The government think tank NITI Aayog, established in 2015, is credited with the advancement of AI in India. In 2018, NITI published a discussion paper titled ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence #AI4ALL‘, which demonstrates how AI can be successfully applied to five principal sectors in India: healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure, smart mobility and transportation, to benefit the country’s general population.
Since 2018, NITI Aayog has launched numerous AI initiatives: the Atal Innovation Mission, Empowered Group-6, RAISE 2020 summit, etc. This article highlights the AI initiatives launched by NITI Aayog in 2021.
Responsible AI #AIFORALL: Approach Documents
The flagship AI initiative by NITI Aayog in 2021 has been the Responsible AI approach documents published in collaboration with the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. ‘Approach Document for India Part 1, Principles for Responsible AI‘ was published in February 2021 and further builds on the National Strategy for AI. The Approach Document “aims to establish broad ethics principles for design, development, and deployment of AI in India,” writes NITI Vice Chairman Dr Rajir Kumar in the foreword of the paper.
The ‘Approach Document for India: Part 2- Operationalizing Principles for Responsible AI’ was published in August 2021. The paper operationalized the seven principles highlighted from the first approach and document. In addition, it delineates the role of the government and multi-disciplinary bodies and gives recommendations to the private sector, research and academia etc., in their use of AI.
NITI Aayog, AWS and Intel collaborate to access Digital Transformation in India
In collaboration with Intel and Amazon Web Services, NITI Aayog has launched an initiative to establish a new experience studio “that will be a hub for collaboration and experimentation to enable problem-solving and innovation between government stakeholders, startups, enterprises, and industry domain experts”. Moreover, the studio shall play a key role in exhibiting the growth potential of AI by welcoming many AI startups and centres to showcase their products, services and solutions.
AWS Young Builders Challenge 2021
The Amazon Web Services Young builders challenge is an initiative launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Education- Innovation Cell (Govt. of India), Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The initiative instils a “scientific temper, computational and design thinking and coding skills” in the nation’s school-going adolescents. It further attempts to teach students between the 6th to 12th standard the basic understanding and tenets of artificial intelligence.
Working Paper, Pilot Studies, White Paper Publications
NITI Aayog has published multiple papers that showcase how AI can be used to advance various sectors. The think tank also sponsored a pilot study– ‘A feasibility study to assess the usability, usefulness, and adherence to Standard Treatment Guidelines in Indian healthcare settings with the use of Elsevier’s “Arezzo®” – a Declarative Artificial Intelligence-based Clinical Decision Support System and pathway technology’.
As per the statistics published by NITI Aayog, the AI industry might contribute over 1 trillion dollars to the Indian economy by 2035. In this regard, the central think tank is dedicated to advancing AI by setting various AI-related policies, schemes, initiatives, projects, and studies into motion.
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Abhishree is a budding tech journalist with a UGD in Political Science. In her free time, Abhishree can be found watching French new wave classic films and playing with dogs.