Where Web access is limited, wireless cloud comes into play

In India, IBM developing a technology to allow access to job, hiring info via mobile devices

The Indian government is working with IBM to develop a cloud-based technology that will allow citizens to use their mobile devices to access job and hiring information. Although the Internet and World Wide Web have expanded horizons for millions across the globe, many more people live in regions without access to personal computers or online networks.

According to IBM, only 7 percent of India’s population has Web access. This gap is especially acute in rural areas where widespread illiteracy is also a challenge. However, the use of affordable and reliable mobile phone services is growing across the developing world, creating an opportunity for mobile Web applications to provide citizens with access to government services through their phones.

IBM is working with an organization within the Indian Department of Labour, the Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corp. (KVTSDC), to develop a cloud computing platform that will allow job seekers and job providers to connect, expand searches, cross-reference candidates, get training and certifications, track emerging job trends and share information through their mobile devices. The cloud platform will use mobile Web and spoken Web technologies to provide user services and applications.

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A mobile crowdsourcing platform will permit job seekers to rank and refer jobs to each other and to rapidly spread the news of available opportunities. The technology will use skill-matching techniques to link candidates with available jobs while employability analytics will allow employers and the government to track and analyze supply and demand trends. Company officials said the system’s employability marketplace will run on the IBM cloud operating on a pay-as-you-go model using elastic scaling.

KVTSDC stated that this technology will help to increase the penetration of the organization’s programs to greatly improve employment opportunities across the state of Karnataka.

“The Karnataka state government is a pioneer in skill development in the country," KVTSDC executive director Dr. Vishnukanth Chatpalli said in a statement. "Our goal is to empower our citizens and create employment opportunities in the state by creating a conducive environment for all stakeholders. This platform will help us expand our horizon and reach people in the most remote parts of Karnataka.”

Besides cloud computing, IBM will also integrate spoken Web technology. According to company, spoken Web creates a system comparable to the World Wide Web using speech technology and a telephone (both land line and mobile). Spoken Web allows users to create voice sites with their telephones. Users receive a unique phone number that serves as a URL equivalent. When others access the voice site, they can hear the content that has been uploaded there.

The first phase of the project will launch in two districts and be expanded to eight more in its second phase. IBM officials said Karnataka is the first state in India to establish a skill commission as part of the government’s goal of having 500 million skilled workers in India by 2022.


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