As indicated by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Union budget 2018 speech, the Indian government‚??s think tank NITI Aayog has geared itself to create a roadmap for National AI program.
The initiative came on heels of China‚??s three-step roadmap to become the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. The Indian National Program for AI will also be geared towards developing new applications of the AI technology.
Reportedly, the high-level committee to create the artificial intelligence research and development roadmap will be headed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar and will be a mix of government, academia and industry officials.
In January 2018, the government conducted a preliminary meeting wherein a number of people put forward their suggestions.
The people who participated in the meeting included NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat, the secretaries of biotechnology and science and technology, former Nasscom head Kiran Karnik, former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, IIT faculty members including Pankaj Jalote and Pulok Ghosh, besides top officials from Flipkart, NetApp and TIE Ventures.
In the Union budget 2018, the Indian government allocated $480 Mn to fifth generation technology startups like artificial intelligence, machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and blockchain.
Jaitley also announced that the government will be investing extensively in research, training and skill development in robotics, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, Big Data intelligence and Quantum communications, among others.
This will certainly be an added boost for the tech startups in India. Not only it will encourage the entrepreneurs to come up with innovative solutions in the AI space but will also increase the financing opportunities for them.
Also, a clear roadmap will help add to the existing infrastructure of AI in India.
At present, in terms of spending on AI, the US has the top spot followed by China and Britain. India has not been able to list itself into the top 10 countries so far here.
However, with the Indian government aggressively approaching towards AI roadmap, under the leadership of NITI Aayog, it seems that India will soon be witnessing an AI revolution.