After the Central Bank announced that it was planning to start its own digital currency, now the Government is planning to build an advanced technology platform in collaboration with private players.
The platform will be used to host and interpret huge amounts of citizen data collected from central ministries and state governments. This interpretation can then be used to factor in the spend patterns of the government. It can also be used to evaluate various government policies.
The plan on the national data and analytics platform is being developed by NITI Aayog as per Economic Times. The platform will use artificial intelligence to harness the data collected.
Considering that government is looking at a private public partnership, it could see companies such as IBM, Wipro, TCS, HP that offer analytics to be a part of the project. Interestingly, since there are a lot of startups working in the field and as the government is encouraging startups, there could be keen interest from startups as well. The estimated cost of developing the platform would be Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore.
Government betting big on AI
The government of India has been betting big on AI from the time the Union budget was announced. The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley doubled the allocation on Digital India programme to Rs 3073 crore in 2018-19 Union Budget. He also asked to encourage the use of these technologies in government departments and building a center of excellence for AI and Machine learning.
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, in February launched the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Mumbai. This is the first research institute in India that will focus on leveraging the technology to come up with AI-based social initiatives that will help citizens.
Soon after this, Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of electronics and IT, formed four committees to encourage research related to artificial intelligence in the country. He had said that the committees will be headed by directors of IITs, and industry experts from NASSCOM, and other eminent researchers. These four committees will work and do research on Citizen Centric Services; Data platforms; Skilling, reskilling and research and development; Legal regulatory and cybersecurity.
Nirmala Sitharaman, minister for Commerce and Industry had formed a task force to explore how AI can be leveraged for development across various fields. NITI Aayog is also working on a national policy in AI. The policy will look at incentivizing research in AI.
In terms of state governments, the government of Maharashtra has tied up with government of Canada to establish an AI center. The Karnataka government has already set up a Center of Excellence for AI and Robotics.