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    Future Skills – Indian PM Announces Education Platform for Blockchain

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    The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced today the formation of a platform aiming to provide education on various cutting-edge technologies. The initiative will be known as Future Skills.

    Future Skills Platform to Focus on Blockchain Technology

    The platform was announced today at the World Congress on Information Technology 2018 (WCIT). The event was attended by ICT associations from over 80 different nations.

    NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), India’s main information technology group, are behind the platform. They are hoping to provide the 18 to 35-year-olds of the nation with a better grounding in cutting-edge technologies. A total of eight areas were mentioned. These included blockchain technology.

    The association have previously held workshop sessions on blockchain technology and readily acknowledge its potential. In a post on their website, they write:

    “While we have witnessed how the ‘Internet of Information’ has changed our society over the past two decades, we are now entering a phase where Blockchain may do the same by ushering in a new paradigm comprising ‘Internet of Trust’ and ‘Internet of Value’.”

    NASSCOM is also amongst those behind India’s first blockchain special interest group. The goal of this is to explore how blockchain technology can impact various industries, both financial and otherwise.

    Also today, Narendra Modi Tweeted part of the address he gave to WCIT:

    Disruptive technologies such as Block-chain and the Internet of Things, will have a profound impact in the way we live and work. They will require rapid adaptation in our workplaces: PM @narendramodi

    — PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 19, 2018

    This was shortly followed by a post from Law & Justice, and Information Technology Minister of India, Ravi Shankar Prasad. Prasad included a brief overview of the Future Skills initiative, as well as a video of Modi’s presentation to the Congress:

    Today Prime Minister of India announced a historic initiative to re-skill and up-skill the IT workforce of India as per changing technologies. Future Skills platform will ensure competitive advantage of Indian IT in the world as per changing technologies. #WCITIndia2018

    — Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) February 19, 2018

    Despite the news that India seems to be fully embracing the transformative power of blockchain, the leaders of the country still seem opposed to the concept of decentralised cryptocurrencies.

    In a budget speech given earlier this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated:

    “The government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.”

    Also within the speech delivered February 1, Jaitley added:

    “… the government will explore use of block chain technology proactively for ushering in [the] digital economy.”

    This was followed up by the announcement of a doubling of government spending on the digital economy. Around US$500 million has been reportedly earmarked for the sector.

    Despite the Indian government’s focus on the technology behind cryptocurrencies and their perceived hostility towards the first practical application of it, digital currency exchanges in the country have recently made moves to self-regulate. Seven of the major Indian platforms have come together to form the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee. It’s hoped that such initiatives will discourage the central government declaring any sort of blanket ban on cryptocurrencies.


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