The Niti Aayog will soon come out with a national policy on artificial intelligence, outlining the scope of research and for the adoption and commercialisation of the technology to counter China’s thrust towards AI.
The policy is expected to lay out short-, medium- and long-term goals to be achieved by 2022, 2026 and 2030, as India gears up to meet its commitment towards sustainable development goals, starting 2018.
Under the policy, deadlines for commercial rollout of AI may also be proposed in areas like agriculture, health, education, banking, retail and transportation. It may also suggest incentives for startups and venture capital funds that undertake research and adoption of AI. These guidelines would be based on half a dozen pilots the Aayog has undertaken on AI in areas of agriculture, health, education and creation of other social infrastructure.
A senior government official told ET that the government was considering to set up another high-level committee which would be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of AI.
It will be responsible for removing any initial roadblocks the policy may face in its implementation.
It is expected that the financial allocation under the Atal Innovation Mission would be used for funding the programme on a nationwide scale and projects will be granted on the challenge mode.
The government is already providing support of up to Rs 10 crore to established and upcoming incubation centres under the Atal innovation Mission. It had allocated Rs 500 crore towards this in 2015-16.
Of this, the original allocation under the mission for 2017-18 was Rs 112 crore, which was revised to Rs 150 crore. For 2018-19, it is Rs 200 crore.
Besides, the nationwide strategy on AI would also emphasise on the need for hiring experts in the domain. “Our endeavour will be to get the best international experts associated with as well as those acquainted with the applicability of AI in the Indian or developing country context,” the official added.
According to the official, AI is a unique technology that can provide scale of application and quality of approach simultaneously.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley, in the budget, had asked the Aayog to initiate a national programme to direct government’s efforts in the area of AI.