Finance Ministry Finally Clears NITI Aayog’s Rs 7,000 Cr AI Plan

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  • NITI Aayog had been asking for Rs 7,500 crore for three years to set up an AI framework
  • The proposed policy has been delayed due to a long-standing tiff between NITI Aayog with MeitY

The Indian government will soon launch a national artificial intelligence (AI) programme to identify projects and initiatives for implementing AI technology.

A task force will be formed under Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan to identify such projects.

The policy will also include setting up a national AI centre, which has been delayed due to a long-standing tiff between NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) that will anchor the project.

The proposed policy and the centre could finally see the light of day as the finance ministry has now cleared the NITI Aayog’s Rs 7,000-crore plan, reports Business Standard.

“The expenditure finance committee has cleared the spending of Rs 7,000 crore till 2024-25,” Business Standard quoted a government official as saying.

What was the argument about? 

NITI Aayog had been asking for Rs 7,500 crore for three years to set up an AI framework. Last year, four panels set up by MeitY evaluated the use of AI for citizens, such as setting up a data platform, skilling and reskilling, research and development, and examining the challenges involving legal, regulatory, ethical and cybersecurity aspects. MeitY had said it will implement the programme within Rs 470-480 crore.

The expenditure finance committee had asked the two departments about the difference between their estimates, and they had been told to get clarity on the matter.

The NITI Aayog released a discussion paper in June last year on the “National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence”. MeitY, however, didn’t make its reports public.

 

Longjam Dineshwori

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