India launches national artificial intelligence mission for industry and schools

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Technology growth has been a major driver of economy in a country. India joins the race of Artificial Intelligence with a vision of being the lead of the industry in the world. India’s IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the one-stop digital platform for all artificial intelligence (AI)-related developments in the country. This was on the occasion of the first anniversary of the second tenure of the Narendra Modi government.

The portal

The Ministry of Electronics and IT and the IT Industry have jointly developed the portal. This will basically have all the resources on AI. This would include information on startups, investment funds, resources, companies, education institutions and other resources related to AI in India. The portal will also share documents, case studies and research reports, among other useful study material. The government seems to be giving importance to the education sector as well, hence it will also host a section for online learning and skill development in the AI segment.

The National e-Governance Division of Ministry of Electronics and IT and NASSCOM from the IT industry will jointly run this portal. NASSCOM  represents business and technology leaders like Microsoft, Intel, Infosys, SAP Labs, Fractal Analytics, Mindtree, Accenture, and Wipro, among others.

Education 

The government also launched a national programme for the youth called ‘Responsible AI for Youth‘ to empower students in India with appropriate new age tech knowledge, relevant AI skill-sets and access to required AI tools. One of the biggest drawbacks in employment is students not matching the required skillset. The initiative will empower regular students to become AI-ready, help reduce the skill gap, and also enable youth to create meaningful social impact solutions.

The programme is open to all students of class 8 to 12 from central and state-run government schools. There different phases of implementation. In the first phase of implementations, members of each state education department will nominate 10 teachers, who will identify 20 to 25 potential candidates for the programme. The selected students will attend online training sessions on AI. These students will be taught how to identify social impact ideas or projects that may be created using AI and submit their ideas through a 60 seconds video explaining a proposed AI-enabled solution.

The top 100 ideas will be invited to attend residential boot camps or online sessions, depending on the Covid-19 situation, to give them more in-depth knowledge about AI. Post this, the students will be asked to create real-time projects and submit their final project in a video format on the website.

The students will be coached by Intel certified AI coaches and mentors throughout to ensure that ideas mature as prototypes. They will further shortlist top 50 projects to showcase their ideas in front of an independent committee of experts, of which only 20 projects will be provided opportunities to showcase at relevant platforms.

 

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