October 22, 2020

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India launches AI step-up modules to students nationwide

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) has launched the ATL AI Step-Up Module for students, which will drive artificial intelligence (AI) education and innovation across the country. The initiative was launched after the AI project, ATL AI Modules by the Atal Innovation Mission.

According to a press release, this module is the next step in bringing AI to Indian classrooms. The AI Step-up Module provides a comprehensive set of learn-it-yourself advanced modules to those who want to expand their knowledge base after becoming familiar with the basics of the AI technology, through the AI base module.

With this new launch, through hands-on projects and activities, the step-up module encourages a deeper understanding of AI, which can be applied in the real world. The module is designed in an attractive graphical manner that is comprehensible for all students belonging to rural and urban areas, the release noted. Furthermore, the step-up module needs no previous knowledge and introduces the concepts to students from the basics using interactive tools and activities to keep their attention undivided.

Speaking on the importance of introducing AI to school students, the CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, said that the AI step-up module is the future of this country as it targets the youth, which is path-breaking. He urged young India to take this opportunity positively and explore the module to create valuable solutions that would pave way for the country to become Atmanirbhar Bharat.

During the virtual launch, the Mission Director of Atal Innovation Mission, R. Ramanan, said that this first-ever industry-government-academia initiative has received many responses from students by the introduction of the base module. Now, AIM, NITI Aayog, and NASSCOM are proud to launch its step-up module. Inputs from leading academic organisations including Institutes of Information Technology (IITs) have contributed to the development of these modules.

The base module was specifically designed considering students as young as 12 years old, with no background in AI education to ignite curiosity on AI in their young minds and to contribute to the ecosystem of innovation. The step-up module has been designed and presented to involve young students across the country to induce inclusive learning and to empower youngsters of the country to create AI integrated innovations, he added.

The NASSCOM President, Debjani Ghosh, explained that the rapid advancement of technology, such as AI and robotics, has penetrated all industries, including education. As the world transforms with innovation, it is hearting to see how the youth of the country are acquiring great fondness towards the digital method of studying and adopting AI in it. She added that by introducing digital literacy, coding, and computational thinking, these modules can empower young people to meaningfully interact with AI-based technologies and bolster learning. Skills such as logical thinking, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are going to be the most important skills for success in professional life in the coming decade.

The module is a directed step by the government of India to a workforce that is aware of AI and can work with advanced technologies.