April 12, 2019
NITI Aayog guides India’s AI R&D initiative through the National Artificial Intelligence Portal
Hackathons organised by NITI Aayog driving development of skill and sustainable innovation
Digital India has encouraged application of new-gen tech such as AI to deliver state services
Tie-ups in India’s growing AI space has already attracted the likes of ABB, Google, IBM, Intel
India has come up as a leading destination for the uptake of artificial intelligence (AI) among government entities as well as businesses in the Asia Pacific region, as per a report by Salesforce.com, a cloud-based software company. This, the report said, was owing to government strategies to support the growth of AI through funding, programs, and policies. In India, the Central Government’s policy think tank, the NITI Aayog, has taken up a national program to conduct R&D in AI through a National Artificial Intelligence Portal. NITI Aayog has already tied up with technology majors such as ABB, Google, IBM, among others, to develop capacity in AI. NITI
India has also been found to be the 3rd most artificial intelligence (AI) ready nation in the Asia Pacific by Salesforce’s ‘Asia Pacific AI Readiness Index’. The new-gen technology has come up as core to innovation spanning all operations of an economy. Application of AI in product and service helps improve efficiency and productivity while solving complex problems. In India, the technology has been used successfully from finance to healthcare as well as transport to manufacturing sectors. AI has been a major force in addressing new challenges and capturing new opportunities for up-and-coming startup ventures as well as legacy businesses seeking to reinvent themselves. India already ranks 3rd in AI implementation in the world in manufacturing, with 19 per cent of firms in the sector already using AI.
As Government of India increasingly offers information and services over the internet in order to reach a bigger audience over smaller periods of time, the focus on ethical usage of AI will attain increased focus. The Government has also taken steps to develop an understanding of AI and ease concerns around data security and privacy that will allow improved uptake of the technology in the fast-growing market. As a part of this agenda, the Government in February 2019 approved a National Policy on Software Products – 2019 to develop the nation as a software product hub on the back of new-gen technologies such as AI. Meanwhile, funding in India’s diverse AI startups has jumped from US$127.7 million in 2014 to US$478.4 million in 2018. This growth has been driven by fast-growing AI market potential.