The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), chipmaker Intel and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) are also part of the project
The Indian government today announced the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Portal, developed jointly by the National e-Governance Division of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom). The portal was originally announced during the Union Budget this year.
If we’re able to empower ordinary Indians with the power of technology, then surely it will be a defining moment for us," said IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He also said that AI will never replace the human mind and that it can’t replace human conscience. The Minister also implored Intel to come with products in AI, which can be replicated in global countries. He reiterated that all sectors must learn to adopt digital means for doing business.
The portal is meant to work as a “one stop digital platform" for all AI related developments in India. According to sources, the team is also working on investor pitch events in future and looking to make data sources available through the portal. The government wants the portal to be a “one stop digital platform" for all AI related developments in the country.
The minister also announced the Responsible AI for Youth Programme, which is aimed at imparting education and skills in AI to students in government schools. The programme will aim to bring AI education and skills at the school level, with focus on students who are studying in government schools.
Nasscom, chipmaker Intel and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) are also part of the project. The programme aims to equip students with the skill sets and mind set required for AI readiness. It is open to students from Government Schools based in District Headquarters, in classes 8-12.
“AI is absolutely critical. I want India to become synonymous with AI. It is important because the world will see at least $16 trillion more in the next ten years or so. And I want to see how India can get most of this into our economy" said Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India. Rai also said that India has 250 million students in schools today (between kindergarten and class 12), and only about 40% of these students are in private and urban schools.
In the first phase of the programme, selected teachers and students will undergo orientation and online training sessions, which will be followed by submission of ideas by students through 60 second videos online. The top 100 ideas from this will be shortlisted and those students will be taken to bootcamps and get further help to develop such ideas.
Teachers will be selected through self-nomination or with the help of State Education Departments. The government will seek 10 teachers per state and they will receive training to understand the programme. These teachers will nominate 25-50 students from their schools and share their details with the team.
The students will rework their ideas after the first phase and submit a final project video through the programme’s website. The third phase then includes 50 shortlisted ideas and students will be invited to showcase these ideas and submit a final project on the website.
“What covid-19 has done is just amazing. It has brought technology to the forefront like nothing else has," said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom. “Yes, AI is important for India. I also believe India is important for AI," she added, saying that the work India does on AI will be important for the world going forward.
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