India’s AI focus on problem solving for agriculture, health and smart cities | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India’s AI focus on problem solving for agriculture, health and smart cities

Feb 01, 2023 05:18 PM IST

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman called for participation from the industry and academia, particularly developing artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G applications

The Union Budget 2023 highlighted the government’s focus on building localised applications for artificial intelligence (AI), announcing that the country will set up three new centres in top educational institutions with the intention of finding scalable solutions across sectors, including agriculture, health, and sustainable cities.

The government hopes the focus on developing localised AI solutions will speed up implementation for unique use cases. (Representative file image)
The government hopes the focus on developing localised AI solutions will speed up implementation for unique use cases. (Representative file image)

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman called for participation from the industry and academia, particularly developing artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G applications.

“This will galvanise an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field,” she said in her Budget speech.

Industry players welcomed the announcement.

“The three new planned, dedicated AI Centres of Excellence will help accelerate the adoption and mainstreaming of artificial intelligence in terms of real-world applications in India. With AI being an integral part of our future, this is a great move” Muralikrishnan B, president, Xiaomi India, said.

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The government hopes the focus on developing localised AI solutions will speed up implementation for unique use cases.

“There is a great opportunity to combine 5G and AI to improve network speed, responsiveness, and efficiencies,” said Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva, a technology services company.

The Indian Railways recently trialled an AI program developed in-house by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). It factors in variables of train origin and destination, timings, class of accommodation and availability of alternative trains to reduce ticket wait lists by automating best possible allocation. The pilot project has been rolled out for more than 200 trains.

“The government continues to focus on the use of technology in order to bring in minimum government and maximum governance,” said Gunjan Prabhakaran, partner & leader - indirect tax at BDO India, an accounting, tax, and advisory firm.

The government’s strong focus on cutting-edge tech like AI & 5G will offer a much-needed growth impetus to our country’s digital infra at the grassroots level,” said Anirban Mukherjee, CEO, PayU India, a fintech company.

The new AI centres will likely build on the National Informatics Centre’s Meghraj Cloud Service, which offers multiple cloud models for developers to use. For instance, AI-Vani enables chatbots and voice services, AI-Manthan focuses on deep learning models and AI-Satyapikaanan is optimised for biometrics such as face recognition.

“The announcement to set up three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’ will further help India in its growth trajectory with the able use of technology,” said Prabhakaran.

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