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How A Recent Workshop Of NITI Aayog Gave Boost To India’s AI Ambitions

How A Recent Workshop Of NITI Aayog Gave Boost To India’s AI Ambitions

Vishal Chawla

NITI Aayog’s AI workshop called Artificial Intelligence – The India Imperative took place recently in New Delhi.

The AI workshop- The India Imperative took place on 19th Feb ’20 at NITI Aayog Bhawan where all the relevant stakeholders from across the country were present. From ministers from states to representatives from the IT industry to professors from IITs were part of the workshop.

The event highlighted India’s leading think tank continuous work in ensuring continuous activity in the AI field. NITI Aayog has also been publishing Approach Papers to create execution plans and showcase essential suggestions along with stakeholders.  

The CEO of NITI Aayog started the workshop with India’s AI aspirations and the importance of AI for all the sectors. He also recommended AI Superpower by Kai-Fu. He also added that India is expected to reach $15 trillion which will be more than the US and China together.



In his keynote address, CEO Amitabh Kant kickstarted the deliberations by emphasising on the importance of AI for All in realising India’s artificial intelligence aspirations. The main 5 sectors that the workshop focused on were- healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure and transportation that would benefit the most from AI.

Arnab Kumar, the Programme Director gave a presentation on AI For All and discussed the 4 fundamental themes:

1. Data Rich to Data Intelligent

2. Research & Development

3. AI-specific Computing

4. Large scale AI adoption

The inaugural session was followed by the breakout sessions which included the following topics- structured data infrastructure for AI, research ecosystem for AI, Moonshots for India and Adoption- Focus on healthcare, education and agriculture.

In the breakout session at the workshop on Artificial Intelligence – The India Imperative, scalable approach to building solutions for a billion citizens, by leveraging technologies like AI/ML was discussed by the participants.

Startup & State Governments Presented Papers At AI – The India Imperative Workshop

In 2018 – 2019, the government-mandated NITI Aayog to create the National Program on AI, with the aim of guiding the research and development in new innovation in artificial intelligence for India.  NITI Aayog came out with the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (NSAI) discourse paper in June of 2018 to highlight Indian government’s importance and role in boosting AI.

NITI Aayog has taken a three-part approach here – undertaking exploratory proof-of-concept AI projects in different areas of the country, creating a national strategy for a vibrant AI ecosystem in India and collaborating with experts and stakeholders in the field. The recent workshop was a part of the think tank’s engagement with stakeholders, including multiple startups.

One such startup had been Silversparro, an AI-powered video analytics firm invited by Niti Aayog for a day-long session on realising India’s AI aspirations. The startup presented its views on how AI can help India leapfrog in sectors like manufacturing, heavy industry and giving a boost to SMEs.

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“We are heartened by Niti Aayog’s focus on making India an AI Superpower. We are also proud to be contributing directly by leveraging AI for making Indian manufacturing more productive with our latest offering – Sparrosense AI Supervisor ” said Abhinav Kumar Gupta, Founder & CEO at Silversparro.

At the workshop, there were several speakers talking about leadership and vision in the AI workshop “Artificial Intelligence – The India Imperative” event in Delhi by NITI Aayog, including those from state governments such as Telangana. In fact, Telangana presented  “Year of AI” at NITI Aayog’s workshop.

Also Read: India Lags Behind In AI Research, But Will ₹7,000 Crore Boost Change Things?

Workshop In Sync With India’s National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP)

India has rich publicly available data, and across government departments, the various processes have been digitised for reporting and analytics insights, which are feeding into information systems and visualisation dashboards. According to NITI Aayog, this data is being utilised to track and visualise processes and make iterative enhancements.

National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP), an initiative aimed to aid India’s progress by promoting data-driven discourse and decision-making, NDAP also aimed to standardise data across multiple government sources, provide flexible analytics and make it easily accessible in formats conducive for research, innovation, policy-making and public consumption. As part of it, multiple data sets have been presented using a standardised schema, by using common geographical and temporal identifiers. 

However, the data landscape can be further improved as the entire public government data can be smoothly accessible to all stakeholders in a user-friendly manner. Further, data across different government assets should be interlinked to enable analytics and insights, such websites of ministries and departments of the central and state governments.

Also Learn: AIRAWAT: NITI Aayog Describes How India’s AI Infrastructure Will Look Like

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