India’s IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Saturday (May 30), launched the one-stop digital platform for all artificial intelligence (AI)-related developments in India.
The portal, ai.gov.in, will facilitate the sharing of resources highlighting the depths and usage potential of AI. This would include information on startups, investment funds, resources, companies, education institutions and other resources related to AI in India. The portal will share documents, case studies and research reports, among other useful study material. It will also host a section for online learning and skill development as well as new jobs in the AI segment.
“India must be a leading country in the development of artificial intelligence in the world, leveraging upon its vast Internet-savvy population and data it is creating. India’s AI approach should be of inclusion and empowerment of human beings by supplementing growth and development rather than making human beings less relevant,” Prasad said.
The national AI platform has been jointly developed by the IT ministry and industry body NASSCOM, which represents business and technology leaders like Microsoft, Intel, Infosys, SAP Labs, Fractal Analytics, Mindtree, Accenture, and Wipro, among others.
Responsible AI For Youth
During the launch of the digital platform, Prasad also flagged off a national programme for the youth called “Responsible AI for Youth” to empower students in India with appropriate new age tech knowledge, relevant AI skill-sets and access to required AI tools.
Prasad has emphasised that the initiative will empower regular students to become AI-ready, help reduce the skill gap, and also enable youth to create meaningful social impact solutions. The programme is open to all students of class 8 to 12 from central and state-run government schools. In the first phase of implementations, members of each state education department will nominate 10 teachers, who will identify 20 to 25 potential candidates for the programme.
The selected students will attend online training sessions on AI. These students will be taught how to identify social impact ideas or projects that may be created using AI and submit their ideas through a 60 seconds video explaining a proposed AI-enabled solution.
The top 100 ideas will be invited to attend residential boot camps or online sessions, depending on the Covid-19 situation, to give them more in-depth knowledge about AI. Post this, the students will be asked to create real-time projects and submit their final project in a video format on the website.
The students will be coached by Intel certified AI coaches and mentors throughout to ensure that ideas mature as prototypes. They will further shortlist top 50 projects to showcase their ideas in front of an independent committee of experts, of which only 20 projects will be provided opportunities to showcase at relevant platforms.
The programme has been designed to reach out to students from government schools across India and provide them with an opportunity to become part of the skilled workforce in an inclusive manner, the IT ministry said in a statement. The programme has been designed by the IT ministry, in collaboration with Intel India. Department of school education and literacy and the ministry of human resource development are also offering their support.