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India to Establish First Universal AI University

The Maharashtra government’s Higher and Technical Education Department has approved the establishment of a universal AI University in Karjat, Mumbai. It will provide a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes focused on artificial intelligence (AI). The university is the first of its kind in India, offering degrees and specialised courses specifically in the field.

The university will primarily provide a curriculum that is multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary, incorporating subjects from five different disciplines. It will offer advanced education and training in AI, machine learning (ML), and data science, equipping students with the latest knowledge and skills. Additionally, it will feature state-of-the-art student infrastructure, including facilities such as the Quantum Computing AI Lab, Internet of Things (IoT) Lab, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/Mixed Reality Lab, and a global trading room. It will also offer inventive courses in liberal arts and humanities, law, global affairs and diplomacy, environment and sustainability, and sports sciences.

With a focus on empowering young minds, the university plans to educate students through 80% experiential learning, while integrating AI across all programmes. The university has been endorsed by 60 CEOs from across the globe. The academic year is scheduled to begin in August this year.

According to a representative from the university, the first-ever dedicated AI university in India and Maharashtra will play a pivotal role in driving the growth and development of the country and state in the 21st century by imparting universal skill sets. Furthermore, it will serve as a research centre focused on the advancement of new AI technologies, contributing to India’s economic and technological progress.

In alignment with India’s new National Education Policy 2020, the government claimed it is committed to introducing skill-oriented courses, enabling the country’s youth to acquire vocational or higher education degrees by 2035, an increase in the number of students by 500 million. The representative stated that the current landscape in the field of AI presents vast opportunities globally as well as in India. The government’s policies create a favourable environment for rapid development.

Recently, the National Institute of Transforming India’s (NITI Aayog) Atal Innovation Mission decided to upskill the education sector by adding IT skills to the formal curriculum. The larger aim is to increase the pace of tech integration for youth, bridge the future skills gap in the country, and optimise the current infrastructure (including Atal Tinkering Labs) towards making India AI-ready.

A report from April showed that India is a global frontrunner in terms of AI skill penetration rates, surpassing the United States and Germany. The AI skill penetration rate serves as a metric to assess the prevalence of diverse AI-related skills within different occupations. India holds the highest position in the relative AI skill penetration rate across gender for the period of 2015-2022.

The country also ranked 32nd among 181 nations in the AI Readiness Index 2022. The government said that the world is beginning to see the impact of India’s National AI Strategy, published in 2018. The quality of India’s IT talent pool is a contributing factor. As OpenGov Asia reported, the country has developed several initiatives aimed at embedding AI use throughout all levels of government and society, as well as ensuring that technological developments reinforce India’s place in the international realm.


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