Today we are announcing that Meta will support the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with $1 million for the XR Open Source Fellowship Program (XROS). Managed by FICCI, XROS will support 100 Indian developers working on XR (extended reality) technologies by providing scholarships including stipend and mentorship. The National e-Governance Division, an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), will be the technical partner of the program.
The program will support developers to make contributions to open source projects related to XR technology and further lay the foundation for India-specific solutions that are affordable, appropriate and localized in Indian languages. The XROS program is part of Meta’s global XR research and program fund, under which the company announced a $2 million fund for the XR Boot Program with MeitY Startup Hub earlier this year. XROS further aims to provide developers with the resources they need to create digital public goods and generate potential employment opportunities in the field of XR technologies.
The metaverse will not be built by a single company. Through programs like XR Open Source, we will support Indian developers working on these exciting technologies. Through their talent, insight and effort, we hope to ensure that the next generation of Internet technologies is built. in an open, collaborative and accessible manner.
Nick Clegg, President, Global Affairs, Meta
India’s techade vision can only be realized when young developers and start-ups, including those in Tier II and III cities, help enable future technologies like XR in the metaverse. I am happy that FICCI and Meta are launching this initiative which will not only focus on providing a monetary boost to developers, but also support them with the right mentorship to create immersive technologies.
Prof Ajay Kumar Sood, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of India
Open source technology-driven ecosystems can play an important role in building robust digital public goods that are interoperable and follow a federated architecture. Indian developers, especially from Tier 2/3 cities, will play an important role in shaping the future of emerging technologies and the metaverse for India and the world. We are happy to support the XROS initiative and hope that this program will act as a catalyst to nurture the ecosystem of immersive technology developers and the open source community in India. It will be a springboard to make this decade the Indian TechAde.
Abishek SinghPresident and CEO of NeGD
The XROS Fellowship Program is a unique initiative aimed at supporting Indian developers to make meaningful contributions to open source projects related to extended reality (XR) technology. The program will provide the necessary impetus to fuel investment growth in future technologies in line with the government’s vision to make India a trillion dollar economy by 2025. We thank Meta for their support and NeGD for the partnership on this program.
Devin Narang, FICCI Committee Member and Country Manager for India, Sindicatum Renewable Energy
The XR Open Source program is our second program in India through which we aim to energize the developer ecosystem around immersive technologies and advance the open ecosystem for building the metaverse. From the very beginning, we have supported and launched various open source initiatives such as No Language Left Behind (NLLB), a unique multilingual AI model that supports 200 low-resource languages, including 25 Indic languages.
Last year, we partnered with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to bring immersive technologies to over 10 million students and 1 million educators over the next three years. The partnership with CBSE underscores Meta’s commitment to India and reflects the shared ambition to universalize STEM education by ensuring that students across India have equitable access to quality educational content that will prepare them the future of work in a digitally powered economy. In June 2022, we launched the LEARN program to train 40,000 students in AR, and developed the AR School, a flagship program that trained 1,000 developers to work on MetaSpark’s advanced features. Meta’s XR research and program fund is a investment of $50 million over two years in external programs and research with industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, non-profit organizations and academic institutions.
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