The Artificial Intelligence task force set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry recommended on Thursday that a ₹1,200 crore corpus be set up for five years under the Union Budget. The task force is planning to use the funds to push the National Artificial Intelligence Mission (N-AIM).
In a six-part recommendation, V Kamakoti, professor at IIT-Madras, and the chairperson of the task force said, “The most important challenge in India is to collect, validate, standardise, correlate, archive and distribute AI-relevant data and make it accessible to organisations, people and systems without compromising privacy and ethics.” The task force, which was set in 2017 up by Nirmala Sitharaman, former Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and now the Defence Minister, was designed to prepare India for Industrial Revolution 4.0 and digitise the manufacturing sector across sectors.
Kamakoti’s report also reinforces the current BJP-led government’s thoughts as to AI being instrumental in creation of jobs. While many noted personalities, including NR Narayana Murthy and Shashi Tharoor, among others, have sounded the alarm bells about AI causing unemployment, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a contrary point of view. In his monthly address Mann Ki Baat in February, he had spoken about using AI for the good of divyang (specially-abled) persons, underprivileged citizens and farmers.
Last month, PM Modi had downplayed the fears of citizens losing jobs to robots and automation. Speaking at the inauguration of Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence on the Kalina campus at University of Mumbai, he had affirmed that AI would increase the citizens’ productivity, and not take away their employment.
Through a series of events and speeches from earlier this year, PM Modi is seen to have been deliberately showcasing India as well as his government as technologically forward. In fact, industry insiders are happy to see that the Modi-led NDA government is working towards supporting a tech-driven future.
Keeping in mind the current government’s long-term plans, reports have suggested that the Modi-led BJP will strive to achieve its commitment towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the help of AI by 2030, as it has the potential to churn out a slew of applications while keeping in mind the quality of approach.