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Meta contributes $1M to India's XR fellowship program

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The XR Open Source Programme is the second initiative by Meta designed to strengthen the developer community.

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Last year, Meta announced a three-year partnership with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to provide immersive technology to over ten million students and one million educators.

As part of the initiative, developers will be able to join the open-source XR (Extended Reality) technology projects and lay the groundwork for suitable, affordable solutions localised for India.

Meta announced a collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) for the XR Open Source (XROS) fellowship programme on Tuesday, as well as a $1 million pledge to help 100 Indian developers focus on extended reality (XR).

Nick Clegg, President, Global Affairs, Meta, said, "Some research that we commissioned from an independent think tank suggests that by 2031, the metaverse economy could be worth about 4.6% of India’s GDP."

According to Clegg, short-form videos make up around 40% of Facebook content. He went on to say that the switch from text to long-form videos and then from long-form videos to short-form videos is an indication of the growth of immersive media formats.

The senior executive stated, "The metaverse won’t be built by one company alone. Through programmes like XR Open Source, we will support Indian developers working on these exciting technologies. With their talent, insight, and effort, we hope to ensure that the next generation of internet technologies are built in an open, collaborative, and accessible way."

XROS, which is operated by Ficci, will provide 100 Indian developers working on XR technologies with fellowships that include a stipend and mentorship. The XR Open Source Programme is the second initiative by Meta in India designed to strengthen the developer community for immersive technologies and advance the open ecosystem for the development of the metaverse.

The $2 million fund for the XR Startup Program with the MeitY Startup Hub was announced by the firm earlier this year and is a part of Meta's global XR Programs and research fund, which also includes XROS. Furthermore, XROS aims to provide developers with the resources they need to create digital public goods while also creating job opportunities in the XR technologies sector.

The new fellowship program's technical partner will be the National e-Governance Division, an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

"The XROS Fellowship Programme is a uniquely curated initiative aimed at supporting Indian developers to make significant contributions to open source projects related to extended reality (XR) technology. The programme will provide the necessary impetus towards fueling the growth of investments in future technologies in line with the government's vision for making India a trillion-dollar economy by 2025," stated Devin Narang, Ficci Committee Member and Country Head-India, Sindicatum Renewable Energy.

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