The IndiaAI Mission will see the country invest in deep tech AI startups and develop a database for training AI models.

Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor

March 8, 2024

2 Min Read
Indian flag with blue sky and a city in the background.
(Source: Shivam Kumar/Pixabay)

The Indian government has approved the 103.74 billion Indian rupee (US$1.25 billion) IndiaAI Mission initiative to advance the country's AI ecosystem by financially supporting deep-tech AI startups and developing an open source database for training AI models, among other measures.

About INR45 billion ($543 million) of the total investment will be used to build computer infrastructure, while INR20 billion ($241 million) will be used to finance promising startups. The investments will be spread over a period of five years. 

"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," says the press release.

"The Mission will be implemented by 'IndiaAI' Independent Business Division (IBD) under Digital India Corporation (DIC)," it adds.

A key part of the initiative is to develop compute capacity by setting up over 10,000 graphics processing units (GPUs) under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. In addition, the government will also create a marketplace to provide AI-as-a-service and pre-trained models to developers and researchers. 

Indigenous tools and models

An AI dataset platform will also be part of the initiative to streamline the use of non-personal data by different stakeholders in the country. It will serve as a one-stop shop for accessing non-personal data.

In addition, the government will set up the IndiaAI Innovation Center to "undertake the development of indigenous Large Multimodal Models (LMMs) and domain-specific foundational models in critical sectors." Another priority will be developing AI skills in tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the country. 

The IndiaAI Application Development initiative will, meanwhile, seek to create AI applications for critical sectors. "The initiative will focus on developing/scaling/promoting adoption of impactful AI solutions with potential for catalyzing large scale socio-economic transformation," says the press release.  

Recognizing the need to promote responsible development and use of AI, the IndiaAI Mission will also work towards the development of indigenous tools and frameworks. 

India's AI market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 25-35% to reach $17 billion by 2027, according to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group and the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).

Several countries are trying to develop capabilities in the emerging AI ecosystem, but there is also a tendency for governments to attempt to control them. Earlier this month, the Indian government issued an advisory requiring tech companies to secure a permission before launching new models. 

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About the Author(s)

Gagandeep Kaur

Contributing Editor

With more than a decade of experience, Gagandeep Kaur Sodhi has worked for the most prominent Indian communications industry publications including Dataquest, Business Standard, The Times of India, and Voice&Data, as well as for Light Reading. Delhi-based Kaur, who has knowledge of and covers a broad range of telecom industry developments, regularly interacts with the senior management of companies in India's telecom sector and has been directly responsible for delegate and speaker acquisition for prominent events such as Mobile Broadband Summit, 4G World India, and Next Generation Packet Transport Network.

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