Tech Trends

Google, NITI Aayog to enhance India’s AI ecosystem

The NITI Aayog will be setting up a national programme to conduct research and development in frontier technologies such as AI.

In a bid to spur the growth of India’s nascent artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) ecosystem, the NITI Aayog and Google partnered to develop a number of initiatives pertaining to the same.

To this effect, a Statement of Intent (SoI) was signed by Anna Roy, Advisor, NITI Aayog and Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and South East Asia, Google, in the presence of NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant.

The NITI Aayog will be setting up a national programme to conduct research and development in frontier technologies such as AI. In furtherance of this mandate, it has been developing India’s national strategy on AI along with the National Data and Analytics Portal to enable the wide deployment and use of AI.

Google and NITI Aayog, together, will work on organising training for relevant government functionaries to introduce them to open source AI tools with the goal of enabling more effective governance, awarding grants and scholarships to researchers, scholars and university faculty conducting cutting-edge research in the field of AI/ML in India.

“Artificial Intelligence is going to disrupt the way business is done and India, in particular, is uniquely poised in utilising AI to innovate for social and inclusive good. India is embracing future technologies such as machine learning and AI to augment its capacity in health care, improve outcomes in education, develop innovative governance systems for our citizens and improve the overall economic productivity of the nation. NITI’s partnership with Google will unlock massive training initiatives, support startups and encourage AI research through PhD scholarships, all of which contributes to the larger idea of a technologically-empowered New India,” said Kant.

Under the aegis of this program, Google will train and incubate Indian AI startups in an accelerator program. These startups will be mentored and coached by Google and its affiliates to enable them to better leverage AI in their respective business models.

To help bolster the research ecosystem, one of the initiatives includes funding Indian researchers, scholars and university faculty for conducting AI-based research. Further, Google will also bring its online training courses on AI to students, graduates and engineers to numerous cities across India, in the form of study groups and developer-run courses.

Google, through the government’s think tank, will conduct hands-on training programs that aim to sensitise policymakers and technical experts in governments about relevant AI tools, and how they can be used to streamline governance.

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