Market leads to Delhi… and further globally
By Pavel Dementiev
“India is currently leading off-shore programming, with much Indian experience used to generate the concept of the Belarusian High-Tech Park. With this in mind, we’ve decided to set up an educational centre — using the experience of Indian specialists to improve our IT education and establish mutual training in rare technologies,” explains the High-Tech Park Administration’s Director, Valery Tsepkalo. He was speaking at the official launch of the Belarusian-Indian Digital Learning Centre in ICT (named after Rajiv Gandhi) at the HTP.
In turn, India’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Sachin Pilot, noted that the project is significant for his country as well; the joint training centre allows India access to the Belarusian market for information technologies and services and to that of its neighbours. He added that a similar opportunity is open to Belarusian partners on the Indian market. India views this joint project as an important — yet initial — stage in the development of Belarus-India co-operation. The Centre will enable many Belarusian specialists to train or pass internships in India, which boasts a huge market for mobile communications and corresponding services. India continues to need such skilled labour.
Belarus’ Deputy Education Minister, Victor Yakzhik, noted that further steps aimed at rapprochement — recently discussed with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Manoj Bharti — deal with our interest in encouraging Indian students to study in Belarus. An inter-university scientific consortium could be established, with new inter-university agreements signed and further innovative IT co-operation expected.
The Centre has been operational since last spring, training 700 students at its Minsk office and four regional training centres (hosted by the Gomel, Vitebsk, Grodno and Brest state universities) to date. All five are linked by video-conferencing, ensuring unified methods across the country. The syllabus is set centrally. Besides training specialists itself, the Centre also aims to enhance training at Belarusian technical universities offering IT courses. Hundreds of university lecturers have already improved their expertise free of charge.
Highly qualified Belarusian teachers lecture and host classes — chosen by Indian experts, after having passed their internships and studied at India’s Pune Centre for Advanced Computer Technology. Leading specialists from the largest IT companies are also involved, as are those from various educational and scientific-research centres. The syllabus reflects global trends in IT and the specialised work of High-Tech Park residents. Students even have access to a library of 4,000 modern textbooks on IT (in English) — presented by Indian partners. India has also supplied the necessary equipment for classrooms.
“To expand the range of services, educational programmes are to be launched in 2012 by such companies as Microsoft, SAP and Intel,” notes the High-Tech Park Administration’s Deputy Director, Alexander Martinkevich. “We plan to finish the construction of a new building to house an IT Academy and are keen to continue liaisons with India in the educational sphere. We’re seeing a modern trend in mobile developments, so would like to launch a specialisation at our training centre in ‘mobile programming’. Already, a quarter of High-Tech Park residents are involved in developing mobile applications, creating programmes for smartphones and mobile terminals which transfer data. We’re in need of highly qualified specialists in this area. Experts from the Indian delegation have chosen six people who would go to India for internships, later lecturing at the Centre — like the group selected two years ago. We foresee mobile communication software developers continuing their collaboration.”
India boasts 900m mobile phone users, creating an almost limitless market for mobile applications (which could be produced by Belarusian specialists jointly with Indian colleagues, or independently). Via communication operators, such applications could also spread beyond Belarus, the Customs Union and India.
In turn, India’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Sachin Pilot, noted that the project is significant for his country as well; the joint training centre allows India access to the Belarusian market for information technologies and services and to that of its neighbours