With major world powers taking Artificial Intelligence seriously and adapting to it to serve both the private and public sectors, India also joined the AI party. The government plans to leverage AI for economic growth and social development. Earlier this year, NITI Aayog identified five sectors that can benefit from AI.
The government plans to tackle health care challenges of the nation by making a series of large-scale interventions such as the transformation of 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres, developing district hospitals to cater to long-term care for non-communicable diseases, Ayushman Bharat Mission and promoting e-Health.
NITI Aayog collaborated with Microsoft and Forus Health to develop a technology for early detection of diabetic retinopathy. 3Nethra, developed by Forus Health, is a portable device that can screen common eye problems. Integrating 3Nethra with the AI solutions from Microsoft enables the device to gather insights even in low connectivity environments.AI based healthcare solutions promise a proactive healthcare service with an emphasis on preventive measures.
Use of AI and related technologies have the potential to impact productivity and efficiency at all of the stages of the agricultural value chain.
NITI Aayog partnered with IBM to develop a crop yield prediction model using Artificial Intelligence to provide real-time advisory to farmers. The AI model aims to improve crop productivity, soil yield, control agricultural inputs and early warning on pest/disease outbreak and uses data from remote sensing (ISRO), soil health cards, IMD’s weather prediction and soil moisture/temperature, crop phenology etc. to give accurate prescriptions to farmers. The project is being implemented in 10 districts across the Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The education sector is another sector wherein the government strived to innovate with technology. The education sector in India has already seen major changes with the rise of edtech companies such as Byju’s promoting the use of technology in education. The government is also adopting ways to implement technologies in the sector.
The Andhra Pradesh government has tied up with Microsoft in an effort to bring down the school dropout rate which is a major challenge in the education sector of the state.Based on specific parameters, such as gender, socio-economic demographics, academic performance, school infrastructure and teacher skills, an application powered by Azure Machine Learning processes the data of all students to find predictive patterns. With these data insights, the district education officials can help students who are most likely to drop out. The Andhra Pradesh government has already identified about 19,500 probable dropouts from government schools in Visakhapatnam district for the academic year (2018- 19)
Smart Cities and Infrastructure
Indian government has embarked on an ambitious initiative to set up Smart Cities across India, aimed at driving economic growth and improving the quality of life, by harnessing IT solutions. As part of the Smart Cities Mission, 99 cities have been selected with an expected investment of INR2.04 lakh crores. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is another related initiative which targets improving the infrastructure of existing cities.
The government also plans to invest in safety technologies. The “Kumbh Mela Experiment” is aimed at predicting crowd behaviour and the possibility of a stampede. Similar Big Data and AI solutions could help with advance prediction and response management.
In the city of Surat, the crime rate has declined by 27% after the implementation of AI-powered systems that can provide aid to public safety by predicting potential activities that could disrupt public peace.
Smart Mobility and Transportation
The recent initiative –— the development of 100 Smart Cities is aimed at making smart strategies for urban planning that promote sustainable land use design and multimodal integration. AI can assist with scheduling public transportation systems, improved accessibility to public transportation infrastructure based on users’ choice behaviours, while also suggesting real-time travel mode advisory based on the predicted traffic situation. AI enabled mobility solutions can eliminate several of the challenges faced by the Indian automotive and transportation sector.
Recently, the Ministry of Railways decided to use AI to undertake remote condition monitoring using non-intrusive sensors for monitoring signals, track circuits, axle counters and their sub-systems of interlocking, power supply systems including the voltage and current levels, relays, timers. There are a slew of cases where AI was applied to improve traffic congestion in Indian metros.
Technological advancements in data collection, processing and computational power has taken AI to a whole new level. As AI grows more capable, its ability to tackle problems in a wider set of domains become possible. India is an emerging power, the early adoption of AI is expected to impact its growth in a number of good ways.