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India’s NITI Aayog forges partnership to grow AI ecosystem in India

India’s NITI Aayog forges partnership to grow AI ecosystem in India

According
to a press
statement
, the Indian Government policy think tank National Institution for Transforming India (NITI)
Aayog
recently forged partnership to help grow the artificial intelligence (AI)
ecosystem in India.

With
the objective of building an AI ecosystem in India, NITI Aayog’s partnership with
Google will focus on training in AI and machine learning (ML), hackathons, mentoring startups, and
providing research grants. The partnership was forged through the signing of a
Statement of Intent (SoI).

"Artificial
Intelligence is going to disrupt the way business is done and India, in
particular, is uniquely poised in utilising AI to innovate for social and
inclusive good. India is embracing future technologies such as machine learning
and AI to augment its capacity in healthcare, improve outcomes in education,
develop innovative governance systems for our citizens and improve overall
economic productivity of the nation,” said Mr Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.

Since
its establishment in 2015, the NITI Aayog has been entrusted to setup a
national programme to conduct research and development in frontier technologies
including AI. It has also been developing India’s national strategy on AI along
with the National Data and Analytics Portal to enable the wide deployment and
use of AI.

“NITI's
partnership with Google will unlock massive training initiatives, support
startups and encourage AI research through PhD scholarships, all of which
contributes to the larger idea of a technologically-empowered New India,” he
added.

NITI Aayog and its partner will work on the following
initiatives:

(1)    
Training government officials to use open source
AI tools

To equip government officials and civil servants with the
digital capabilities, hands-on training programs will be organised with the aim
of educating policymakers and technical experts in governments about open
source AI tools, and how they can be used to streamline governance.

(2)    
Funding research in India and offering online
training course

The partnership will fund AI-based research in India and
offers online training courses in the form of study groups and developer-run
courses, to students, graduates and engineers across India on the fundamentals
of AI and ML

(3)    
Incubating Indian AI/ML startups

Google
will train and incubate Indian AI startups in an accelerator program. These
startups will be mentored and coached by Google and its affiliates to enable
them to better leverage AI in their respective business models.

(4)     An
AI/ML-focused hackathon

Under this partnership, an AI/ML hackathon will
be organised with the focus on using open data sets to develop AI and ML-based
solutions for agriculture, education, healthcare, financial inclusion, urban
mobility sectors.

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