Bharat Bytes: skills portal; Google invests in Airtel; data centre boost; Google tracks Indians; 5G auction on track

Bharat Bytes is Computerworld India’s regular round-up of news from the world of IT.

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Government plans e-skills portal

The government plans to build a new portal, the Digital Ecosystem for Skilling and Livelihood, to help Indians gain new technology skills, in order to reskill and upskill the IT workforce.

“It will also provide API-based trusted skill credentials, payment, and discovery layers to find relevant jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget speech.

Sharath Srinivasamurthy, research director for enterprise solutions and ICT practices at IDC India, said this is good news for IT workers. “This would go a long way in solving some of the skills gaps we have in digital skills like data science, automation, AI/ML, cloud and new age application development frameworks,” he said.

Google invests $1 billion in Bharti Airtel, expanding foothold in Indian mobile networks

Google will help Bharti Airtel develop a range of low-cost Android devices as part of a plan to invest $1 billion in the Indian mobile network. The investment will be split between $700 million for a 1.28 percent interest in Airtel and up to $300 million for multi-year commercial agreements to boost the telco’s digital capabilities.

Through its Google for India Digitization Fund, the company also bought a 7.73% share in Jio Platforms for $4.5 billion last year.  That was the fund’s first investment. It aims to invest a total of ₹75,000 crores (about $10 billion) in India’s digital economy over five to seven years.

Budget offers boost to data centre construction in India

In her Union Budget speech, Sitharaman reclassified data centres as infrastructure assets, easing access to low-cost loans for enterprises and service providers looking to build data centres in India.

More than half of Indian websites send data to Google via trackers: Report

A study looked at the traffic pouring out of each app and website to see where the data was going. It resulted as in India, almost all websites (97%) use Google trackers, while 55% use Facebook trackers.

Trackers are tags on websites and mobile apps that collect information about a user’s online preferences and behaviours. These trackers convey the data they collect to businesses like Google and Facebook, which then sell it to advertising.

The recently published Arrka Privacy Report 2021 said that Google is the most common recipient of your data (30%), with Facebook (6%) a distant second. It also discovered a long tail of small recipients, each accounting for less than 2% of the total number of trackers recorded. Analytics and advertising account for half of all Trackers.

The other half of the trackers are about development, content delivery networks, and other topics.

5G auctions to be conducted in 2022

Sitharaman renewed government commitments to hold 5G spectrum auctions in 2022, to facilitate the rollout of 5G mobile services by private telecom providers within 2022-23. “5G technology in particular, can enable growth and offer job opportunities,” she said in her budget speech.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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