The Indian government has made no secret of its interest in harnessing the power of AI. Over recent years, NITI Aayog has come up with a National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion designated an AI task force which came up with its own report, the interim budget earlier this year allocated money to set up a national portal for Artificial Intelligence. More recently, NITI Aayog has circulated a cabinet note asking the government to allocate ₹7,500 crores over the next three years. According to NITI Aayog, the funding would be used to set up five institutes or centres of research excellence (CORE), 20 international centres for transformational AI (ICTAI), along with AIRAWAT, a national cloud computing platform.
Considering the figure proposed by NITI Aayog’s circular, ₹7500 crores over three years brings up the question of what goals can be achieved using these funds and how an optimum AI ecosystem for India should look like.
The conclave on Putting India on the road to becoming an AI superpower was held in Bengaluru on 3 August, 2019 at The Takshashila Institution. The discussion had participation from 15 stakeholders from academia, industry, and civil society.
The group achieved a broad consensus on the goals India should adopt in order to become an AI superpower, this includes:
- Attracting top-class faculty
- Attracting top- AI companies
- Creating new Centres of Excellence
- Setting up a national authority for data governance
- Setting up an AI promotion board
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