NITI Aayog Proposes Rs 7,500-crore to Boost AI Infrastructure

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The funding would be utilised for establishing five centres of research excellence, 20 international centres for transformational AI and a cloud computing platform

Government think tank NITI Aayog is planning to create an institutional framework for artificial intelligence (AI) in India. The think tank has circulated a cabinet note to provide Rs. 7,500 crore for setting up of research institutes and a cloud computing platform – AIRAWAT.

The policy think tank recommends that the new government would allocate Rs 7,500 crore in the next three years and establish a high-level taskforce to supervise the rollout and implementation of AI. This task force will be headed by a member of NITI Aayog and have team members, representing all the ministries and states as well as experts.

The cabinet note will be presented by NITI Aayog to the new government as they want in place a transparent policy and an institutional framework for AI, an official told ET.

As per the proposal, the funding would be utilised for establishing five centres of research excellence (CORE) and 20 international centres for transformational AI (ICTAI), in addition to AIRAWAT.

The partners and institutes will be selected based on the guidelines that are presently being developed, the official said.

States and ministries to identify key AI projects

In this regards, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has already written to states and ministries urging them to identify key projects where AI can be developed to solve problems affecting the health sector that you wish to drive forward.

“NITI Aayog has a team that works on the AI programme and I would like to extend all help in providing necessary support, connecting to the concerned stakeholders and any other matter that may be required,” he has said.

In his Budget 2018-19 speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had delegated the responsibility on NITI Aayog to develop the National Programme for AI.

In June last year, the government think tank released the National Strategy for AI, which is focused at placing India as a leader among emerging economies. The strategy endeavours to leverage the AI for social development, economic growth and inclusive growth.

By adopting AI, an incremental US$ 957 billion could be added to India’s GDP by 2035, improving the country’s yearly growth by 1.3 percentage points by that year.

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