Microsoft made a big push around AI in India, announcing an initiative around training citizens in small cities and striking a partnership with a start-up in the country to develop voice-based generative AI (GenAI) applications.

The announcements were made as part of a visit by CEO Satya Nadella (pictured) to the country, during which he addressed 1,100 developers and technology leaders at an event in the city of Bengaluru.

He highlighted the pivotal role of India’s developer community in building “cutting-edge” products and solutions, adding the country was now the fastest-growing market on the company’s software and collaboration platform GitHub.

In total, 13.2 million developers in India are using GitHub, with the nation having the second-highest number of GenAI projects on the platform after the US.

The company’s skilling investment aims to provide more than 2 million people in the country with AI opportunities, mainly targeting small cities and rural areas.

Dubbed ADVANTA(I)GE INDIA, the project is designed to accelerate the country’s AI transformation and ready workers for jobs in the future.

Meanwhile, the technology giant will also work with domestic company Sarvam AI, which provides a large language model targeting Indic languages.

The duo aim to develop, deploy and distribute GenAI apps on Microsoft’s cloud services including Azure OpenAI.

Sarvam AI has raised $41 million in funding to date from three venture capital companies.