Niti Aayog led panel to help India counter China in the AI race

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Niti Aayog led panel to help India counter China in the AI raceTo counter China’s commitment towards artificial intelligence, the government has formed a high-level committee headed by Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar to lay out a roadmap for India’s research and development on AI and its applications.

The panel, which will be a mix of government, academia and industry officials, will be notified soon.

The government wants to ensure India does not fall behind in emerging technologies and hence the urgency to rollout a nationwide AI programme that will include robotics and data analytics. China has prepared a three-step roadmap to become the world leader in AI by 2030.

A preliminary meeting on AI was held in January and was attended by Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat, the secretaries of biotechnology and science and technology, former Nasscom head Kiran Karnik, former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, IIT faculty members including Pankaj Jalote and Pulok Ghosh, besides top officials from Flipkart, NetApp and TIE Ventures.

“A committee has been formed to coordinate the efforts of different ministries and bring them together. The next meeting will happen soon and we hope to decide on the timeline for the committee to come up with a roadmap for a national programme on AI,” a senior government official told ET.

In the Union Budget last week, the government entrusted the Aayog with developing a national AI programme. Under the programme, the government is likely to offer incentives to startups and venture funds that undertake application-oriented research on AI across key sectors including banking, insurance, education, health, retail, and transportation.

Financial allocation under the Atal Innovation Mission will be used to fund the programme on a nationwide scale.

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