The National Institution for Transforming India or the NITI Aayog, which serves as a think Tank for the central Government, has reportedly requested for ₹7,500 crore in funding for creating a new cloud platform and sponsoring new research institutes. According to a report published in a noted financial daily, the NITI Aayog has already circulated a cabinet note for consideration by the Expenditure Finance Committee.
In their AI Strategy Report in June 2018, the NITI Aayog had talked about the cloud platform AIRAWAT or AI Research, Analytics and knoWledge Assimilation plaTform.
“The AIRAWAT will be a cloud platform for Big Data Analytics and Assimilation, with a large, power-optimised AI Computing infrastructure using advanced AI processing. The proposed Infrastructure will be equipped with facilities for world’s leading machine learning including deep learning, high-performance high throughput supercomputing, infrastructure to store, process, simulate and analyse big data sets like images, video, text, sound, speech. AIRAWAT will support the advancement of AI-based developments in image recognition, speech recognition, natural language processing for research, development and creation of varieties of new applications for the support of advancements in the fields of Agriculture and Healthcare,” said the report.
Now, the NITI Aayog is requesting that the Government invest ₹7,500 crore initially over a 3-year period and set up a high-level task force to oversee its roll-out and implementation.
“A cabinet note is ready… We would present it to the new government as we want an institutional framework as well as a transparent policy in place for AI,” a senior official told the daily.
Last week, the NITI Aayog had asked the state and central ministries to identify key tech-based projects which can be used to resolve problems in agriculture, education and health, among other sectors.
Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog, had written to the state and central ministries, saying, “I write to request you to identify key projects where AI can be developed to solve problems affecting the health sector that you wish to drive forward… NITI Aayog has a team that works on the AI programme and I would like to extend all help in providing the necessary support, connecting to the concerned stakeholders and any other matter that may be required.”