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            Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged business leaders and technocrats to build a bridge between the artificial intelligence and human intentions. In fact artificial intelligence has penetrated several aspects of our life in the past few years . The govt on its part has also been vocal about its intention to mainstream AI applications and several ministries along with NITI Aayog have come up various recommendation to enhance the use of AI.


Artificial Intelligence:

  • Artificial intelligence is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans.
  • AI refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making.
  • Quality of Data is the crucial element to the success of AI


National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence:

  • NITI Aayog unveiled its discussion paper on national strategy on AI which aims to guide research and development in new and emerging technologies.
  • NITI Aayog has identified five sectors — healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure and transportation — to focus its efforts towards implementation of AI.
  • The paper focuses on how India can leverage the transformative technologies to ensure social and inclusive growth


National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems:

National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to be implemented by Department of Science &Technology at a total outlay of Rs. 3660 crore for a period of five years.

The Mission addresses the ever increasing technological requirements of the society, and takes into account the international trends and road maps of leading countries for the next generation technologies. The mission implementation would develop and bring:

  • Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in the country,
  • adoption of CPS technologies to address India specific National / Regional issues,
  • produce Next Generation skilled manpower in CPS,
  • catalyze Translational Research,
  • accelerate entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development in CPS,
  • give impetus to advanced research in CPS, Technology development and higher education in Science, Technology and Engineering disciplines, and
  • place India at par with other advanced countries and derive several direct and indirect benefits.



  • National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems:
  • National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence by NITI Aayog
  • In agriculture, Microsoft, in collaboration with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (Icrisat), has developed AI-enabled sowing app that sends advisories to farmers on the best date to sow, soil-test based fertiliser and manure application, seed treatment, etc.
  • In 2017, 3,000 farmers in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Karnataka used the app, resulting in a 10-30% increase in kharif yields.
  • NITI has partnered IBM to develop AI-enabled yield-prediction and real-time advisory to the farmer on productivity, pest-warning, etc, using data gathered from remote-sensing satellites, soil health cards, IMD etc.
  • India is 5th in the number of AI companies in the world.
  • India is 5th in the number of AI jobs in the world
  • To tackle school dropout, the Andhra Pradesh government has partnered Microsoft to identify those likely to drop out.


Benefits from AI:

  • Healthcare: increased access and affordability of quality healthcare.
  • Agriculture: enhanced farmers’ income, increased farm productivity and reduction of wastage.
  • Education: improved access and quality of education.
  • Smart Cities and Infrastructure: efficient and connectivity for the burgeoning urban population.
  • Smart Mobility and Transportation: smarter and safer modes of transportation and better traffic and congestion problems.
  • Energy: In renewable energy systems, AI can enable storage of energy through intelligent grids enabled by smart meters.
  • NITI Aayog estimates that adopting AI means a 15% boost for the gross value added (GVA) for the economy by 2035.
  • Increase efficiency and enhance governance across the government.
  • Helps in improving the ease of doing business, as well as making the lives of people simpler.


Concerns and Risks:

  • There are less than 400 PhDs of AI in India out of total 20,000.
  • AI is trained from data and this data has human biases.
  • The armed forces of US and China have already invested billions of dollars to develop LAWS, intending to gain strategic and tactical advantage over each other. This runs the risks of an arms race. 
  • We donot have access to high grade infrastructure which other countries have and unique
  • AI has to meet the first and foremost challenge of acceptability with the users from the government, public sector and the armed forces, or even the private sector.
    • As users of AI, their interest in the technology augmenting their own ability, and not posing a threat, is quite pertinent.
  • India is only 13th in the quantity and quality of AI research that gets produced.
  • Attacks possible on AI systems.
  • Technical competence in this fast-paced sector, primarily in the case of government, could be a road block.
  • AI can better adapt to the goals and expectations of the Indian decision makers, if the technology development is indigenous. Foreign dependence in this case would be detrimental and unproductive.
  • AI has set off an economic and technological competition, which will further intensify.
  • LAWs operate without human intervention, and there is formidable challenge in distinguishing between combatants and non-combatants, which is a subject of human judgment.



  • More than a technology developer or consumer, India can play a vital role in defining the multilateral rules of the road and help setting up of best ethical standards to dissuade any arms race in LAWs, ensuring safe and beneficial Artificial Intelligence for all.
  • Strides in supercomputing and Big Data analytics are further enhancing AI applications relating to advanced training or learning and India should be ready for that.
  • China is investing $2.1 billion in creating an AI research park. It is time to ensure that India is not left behind in this important skill.

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