall raise the call offs against contracts (Fixed or Blanket). If the value of the PO is more than that of his approval limit he shall forward it to his supervisor for approval else he shall approve and send the purchase order to the supplier.

PO acknowledgement: After receiving the PO the supplier send the acknowledgement to buyer and buyer records the acknowledgement. If any ERP is being used for procurement functions then supplier can remotely download purchase orders and can acknowledge the PO

Advance Shipment Note : The supplier sends the Advance Shipment to buyer as soon as he ships the material to the buying organization. This note normally contains Ship Date, Transporter’s name , Airway Bill No, No of packages, weight of the packages, receiving location address, PO No, description of goods, etc

Goods Receipt : When the goods are received at the warehouse of buyer organization, the receiving staff checks the delivery note, PO no etc and acknowledges the receipt of material. After the material is received the same is checked for quantity in case of discrepancy the same is reported to the vendor.

After the quantity verification the material is kept at inspection locations and material inspector is called for inspection of material. If material is rejected by the inspector the same is sent back to the vendor or the vendor is asked for the rectification at the site. The sound material is moved to respective warehouse locations.

If the buying organization is using ERP then stock account gets debited and liability account gets credited.

Invoice Recording : Vendor send the invoice to accounts department of buying organization for claiming payment. This invoice is entered in to the system, After the entry of invoice in the system, supplier account gets credited and liability account gets debited.

Payment to Supplier : After the supplier account gets credited the payment is released to the vendor

How will you use Oracle Cloud Computing?

Whatever your role in business, modern cloud computing technology can help you see new business opportunities and innovate faster. See how Oracle Cloud Solutions are helping people at all levels of their organizations succeed in modern business.

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What is Cloud Computing?

The simple definition: It’s a style of computing based on shared, elastic resources delivered to users in a self-service, metered manner using web technologies. Yet, if you ask five people “what is cloud computing?” you can expect five different answers. Why? Because what matters to them is not what cloud computing is, but what it does for them.

To fully understand cloud computing across an enterprise, you need to understand the different functional benefits driving cloud’s popularity. Let’s look at cloud through the lens of different roles in an enterprise, and then think about how to craft a cohesive cloud strategy that works for everyone in the enterprise. Let’s start with these important roles.

Business Leaders

This group wants cloud for modern, personalized applications. In the digital economy, companies must execute in real-time, from providing customer experiences to building talent-centric HCM strategies. Your customers want to seamlessly interact with their brand, wherever and whenever they want on social media, mobile, in-store, through the call center, on your website, and when making a purchase online. Speed, integrated processes, and analytics are vital. For these people, cloud often means SaaS-based applications that are fast, simple, and give the business side more control.

IT Leaders – IT also sees enormous value in the cloud, particularly in the application and platform services that let internal IT groups offload technology management. CIOs cannot forget existing infrastructure requirements when they evaluate cloud computing, and cloud services such as PaaS and IaaS can help them integrate applications and create consistent workflows across multiple systems—both on premises and in the cloud—while maintaining security and performance. As a result, IT can move away from technology administration and concentrate on business innovation.
Cloud Builders – Private cloud deployment is booming, as companies see the benefits of faster provisioning, on demand access, and scalability. Cloud builders can help their IT department become agile, cost-efficient private cloud providers. They view cloud from a lifecycle management perspective, from resource management and monitoring to capacity planning and chargeback mechanisms.
Developers – For this group, moving development and testing environments to PaaS platforms allows them to cut significant time from the development cycle by removing management tasks, cutting complexity, and increasing developer productivity.
Total Cloud – The key then is to build a cloud strategy that helps every group define not only what cloud computing means to them, but also how to best use it.

The best use might be to build a cloud behind your firewall. Or it could be to subscribe to cloud applications and compute services from a trusted cloud vendor. Another option is to use infrastructure or application that is dedicated to your organization but hosted by a vendor or a local partner.

Most likely, you’ll be using several of the above of the above scenarios at once. So it makes sense to choose a cloud provider with solutions that are pre-integrated and tested to work across the entire stack, whether in your data center or in the cloud. That way, even though cloud computing means different things to different people, you will have a single, complete, and integrated platform to serve them all.

The original post appeared here

Healthcare Sector in India 2015

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Introduction

Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors – both in terms of revenue and employment. The industry comprises hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment. The Indian healthcare industry is growing at a tremendous pace due to its strengthening coverage, services and increasing expenditure by public as well private players.

The Indian healthcare delivery system is categorised into two major components – public and private. The Government, i.e. public healthcare system comprises limited secondary and tertiary care institutions in key cities and focuses on providing basic healthcare facilities in the form of primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in rural areas. The private sector provides majority of secondary, tertiary and quaternary care institutions with a major concentration in metros, tier I and tier II cities.

India’s primary competitive advantage lies in its large pool of well-trained medical professionals. Also, India’s cost advantage compared to peers in Asia and Western countries is significant – cost of surgery in India is one-tenth of that in the US or Western Europe.

Market Size

According to estimates, the overall Indian health care market today is US$ 65 billion, of which the hospital supplies and health care equipment segment is believed to be only around US$ 4.5-5 million. Health care delivery, which includes hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostics centres, and pharmaceuticals, constitutes 65 per cent of the overall market.

India requires 600,000 to 700,000 additional beds over the next five to six years, which potentially throws an opportunity of more than US$ 25-30 billion. While the existing hospitals would look at expanding their capabilities, a lot of new properties would also come up.

Overall the number of transactions in the healthcare space is going to grow as companies are seeking growth capital. The average investment size by private equity funds in healthcare chains has increased to US$ 20-30 million which was around US$ 5-15 million, said Mr Abhishek P Singh, Associate Director for Healthcare, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The Indian medical tourism industry is pegged at US$ 1 billion per annum, growing at around 18 per cent and is expected to touch US$ 2 billion by 2015.

There is a significant scope for enhancing healthcare services considering that healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP is rising. Rural India, which accounts for over 70 per cent of the population, is set to emerge as a potential demand source. Only three per cent of specialist physicians cater to rural demand.

Investments

The hospital and diagnostic centres attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 2,793.72 million between April 2000 and January 2015, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Some of the major investments in the Indian healthcare industry are as follows:

  • Mylan Inc has signed a deal to acquire the female health care businesses of Famy Care Ltd, a specialty women’s health care company, for US$ 750 million in cash and additional contingent payments of up to US$ 50 million.
  • Sanofi-Synthelabo (India) Ltd had invested Rs 90 crore (US$ 14.47 million) in Apollo Sugar Clinics Ltd (ASCL), a unit of its subsidiary Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd.
  • Apollo Hospitals Enterprise (AHEL) plans to add another 2,000 beds over the next two financial years, at a cost of around Rs 1,500 crore (US$ 241.24 million), as per Mr Prathap C Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman, Apollo Hospitals.
  • Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd has acquired the entire 17.74 per cent stake of Punj Lloyd Ltd in Global Health Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates the Medanta super specialty hospital in Gurgaon, Haryana.
  • CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, has invested US$ 48 million in Narayana Hrudayalaya hospitals, a multi-speciality healthcare provider. With this investment, Narayana Health will expand affordable treatment in eastern, central and western India.
  • Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd (AHLL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, has acquired Nova Specialty Hospitals at an estimated cost of Rs 135-145 crore (US$ 21.71-22.32 million).

Government Initiatives

India’s universal health plan that aims to offer guaranteed benefits to a sixth of the world’s population will cost an estimated Rs 1.6 trillion (US$ 25.73 billion) over the next four years.

Some of the major initiatives taken by the Government of India to promote Indian healthcare industry are as follows:

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in its meeting has approved the proposed merger between Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy, subject to the parties inter alia carrying out the divestiture of their products relating to seven relevant markets for formulations.
  • India and Sweden celebrated five years of memorandum of understanding (MoU). The cooperation in healthcare between India and Sweden will help in filling gaps in research and innovative technology to aid provisioning of quality healthcare.
  • Generic drug maker Mylan Inc and the US-based Abbott Industries have received the CCI’s nod to proceed with their merger.
  • Mr J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has launched the National Deworming initiative aimed to protect more than 24 crore children in the ages of 1-19 years from intestinal worms, on the eve of the National Deworming Day.
  • Under the National Health Assurance Mission, Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s government would provide all citizens with free drugs and diagnostic treatment, as well as insurance cover to treat serious ailments.
  • All the government hospitals in Andhra Pradesh would get a facelift with a cost of Rs 45 crore (US$ 7.23 million), besides the establishment of 1,000 generic medical shops across the State in the next few months.

Road Ahead

India is a land full of opportunities for players in the medical devices industry. The country has also become one of the leading destinations for high-end diagnostic services with tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic facilities, thus catering to a greater proportion of population. Besides, Indian medical service consumers have become more conscious towards their healthcare upkeep.

Telemedicine is a fast emerging sector in India. In 2012, the telemedicine market in India was valued at US$ 7.5 million, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20 per cent to US$ 18.7 million by 2017.

India’s competitive advantage also lies in the increased success rate of Indian companies in getting Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) approvals. India also offers vast opportunities in R&D as well as medical tourism.

There are vast opportunities for investment in healthcare infrastructure in both urban and rural India. About 1.8 million beds are required by the end of 2025. Additionally, 1.54 million doctors and 2.4 million nurses are required to meet the growing demand.

Education Sector in India

Introduction

India is an important educational center in the global education industry. India has more than 1.4 million schools and more than 35,000 higher education institutes. India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world and there is still a lot of potential for further development in the education system.

India’s online education market size is expected to touch US$ 40 billion by 2017. The RNCOS report titled, ‘Booming Distance Education Market Outlook 2018’ expects the distance education market in India to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 34 per cent during 2013-14 to 2017-18. Moreover, the aim of the government to raise its current gross enrollment ratio to 30 per cent by 2020 will also boost the growth of the distance education in India.

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Market Size

The vocational education and training is fast emerging as an important area of focus, as Germany and India enhance their strategic bilateral partnership. One of India’s biggest challenges as well as advantages is its growing young population. India targets creation of 500 million skilled workers in 2022.

The need to train fresh graduates in new skills and ensure that they remain employable is important since the US$ 118 billion Indian information technology (IT) industry added about 180,000 new employees in 2013-2014, 70 per cent of which were fresh hires, according to Nasscom.

India’s IT firms are working with academic institutions and setting up in-house institutes to groom the right talent as these companies move to social media, mobility, analytics and cloud (SMAC) technologies. Tech Mahindra’s infrastructure management services academy set up in 2014 has inked partnerships with five universities to hire students trained on a co-developed curriculum.

Investment

The total amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) inflow into the education sector in India stood at US$ 1,071.5 million from April 2000 to January 2015, according to data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

The education and training sector in India has witnessed some major investments and developments in the recent past. Some of them are:

  • EMC Corporation plans to establish 100 centers of academic excellence in India in 2015. These centers will be set up in leading IT institutes across the country to give students an opportunity to learn and practice key skills in the areas of cloud, data science, analytics, IT infrastructure and other leading technologies, as per a company statement.
  • Pearson Education is on a global transformation journey graduating from its largely publishing business to expanding into school, higher education and vocational training. On the vocational education segment, Pearson trains about 20,000-30,000 learners per year in livelihood training and provides them with placement.
  • To foster entrepreneurship, IIT-Bombay (IIT-B) has five interdisciplinary centres of development, a Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) that has incubated some 55 companies since its inception. IIT-B has also launched the Desai Sethi Centre for Entrepreneurship (DSCE) in July 2014 to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and technology innovation.
  • The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) is working to prepare a management entrance test modelled on the US Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). AICTE wants to attract students from some half-a-dozen Asian countries seeking admission to management programmes. The regulator is to roll out the entrance exam in Asian countries, followed by African countries and then take it global. A total of 93,693 foreign students were studying in India in 2013, according to data from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).
  • The Times of India Group-promoted Bennett University has tied up with Babson Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of Babson College, Massachusetts, US, to offer programs for Indian students and entrepreneurs.
  • Ford India inaugurated its fourth Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) Centre at St Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute in collaboration with Don Bosco Centre for Learning in Kurla, Mumbai, with an aim to create a pool of talented and skilled professionals for the automobile industry.

Government Initiatives

The Government of India is all set to roll out a new educational policy by 2015, according to Ms Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Human resource Development (HRD), Government of India.

Some of the other major initiatives taken by the Government of India are:

  • The Government has drawn up an ambitious roadmap to enhance skill levels of millions of people. The plans involve integrating skill enhancement and entrepreneurship in the syllabi at the school level, setting up of 2,500 multi- skilling institutions in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, and set up institutes of entrepreneurship development in various centres including upcoming smart cities among others. India will have to skill 120 million people in non-farm sectors, with the highest requirement of skilled labour to come from the construction sector (31 million) followed by retail (17 million) and logistics (12 million), according to estimates between 2013 and 2022. A National policy on skill development and entrepreneurship will be finalised by March 31, 2015.
  • The Government of India plans to open a first-of-its-kind national vocational university that will subsume all Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), a move to improve standards and bring uniformity among the schools that supply workers to the manufacturing sector.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) and Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL). The MoU has been envisioned to foster collaboration on research, training and professional development and exchange of technical expertise in areas of mutual interest such as material sciences and testing capabilities.

In addition, Government of India restructured its teacher training system, doubling its duration to two years and mandating a six-month internship as part of it, in an effort to improve the quality of teachers and, by extension, education.

Road Ahead

Various government initiatives are being adopted to boost the growth of distance education market, besides focussing on new education techniques, such as E-learning and M-learning.

“Hiring quality talent will be a focal point, and the use of non-traditional methods for recruitment like mobile technology will be one trend to look out for in 2015. Also, we will see a move towards hiring for particular skills as opposed to capacity or just numbers,” said Mr Richard Lobo, Vice-President and Head of Human Resource Development units, Infosys.

Moreover, availability of english speaking tech-educated talent, democratic governance and a strong legal and intellectual property protection framework are enablers for world class product development, as per Mr Amit Phadnis, President-Engineering and Site Leader for Cisco (India).

The Government of India has taken several steps including opening of IIT’s and IIM’s in new locations as well as allocating educational grants for research scholars in most government institutions. Furthermore, with online modes of education being used by several educational organisations, the higher education sector in India is set for some major changes and developments in the years to come.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.016 as on March 24, 2015