By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 4, 2019: Software major Tech Mahindra has inked separate agreements with Odisha government to set up a state-of-the-art facility for international business process outsourcing (BPO) operations and a center of excellence in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

The company entered into an agreement with the state owned Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) to kickstart operations for its proposed BPO that will service its Fortune-500 Global customers.

“Tech Mahindra is focusing on expansion. We have allotted space to expand their international BPO operations. We have a plan for a 500-seat centre. This capacity will be created in a phased manner,” said Sanjay Kumar Singh, chairman and managing director, Idco, and secretary of skill development & technical education department in the Odisha government.

Idco has allocated space to the IT major at Fortune Towers in Bhubaneswar.

The BPO centre will generate incremental employment opportunities in the state and help boost the ‘Skilled in Odisha campaign. The pact was signed by Pratap Patnaik, manager (corporate services), Tech Mahindra, and Rabindra Jha, chief general manager (planning & coordination), Idco.

Besides, a second memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed among three entities — Tech Mahindra, Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) and College of Engineering & Technology (CET), Odisha to set up a centre of excellence in AI and ML to work on proof of concept (PoC) concerning real-life problems.

“The centre of excellence will tap AI and ML to come out with remedies for problems facing the agriculture and mining sectors. Tech Mahindra will lead this initiative. Each year, 30 students will enroll at the centre”, Singh said.

The centre of excellence is expected to create and enhance the talent pool in the domains of AI and ML. It is also the first ever centre for AI set up with industry collaboration in a government-run engineering college in any state. The three-way MoU was signed by B K Mishra, senior vice president (global delivery head) at Tech Mahindra; P K Patra, principal of CET; and H S Behera, registrar, BPUT.

Also the state directorate of technical education & training inked an MoU with Tata Strive, the skill development initiative of the Tata Community Initiatives Trust under the aegis of Tata Trusts. The pact is designed to impart life skills to students of government-owned Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and make them ready for the job market. Training on life skills would be offered at all 49 ITIs of the state.

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