In an endeavour to counter China’s race towards artificial intelligence, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog is set to release a landmark national policy on AI, which would outline the scope of its research, adoption and commercialisation. Reportedly, the decision to form the committee came after news of China’s intense and growing commitment in the field of AI.
According to a report in a financial newspaper, the NITI Aayog will lay out short, medium and long term goals to be achieved by 2022, 2026 and 2030, respectively. Commercial rollout of AI in sectors such as agriculture, health, education, banking, retail and transportation, may also be proposed.
Reports of a draft for a new industrial policy, to be released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry, were also making rounds earlier this February.
Last month, a committee headed by the NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar was also formed to lay out a roadmap for India’s research and development in AI. Reportedly, the panel was to lay out a roadmap for India’s works in AI will include government officials, industry leaders and academicians.
This move to release a national policy or AI is in sync with the recently-announced Union Budget, where Finance Minister and Minister of Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley had spoken about the Government’s plans to support AI and machine learning technologies. He had also said that that the NITI Aayog was to establish a national programme to direct efforts towards artificial intelligence, including research and development of its applications. This year, Jaitley has also doubled the allocation on Digital India programme to ₹3,073 crore in 2018-19.
Jaitley had said, “Technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, and initiatives like Digital India, Startup India and Make in India would help in establishing itself as a digital economy.”
The financial allocation under the Atal Innovation Mission will be used to fund the programme on a nationwide scale and projects will be granted on the challenge mode. “It has just been announced. NITI Aayog has been working on the subject for a while and will be coming out with a roadmap shortly,” a senior government official had said.
The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) is Government of India’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Its objective is to serve as a platform for promotion of world-class innovation hubs, grand challenges, start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven areas.
China had laid out a road map last year to make sure that they become the leading superpower in artificial intelligence by 2030. India’s neighbour is also racing ahead of US in scientific research, ranks number one for most-cited research papers, and is a global leader in super computers.