IBM Launches a Free Blockchain Program for Students in India

The rise of blockchain technology is fueling demand in relevant skill sets, with institutes and countries around the world launching educational initiatives. The latest to introduce such a program is the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

In collaboration with American technology giant IBM, India’s National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) launched a 12-week online course on blockchain architecture, design and uses, on June 19, 2018.

The authority noted the benefits of blockchain technology, and acknowledged UpWork’s Skills Index for Q1 2018 which considers “blockchain skills” as the most “in-demand skillset in the technology industry.”

The course is India’s first educational effort on distributed ledger technology and adheres to the country’s political stance of calling out cryptocurrencies yet embracing blockchain.

The academia-industry joint venture targets to cover several aspects of the blockchain, including the fundamental design, system structure, security, while exploring new use-cases for the technology.

Students can enroll for the course from July 2018, and aim to develop over practical and conceptual skill sets pertaining to the technology. All coursework will be available free-of-cost on the NPTEL website, but the certificate will be subject to fees and an online exam.

“The popularity of blockchain has moved from cryptocurrency to business applications across many industries such as insurance, finance, supply chain logistics, digital identity, healthcare and public sector,” noted Sandip Chakraborty of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur. The professor co-developed this course with IBM’s Technical Manager of Smart Contracts and Blockchain, Praveen Jayachandran.

Jayachandran added:

“IBM’s collaboration with India’s leading academic minds to create a blockchain curriculum is a reflection of our commitment to enabling the technology to realize its full potential, while also addressing the increased demand for adequate skills for students and developers.”

Although cryptocurrencies are the most well-known application of blockchain, the technology is steadily progressing to various over domains, such as business process management, IoT, and logistics.

NPTEL coordinator Andrew Thangaraj believes the blockchain course with IBM is the first in this “genre and will encourage more companies to come forward to do the same.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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