October 29, 2020

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India launches AI-based module for schools

India’s policy commission, the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), and the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) have launched an AI-based module for Indian schools.

The objective of the programme is to empower students to innovate and create valuable solutions that benefit society at large.

The module contains activities, videos, and experiments that enable students to work through and learn the various AI concepts.

According to a press release, the CEO of NITI Aayog said that India can add 1.3% to its GDP on an annual basis through the use of machine learning and AI.

Indians can find solutions to the challenges of a shared connected zero-emission world. They could improve learning outcomes and diseases like tuberculosis and cancer.

He added that this AI module is critical in the sense that it will enable students to become major players in AI like it has been done in the past for robots, 3D printing, and IoT.

The module combines playing and academics, he explained. The organisation wants to make AI fun, so that children can enjoy it, evolve, learn and take India forward.

Technology innovation over the last decade has greatly accelerated as industries got intertwined with emerging technologies like never before, the release stated.

It has been estimated that by 2030, the global market in AI is likely to be about 15 trillion dollars, out of which India’s share will be close to a trillion.

The module will be introduced to all Atal Tinkering Labs 5,000, giving over 2.5 million students access to it.

For India to lead and remain relevant in this new tech-driven decade, especially in emerging technologies like AI and the ubiquity of AI in society, it is critical for the government and academia to collaborate to introduce AI learning at schools.

The NASSCOM President noted that AI has become a strategic lever for economic growth across nations and will continue to be one of the most crucial technologies of the future.

The hands-on AI module has been designed considering academic, co-scholastic, and other ATL programs at school.

The module will be a catalyst for the youth to explore, ideate, and learn the latest technologies.

AIM, which is housed at NITI Aayog, is the government’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. At the school level, AIM is establishing ATLs in all districts across India.

Currently, AIM has selected 14,916 schools across the country spread across 33 different states and union territories, for the establishment of ATLs.

NASSCOM acknowledges the role played by AI and other emerging technologies, as an imperative to build a digitally powered tomorrow.

By inculcating AI and a ‘learning by doing’ culture in schools, huge opportunities are bound to arise for the overall industries at a global scale. To achieve this, NASSCOM and AIM have worked in collaboration with industry members and universities to develop special modules on AI learning.

The module was introduced to ATL students on 27 February. An AI step-up module is under development, the release said.