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Business News/ Technology / News/  Budget: India to set up three centres of excellence for AI, says FM Sitharaman
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Budget: India to set up three centres of excellence for AI, says FM Sitharaman

These three centres for excellence will be set up in top educational institutions. Leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research and develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in areas of agriculture, health, and sustainable cities

The Indian government has been advocating the use of AI across sectors through government missions. (Photo: iStock)Premium
The Indian government has been advocating the use of AI across sectors through government missions. (Photo: iStock)

New Delhi: India will set up three centres of excellence (COE) for artificial intelligence (AI) at top educational institutions to develop cutting-edge AI solutions in the country, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced while presenting the Union Budget for 2023-24.

“For realising the vision of make AI in India and make AI work for India, three centres for excellence will be set up in top educational institutions. Leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research and develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in areas of agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. This will galvanize an effective ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field," said Sitharaman.

The Centre has been advocating the use of AI across sectors through government missions. For instance, through the Digital India Bhashini portal, the government is making resources in AI and natural language processing (NLP) available to startups and academia working on making their products available in Indian languages.

India also set up an AI portal in May 2020 in collaboration with industry body NASSCOM and in October organised a startup event called RAISE (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment) to help AI startups showcase their products and raise funds.

According to the Economic Survey 2022-23, the AI portal has published 1,724 articles, 829 news items, 276 videos, 127 research reports, and 120 government initiatives related to AI. The portal was started to pool and highlight all AI-related development by the government, academia, and industry.

India is also building a large database of anonymized non-personal data for Indian companies and startups working on AI projects, according to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MoS for IT and Electronics.

The industry has welcomed the government’s move to set up COEs to boost AI skill set in India.

“The budget brings laser-sharp focus to AI-led skill-development by announcing the establishment of three centres of artificial intelligence," said Ankita Dabas, chief growth officer at Veative Group.

According to a June 2022 report by NASSCOM, AI investments in India grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.8% to reach $881 million in 2021. Adoption of AI with a data utilization strategy can add $500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, the report added.

India is one of the leading suppliers of talent in data and AI skills, according to a June 2022 report by Bain & Capital, which claims that India produces 16% of the world’s AI talent pool.

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Published: 01 Feb 2023, 01:05 PM IST
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