Marking one year of the National Education Policy (NEP) on July 29, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation and launched several new schemes that would benefit students as well as other citizens in the country. One of the interesting initiatives announced by the Centre was 'AI For All'.
What Is 'AI For All'?
This initiative is a step towards the government's push for technological development and is considered the need of the hour by many experts.
'AI for All' is a four-hour, self-paced, online-based course to offer a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for every citizen in the country. It consists of two sections – AI Awareness (1.5 hours) and AI Appreciation (2.5 hours). The former provides an elementary understanding of AI and its potentials and pitfalls while the latter will help learners get introductory knowledge of the common domains of AI and start building personal learning plans, reports News18.
This initiative is one of the largest AI Public Awareness programs globally, where the government aims to train 1 million citizens in one year.
A unique feature of this initiative is that it is aiming for inclusivity for all citizens. Firstly, it will be available in 11 different vernacular languages to break the language barrier in learning. Secondly, the content is also compatible with talkback applications i.e. it will be available in audible versions to make it accessible for visually impaired people. There is no age grouping as well, students, professionals, and even senior citizens can take this course.
This program is driven by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Ministry of Education, and Intel India.
The Need For AI In India
"It's a good thing that the government has initiated this. More than 75% of the educated people and even tech people don't actually know what AI is and what it actually does. So this initiative can bring a change," Jeho, founder, and CEO of Insysness Technology Pvt. Ltd, an AI, and Data Science organisation, told The Logical Indian.
AI can help in the advancement of various sectors in India. For instance, Jeho explained that traffic management and surveillance of drivers can be made easier with this technology. The e-commerce sector, according to him, can benefit as well. The use of AI technology can direct consumers online in a similar way as salespersons do offline.
The agriculture sector involves a significant population of the country. Abhishek Singh, President & CEO, National e-Governance Division, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in a column in The Financial Express stated that AI can help manage the complexity and uncertainty associated with production. Problems associated with epidemics, price volatility of raw materials, and optimal resources such as water, energy, and fertilizer can also be analysed effectively.
However, the introduction of AI in various industries and governmental work will require a huge initial investment. The question that arises is can India invest money into this field at this stage?
"The money drain is there but the ROI will be greater," said Jeho. According to him, the next few decades are the right time for India to invest in AI for development.
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