Niti Aayog pushes for Rs 7,500-crore proposal for AI platform, research institutes

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Niti Aayog pushes for Rs 7,500-crore proposal for AI platform, research institutes

According to the proposal, the funding would be used to set up five institutes or centres of research excellence and 20 international centres for transformational AI.

Niti Aayog has circulated a cabinet note to provide Rs 7,500 crore for the establishment of AIRAWAT, a cloud computing platform along with research institutes. This is part of the policy think tank's proposal to create an institutional framework for artificial intelligence (AI) in the country. The expenditure Finance Committee is expected to take up the note soon.

The note circulated by Niti Aayog proposes that the new government pump in Rs 7,500 crore over three years, as well as set up a high-level taskforce that will oversee the rollout and implementation of AI. An official told The Economic Times that Niti Aayog would present the cabinet note to the new government as they want an institutional framework as well as a transparent policy in place for AI.

According to the proposal, the funding would be used to set up five institutes or centres of research excellence (CORE), 20 international centres for transformational AI (ICTAI), along with AIRAWAT, a cloud computing platform that can be accessed by anyone. The official further added that selection of institutes and partners will be done based on guidelines that are currently being developed.

The task force monitoring the AI project will be headed by a member of Niti Aayog along with representatives from all ministries and states as well as experts.

To this end, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has already written to states and ministries urging them to identify key projects where AI can be adopted.

The move to create cloud computing platform is part of the government's goal of making India a pioneer amongst emerging economies with regards to AI and transform sectors such as education, health, agriculture, urbanisation and mobility.

It is estimated that AI will add $957 billion to India's GDP by 2035, boosting India's annual growth by 1.3 percentage points.

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