national-ai-portal-of-india-launched-summary

Context: The Union Minister for Electronics and IT launched India’s National Artificial Intelligence Portal called www.ai.gov.in.

About the portal: 

  • Developed by: This portal has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (IT) and IT Industry. 
  • Run by: The National e-Governance Division of Ministry of Electronics and IT and NASSCOM from the IT industry will jointly run this portal. 
  • Functions: 
    • This portal shall work as a one stop digital platform for AI related developments in India - 
      • startups, investment funds in AI, 
      • resources, companies and educational institutions related to AI in India. 
    • The portal will also share documents, case studies, research reports etc. 
    • It has a section about learning and new job roles related to AI.

Responsible AI for Youth:

  1. On this occasion, the Minister for Electronics & Information Technology also launched a National Program for the youth, “Responsible AI for Youth”. 
  2. The aim of this Program is to give the young students of our country a platform and empower them with appropriate new age tech mind-set, relevant AI skill-sets and access to required AI tool-sets to make them digitally ready for the future. 
    • “Responsible AI for Youth” will empower the youth to become AI ready and help reduce the skill gap, while enabling youth to create meaningful social impact solutions.
    •  The Program is designed to reach out to students from Government schools pan India and provide them with an opportunity to become part of the skilled workforce in an inclusive manner.
    • It aims to bring about a change in the thought process and create a bridge for the digital divide. 
  3. The Program has been created and launched by the National e-Governance Division, Ministry of Electronics & IT in collaboration with Intel India, with support from Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSE&L), Ministry of Human Resource Development. 
    • DoSE&L will help reach-out to State Education Departments to nominate teachers as per eligibility criteria.
  4. The National Programme is open to students of classes 8 - 12 from Central and State government-run schools (including KVS, NVS, JNV) from across the country - all 28States and 8 Union Territories.
  5. Details: The Program will be implemented in a phase-wise manner.
    • In its first phase, each of the State Education Department will nominate 10 teachers as per the eligibility criteria. 
      • Teachers may also self nominate themselves by fulfilling the eligibility criteria.
    • These teachers will be provided orientation sessions aimed to help them understand the premise and identify 25-50 potential students for the Program. 
    • The identified students will attend online training sessions on AI and understand how to identify social impact ideas/projects that may be created using AI and submit their ideas through a 60 seconds video explaining a proposed AI enabled solution.
    • From the submitted ideas in the form of videos, top 100 ideas will be shortlisted and these students will be invited to attend residential boot camps or online sessions (subject to COVID-19 situation). 
    • Post the boot-camps/ online sessions, these students will be asked to create real time projects and submit their final project in a video format on the website.

Significance:

  • The role of digital technologies in a pandemic-afflicted world, have proved to be our saviours during the difficult times. These have been of very crucial help especially in the field of education, agriculture, healthcare, e-commerce, finance, telecommunications, etc. 
  • The NationaL AI Portal, will lead to democratization of artificial intelligence in the country.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) 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.

Importance for India: 

  • India must be a leading country in the development of Artificial Intelligence in the world, leveraging its vast Internet savvy population and data it is creating. 
  • With a thriving startup ecosystem, a young population and multinational tech companies, AI can be India’s black gold.
  • 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.

Beginning of India’s AI journey

  • Artificial intelligence, as a concept and a field of research, was born out of a workshop at Dartmouth College in 1956.
  • The idea of AI came to Indian shores first with works of Professor H.N. Mahabala in the 60s, and later with the creation of UNDP backed Knowledge-Based Computing Systems (KBCS) in 1986. 
  • But it was the US that pioneered and innovated in the field of AI. 

Impact of ‘AI-future’ on India

  • The future impact of AI on Indian will be far-reaching as it is expected to double the annual economic growth rate  by 2030.
  • The AI has the potential  essentially to raise India’s annual growth rate by 1.3 percentage points, or 15 percent of current Indian GDP.

Optimism and skepticism about the AI-future:

  • The expected decline of many of the current job roles and the creation of new ones will be a significant challenge for young Indians.  
  • Despite the widespread consensus of AI stealing jobs, industry leaders point that ultimately it would lead to a net increase in the number of jobs available.
  •  These new jobs will be of different types, just like different types of jobs that emerged after the first industrial revolution.
  • Additionally, a widening gap might unfold at the level of individual workers. Demand for jobs will shift away from repetitive tasks towards those that require creativity, empathy, and other social skills along with digital abilities. 
  • Job profiles characterised by repetitive activities or that require a low level of digital skills could experience the most significant decline as a share of total employment to around 30 per cent by 2030, from the current roughly 40 per cent.

AI readiness:

  • According to McKinsey’s research, countries fall into four groups in terms of AI readiness. 
  • Currently, India is in the third group, which is described as economies which have a moderate ability to capture economic benefits from AI. 
  • However, the benefits can be maximised, and losses can be minimised by putting necessary infrastructure and policy in place.

The key to unlocking that potential lies in preparing its students, workforce, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges and to leverage the opportunities AI brings.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1627950

Image Source: www.ai.gov.in