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IIT-Kharagpur Democratising AI Education

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The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-Kharagpur) has announced an artificial intelligence (AI) certification programme called Hands-on AI for Real-world Applications (HAAI). It aims to democratise AI education, fostering skill development among both students and professionals. The objective is to educate 100,000 individuals.

The programme was launched by IIT-Kharagpur’s AI hub, known as AI for Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (AI4ICPS). A private enterprise will provide learning management system (LMS) platform services as well as play a significant role in expanding the course’s reach. The programme is expected to align with the requirements of the growing AI sector and is shaped to incorporate suggestions from the National Education Policy 2020.

The three-month programme, conducted exclusively on weekends, provides a blend of theoretical fundamentals and hands-on practical learning. The course spans 47 contact hours and a cumulative 100 hours of experiential learning. It includes modular quizzes, helpful insights and tips, assignments, interactive forums, real-world datasets, live sessions for resolving queries, and a certificate of merit for the top one per cent of performers. Furthermore, participants have the opportunity to engage with industry experts, enhancing their learning experience.

The Director of IIT-Kharagpur, VK Tewari, stated that building upon the achievements of this programme, the Institute plans to introduce either a 10-12-month diploma course or a degree course. He said this would bring significant benefits to students and professionals in the workforce.

The AI programme is scheduled to begin on 2 September and conclude on 2 December 2023. It is available for recent graduates, individuals currently enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate degrees, professionals seeking a career shift to become AI/ML engineers, people possessing fundamental programming skills, and those who have a strong enthusiasm for establishing a career in the field of information technology.

The Indian government aims to leverage emerging technologies to stimulate the nation’s economy and enhance the efficacy of public services and their delivery. Over recent years, the government has introduced numerous initiatives through educational institutions and national agencies, all geared towards upskilling the workforce.

In commemoration of World Youth Skills Day this year, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship inaugurated AI for India 2.0, a free online training initiative. As OpenGov Asia reported, the programme is a collaborative effort between the government’s Skill India project and the education platform GUVI.

It includes a Python course that caters to learners in nine languages, such as Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, and others. The primary focus of the project is to target youth, including college students, fresh graduates, and early professionals, providing them with training on AI/ML. The aim is to prepare them for a secure and prosperous career in the technology field in the future.

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

Furthermore, technical colleges in Himachal Pradesh will incorporate initiatives that include AI, data science, and mechatronics engineering starting this month. The Government Hydro Engineering College Bilaspur will offer the Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) programme in Computer Science and Engineering with a specialisation in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. This course has been approved by the All-India Council for Technical Education and the Himachal Pradesh Technical University. Government polytechnic institutions in Rohru and Chamba will now offer specialised courses in computer engineering and mechatronics engineering, respectively.

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