Context: With the rapid transition towards the digital world, it is high time India becomes self sufficient in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.


  • In the earlier industrial era, a country’s geopolitical might was determined by its control over mechanical and chemical technology.
  • But in the digital era one’s capability will be determined with respect to its AI prowess. 

Artificial Intelligence:

  • It refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. 
  • The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.
  • AI has two elements: one is the technology itself, and the other is the social element of intensive, granular information about potential subjects of AI, or what we call data.

Race in AI between the US and China 

  • AI is expected to manage and lead in every sector ranging from agriculture to mobility but the concern is the dominance of few top U.S and Chinese companies  over the AI sector.
  • With an immense emerging global concentration of AI power, the field has basically become a race between the US and China due to which the IMF has warned of a Digital Berlin Wall, with countries forced to choose one side.
  • U.S’s investment in R&D and its first mover advantage helped him to become a pioneer in AI technologies while it was only China who managed to achieve a similar fate with the Government support and barriers like internet firewall.

Way Ahead:

  • The current scenario requires development of a robust domestic AI landscape in order to minimise economic dependence on global leaders.
  • Further initiatives like Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay) must be implemented in letter and spirit as it focuses on responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth. 
  • India has devised a National AI Strategy and National AI Portal which will play a pivotal role in attaining self sufficiency.
  • Similarly the recommendations of Kris Gopalakrishnan on using Non Personal data is vital for the development of the AI ecosystem.
  • Digital businesses must shift from data hoarding as a key competitive advantage to devising innovative uses of widely-shared data for the benefit of consumers. 
    • All players would benefit from such a shift and it could help India avoid an abject dependence for its AI needs on the two global AI superpowers.


In a digital age, being self-sufficient in terms of AI is central to any conception of an Atmanirbhar Bharat and requires India’s data to be made widely available for use by the Indian AI industry. 

National Artificial Intelligence Portal

  • The portal has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).
  • The portal will work as a one stop digital platform for sharing of resources such as articles, startups, investment funds in AI, resources, companies and educational institutions related to AI in India. 
  • It will also share documents, case studies, research reports etc, and has a section about learning and new job roles related to AI.

National Strategy On Artificial Intelligence:

  • It was released by NITI Aayog in June 2018.
  • The Strategy is termed #AIForAll is focused on leveraging AI for inclusive growth in line with the Government policy of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. 
  • Role of the Government has been clearly delineated to develop the research ecosystem, promote adoption and address skilling challenges. 
  • The strategy also flags important issues like ethics, bias and privacy issues relating to AI and envisions government promoting research in technology to address these concerns. 
  • The focus is on sectors like agriculture, health and education where public investment and lead would be necessary.


Kris Gopalakrishnan committee:

  • It is a 9 member committee set up on Non Personal Data Governance Framework.
  • It has recently released a draft report focusing on  -
  • A data-sharing regulation: To shift data’s economic benefits for citizens and communities in India as well as help the government in policy making and service delivery. 
    • The report’s proposed regulation would require companies to share their private data, excluding “proprietary data”, at no remuneration. 
    • Citizens, startups, researchers, and the government can request data for purposes of national security, legal, public interest (such as service delivery), and economic purposes to create a level playing field.
  • Non-personal data: Refers to any set of data which does not contain personally identifiable information. The report focuses on three types of non-personal data: 
  1. Public non-personal data, owned by governments 
  2. Private non-personal data, owned by non-government players and derived from assets or processes privately-owned, and 
  3. Community data which is the raw data of a group of people that may also be collected by private players.

A broader version of this proposal had made its way into the IT Ministry’s Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill (currently in the Parliament).

  • A new business category called “Data Businesses”: That exists horizontally across sectors.
  • Ownership of Community data: The report argues that legal and ownership rights over this type of data should be given to a trustee of the community, most often a community body or government agency. 
    • This trustee can collaborate with a new data regulator called the Non-Personal Data Authority (separate from a Data Protection Authority called for by the pending Data Bill) to seek and enforce data sharing. 


Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay):

  • It is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative including USA, UK, EU, Australia, India etc.. 
  • GPAI will be supported by a Secretariat, to be hosted by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, as well as by two Centers of Expertise- one each in Montreal and Paris.
  • It guides the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth. 
  • This is also a first initiative of its type for evolving better understanding of the challenges and opportunities around AI using the experience and diversity of participating countries. 



Image Source: Livemint