Search engine giant Google and online education company Udacity launched IT courses in India, branching outside the US.
The courses have been introduced with an aim to tap the country's millions of software developers scrambling for jobs. The two organisations teamed with Indian conglomerate Tata to offer online technical training courses. The courses will focus on teaching software developers to build apps for Android, the Google-backed mobile operating system.
Priced at Rs 9,800 (USD 148) a month, the degrees will take between 6 and 9 months to complete, with lessons from Google instructors based in the United States.
Students will get 50 percent of tuition costs back on graduation. Google is looking to cash in on skilling up India's 3.6 million developers, the second largest number worldwide, while at the same time seeking more developers who can programme for Android devices.
"While India has millions of software developers, we still lag behind in creating world-class apps," Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan told reporters in India's IT hub of Bangalore. The companies will also offer 1,000 scholarships and all graduates will be invited to a job fair next year hosted by Google in India.
The courses have been introduced just as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Silicon Valley this weekend as part of a visit to the US, seeking foreign investment in India's plethora of start-ups as well as financial tie-ups with US tech giants.
The Prime minister will meet Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, and is expected to reassure IT CEOs of efforts to reduce red tape and make it easier to do business in India, a massive market of 1.26 billion people.