Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Niti Aayog proposes $1B plan for AI development in India

The National Institution for Transforming India  (NITI Aayog) announced today a 7,500 crore (roughly $1b) investment plan for the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) infrastructure in the country.

The funding will go towards the setting up of five centres of research excellence (CORE), 20 international centres for transformational AI (ICTAI) and further developments of AIRAWAT, a remotely accessible cloud computing platform.

NITI Aayog said the sum will be invested over a three-year period, and that they’re ready to propose the plan to the new government.

“A cabinet note is ready,” an official said on conditions of anonymity, “We [will] present it to the new government as we want an institutional framework as well as a transparent policy in place for AI.” 

The official also added that a task force led by  NITI Aayog and with representation from all ministries will be established to oversee the development of the plan.

“Selection of institutes and partners will be done based on guidelines that are being developed while the funding for all of this will be staggered based on the milestones achieved,” he said.

Back in May, The NITI Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant had paved the way for this announcement by writing a letter to all states and ministers asking to define AI objectives across five different industries.

In the letter, Kant had told the minister that, in order to “give a push to adoption of AI, it is pertinent to have an AI check in all new projects to identify specific areas where AI can be used.” 

The move comes after the Indian government had entrusted the NITI Aayog with creating a national AI strategy in its Union budget for 2018-19.

AI applications have been growing steadily in India in the last few years. This proposal aims at continuing those efforts and eventually bring India to the forefront of AI in tackling key challenges across different sectors of society.

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