In a major initiative, the Ministry of MSME has on-boarded the latest IT tools of artificial intelligence and machine learning for providing effective assistance and solutions to address issues of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
In an official statement, the ministry has started the implementation of AI and ML on its robust Single Window System — ‘Champions’ — which was launched by the prime minister in June 2020. This multi-modal system has a portal at the virtual level and technology-equipped physical control rooms at around 69 locations of the country. The system has emerged as one of the front runner platforms for the MSMEs in a very short span of time.
The Ministry of MSME has taken COVID-19 pandemic as a challenge and therefore converting the disaster into an opportunity with futuristic interventions. In such a tortuous period, the ministry is not only enabling support for the MSMEs but is, in fact, making them break their barriers and create a paradigm shift to become champions.
According to the official statement, the MSME Ministry further stated that it is working aggressively to take the nation and the micro, small and medium enterprises in the direction of Industry 4.0. Not only these enterprises will be pushed to adopt the emerging technologies but are also encouraging and helping these MSMEs to manufacture essential and enabling products like sensors, motors, computer displays and other animation technologies.
Thus, as promised earlier, the ministry has implemented artificial intelligence and machine learning on their Champions portal. As a matter of fact, Intel has been acting as their partner in this journey, by providing guidance to the ministry for the last five months in implementing the AI and ML tools.
According to the statement, the ministry has also stated that Intel and its technology partner have implemented the entire domain of AI and ML at their Champions portal totally free of cost.
When asked, the MSME minister, Nitin Gadakari explained the work done by them with regards to artificial intelligence. He specially thanked Intel and its partner for doing this service to India pro-bono. He also said that the entire concept, scope analysis and the designing had been done in-house by the ministry with the help of NIC and under the guidance of a local team of Intel.
The statement also intriduced AI, which is the idea of making machines capable of thinking, acting, and learning like humans. It stated that AI has an ability to enable machines to learn, adapt and do which “Rule-based (MIS) Automations” cannot.
In this phase — AI has started giving the MSME Ministry social media insights relating to MSMEs for its policy action through different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, Forums and online news which were not available before. According to the ministry, till now, for grievance redressal, it was dependent on the complaints and data which comes to and through our Champions portal, however, with this partnership, the ministry can now know the pulse of the entire MSME sector even without the stakeholders going to our portal.
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Further, it will be possible to know the emotions of the people involved with or dependent on the MSME sector in real-time, along with the data-driven insights that are easy to understand. AI can slice and dice data in many ways which are not available in traditional tools of Information Management Systems (MIS). Thus would allow even the ordinary staff, to easily discover actionable points.
According to an officer of the ministry, the data analytics can be easily shared as real-time live-data links with the teams at Central (Hub level) and spokes of Champions Control Rooms spread all over India. The ministry believes that from now onwards, AI is going to do the tedious and monotonous work of preparing data for analysis, which will, in turn, free up their human resources to engage in more productive and strategizing work.
Currently, the ministry has started enabling and optimising their Champions portal with AI and analytics technology to derive insights. This is helping them in understanding the issues in real-time, which includes information intelligence and sentiment analysis based on widely available social media and online data. Along with that, this input and intervention will enhance the whole information resources.
The second phase, which is on trial, would be directed towards real-time grievance redressal and management, which includes increasing the performance of control rooms and officers through AI-enabled chatbots for faster response to the query of portal users, and provide real-time, detailed analytics across the entire workflow of its single window system and grievance redressal through Champions portal for effective resolution and greater stakeholder satisfaction.