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Union Cabinet approves over ₹10,300 crore for IndiaAI Mission, to establish a comprehensive ecosystem catalysing AI innovation

A statement issued by the union cabinet said that the approved IndiaAI Mission will propel innovation and build domestic capacities to ensure the tech sovereignty of India.

The Union Cabinet on 7th March approved an allocation of ₹10,371.92 crore for the IndiaAI Mission, marking a significant step towards bolstering India’s AI ecosystem, and to further the vision of Making AI in India and Making AI Work for India. The IndiaAI mission will establish a comprehensive ecosystem catalysing AI innovation through strategic programs and partnerships across the public and private sectors.

A statement issued by the union cabinet said that the approved IndiaAI Mission will propel innovation and build domestic capacities to ensure the tech sovereignty of India. It will also create highly skilled employment opportunities to harness the demographic dividend of the country. IndiaAI Mission will help India demonstrate to the world how this transformative technology can be used for social good and enhance its global competitiveness, the press release said.

This substantial financial infusion of over ₹10,300 crore, slated over the next five years, is poised to catalyse various components of the IndiaAI Mission, including initiatives like the IndiaAI Compute Capacity, IndiaAI Innovation Centre (IAIC), IndiaAI Datasets Platform, IndiaAI Application Development Initiative, IndiaAI FutureSkills, IndiaAI Startup Financing, and Safe & Trusted AI.

The aim of this financial outlay is to ensure a structured implementation of the IndiaAI Mission through a public-private partnership model aimed at nurturing India’s AI innovation ecosystem. By democratizing computing access, improving data quality, developing indigenous AI capabilities, attracting top AI talent, enabling industry collaboration, providing startup risk capital, ensuring socially impactful AI projects and bolstering ethical AI, it will drive responsible, inclusive growth of India’s AI ecosystem.

A cornerstone of this effort is the IndiaAI Compute Capacity, envisioned to erect a cutting-edge, scalable AI computing infrastructure by deploying over 10,000 Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) through strategic public-private collaborations.

According to the Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and Jal Shakti, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, this approval will benefit Indian citizens and contribute to the expansion of India’s economy.

Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “AI is going to be the kinetic enabler for India’s digital economy. Prime Minister Modi ji has always said that India is going to fully exploit the power of AI for the benefit of its citizens and for the expansion of its economy. I am grateful and thankful to the Hon’ble PM for the approval of more than 10,000 crores for the India AI program, which will catalyze India’s AI ecosystem and position it as a force shaping the future of AI for India and for the world. This will benefit states like Kerala which, for years, missed the bus in creating a robust tech ecosystem. There is immense potential among Young Indians in Kerala and with this financial outlay will help realise their ambitions.”

This financial outlay will fortify the IndiaAI Startup Financing mechanism, facilitating streamlined access to funding for budding AI startups and catalyzing their journey from product development to commercialization. The proposal also includes funding provisions for industry-led AI projects aimed at fostering social impact, propelling innovation and entrepreneurship.

The IndiaAI Innovation Centre (IAIC) which will be a leading academic institution, ensuring streamlined implementation and retention of top research talent. Funds approved by the Cabinet will enable IAIC to spearhead the development and deployment of foundational models, with a specific emphasis on indigenous Large Multimodal Models (LMMs) and domain-specific models, leveraging edge and distributed computing for optimal efficiency.

The IndiaAI Datasets Platform, which will be developed by the Independent Business Division (IBD) of IndiaAI, is slated to receive a boost to enhance accessibility, quality, and utility of public sector datasets, in order to ensure data-driven governance and catalyzing AI-based innovation and research.

Simultaneously, the IndiaAI FutureSkills program will focus on expanding the reach of AI education by increasing the accessibility of graduate and post-graduate AI programs, while also establishing Data and AI Labs that will not just be spread across major Indian cities but also smaller towns and cities to impart foundational-level courses in Data and AI.

Aligned with the broader vision of the IndiaAI Mission, these initiatives aim to bolster India’s global leadership in AI, foster technological self-reliance, ensure ethical and responsible AI deployment, and democratize the benefits of AI across all strata of society.

 The Mission will be implemented by ‘IndiaAI’ Independent Business Division (IBD) under Digital India Corporation (DIC) and has the following components:

1.    IndiaAI Compute Capacity: The IndiaAI compute pillar will build a high-end scalable AI computing ecosystem to cater to the increasing demands from India’s rapidly expanding AI start-ups and research ecosystem. The ecosystem will comprise AI compute infrastructure of 10,000 or more Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), built through public-private partnership. Further, an AI marketplace will be designed to offer AI as a service and pre-trained models to AI innovators. It will act as a one-stop solution for resources critical for AI innovation.

2.    IndiaAI Innovation Centre: The IndiaAI Innovation Centre will undertake the development and deployment of indigenous Large Multimodal Models (LMMs) and domain-specific foundational models in critical sectors. 

3.    IndiaAI Datasets Platform – The IndiaAI Datasets Platform will streamline access to quality non-personal datasets for AI Innovation. A unified data platform will be developed to provide a one-stop solution for seamless access to non-personal datasets to Indian Startups and Researchers.

4.    IndiaAI Application Development Initiative – The IndiaAI Application Development Initiative will promote the AI applications in critical sectors for the problem statements sourced from Central Ministries, State Departments, and other institutions. The initiative will focus on developing/scaling/promoting adoption of impactful AI solutions with potential for catalyzing large scale socio-economic transformation.

5.    IndiaAI FutureSkills – IndiaAI FutureSkills is conceptualized to mitigate barriers to entry into AI programs and will increase AI courses in undergraduate, masters-level, and Ph.D. programs. Further, Data and AI Labs will be set-up in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across India to impart foundational level courses.

6.    IndiaAI Startup Financing: The IndiaAI Startup Financing pillar is conceptualized to support and accelerate deep-tech AI startups and provide them streamlined access to funding to enable futuristic AI Projects.

7.    Safe & Trusted AI – Recognizing the need for adequate guardrails to advance the responsible development, deployment, and adoption of AI, the Safe & Trusted AI pillar will enable the implementation of Responsible AI projects including the development of indigenous tools and frameworks, self-assessment checklists for innovators, and other guidelines and governance frameworks.

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