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|October 28, 1997||
Microsoft sets aside Rs 100 m for education in IndiaRealising the growing importance of software education to boost business in a developing market like India, Microsoft has decided to make an annual investment of Rs 100 million to promote software education in the country.
"We will enter into strategic alliances with every state within five years," Microsoft Director, Marketing, (Indian subcontinent region), Rajeev Chopra, said.
At present Microsoft's education programme covers Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
"The returns will come after 8-10 years. Primarily, the aim is to impart software education to children," Chopra said. "Investment in education has become critical for success in the software business."
Chopra has also criticised the US Justice Department for its decision to impose a $1 million per day fine on the company for violating anti-monopoly laws.
"The allegation is not correct as we have not violated anti-monopoly laws," Chopra claimed. The Justice Department has charged that Microsoft violated laws while marketing its Internet Explorer browser.
"We offer the browser free of cost with the software package. It is not compulsory on part of the buyer to use it. We will offer it with Windows 98 also," Chopra said.
The company has charted out a two-prong strategy to promote its software education programme - tie up with educational institutions like the Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Technology and alliance with technical institutions like the NIIT.
For educational institutions, Microsoft offers assistance to set up labs for development of software applications like national language planning and Internet technologies.
The process of setting up the labs is taken care of under the 'University Advanced Technology Labs Programme'. The company has earmarked an investment of $35 million to go ahead with UATL.
The labs provide online education modules, technology briefings, development tools application and solutions. For technical institutions, Microsoft offers courses and application equipment. "On an average, we charge Rs 5,000 per package."
- Compiled from the Indian media
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