March 27, 2024
AI

India Approves $1.24 Billion “IndiaAI Mission” to Boost AI Innovation

In a landmark decision, India’s Union Cabinet has given the green light to the “IndiaAI Mission,” allocating an initial budget of 10,300 crore rupees ($1.24 billion) to bolster artificial intelligence (AI) startups and innovations over the next five years. The mission is set to play a pivotal role in providing nationwide access to computing power, a crucial element for AI development, and deployment.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal, during a cabinet briefing on March 7, announced the approval of the IndiaAI Mission, emphasizing its structured implementation through a public-private partnership model. The overarching goal is to nurture India’s AI innovation ecosystem.

“The Cabinet’s approval for the IndiaAI Mission will empower AI startups and expand access to compute infrastructure, marking a giant leap in our journey towards becoming a global leader in AI innovation.”

Statement from the Union Minister Piyush Goyal

The mission comprises seven components, with a primary focus on building and democratizing compute capacity, developing indigenous large multimodal models (LMMs), and streamlining access to quality non-personal data sets. Additionally, the initiative aims to introduce AI educational courses, finance deep-tech AI startups, and establish safety nets around AI advancements.

Notably, an AI computing infrastructure, equipped with 10,000 or more graphics processing units (GPUs), will be established through public-private partnerships to provide critical resources for AI startups.

“The Cabinet’s approval for the IndiaAI Mission will empower AI startups and expand access to compute infrastructure, marking a giant leap in our journey towards becoming a global leader in AI innovation.”

PM Narendra Modi on the mission’s potential impact on India’s AI landscape

In a related development, on March 1, the Indian government issued a warning to tech companies, requiring prior approval before releasing new AI tools. The advisory emphasized obtaining explicit permission for users on the Indian internet, with a particular focus on ensuring tools do not threaten the integrity of the electoral process, given the upcoming general elections in the summer of 2024. The government believes that AI advancements will contribute significantly to expanding the country’s economy and creating highly skilled employment opportunities.

Image by Satheesh Sankaran from Pixabay

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