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India launches national AI portal

The Minister for Electronics and IT (MeitY) recently launched India’s national artificial intelligence portal.

The portal is a one-stop digital platform for AI-related developments in India and to share resources like articles, startups, investment funds, resources, companies, and educational institutions related to AI in the country.

The portal also provides documents, case studies, and research reports. It has a section dedicated to emerging job roles in the field of AI.

The platform was developed by MeitY and the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM). The national e-governance division of the Ministry and NASSCOM, representing the IT industry, will jointly run this portal.

According to a press release, the Minister also launched the Responsible AI for Youth programme, aimed at giving students a platform and empowering them with the appropriate new-age tech mindset, relevant AI skill-sets, and access to digital tools.

The programme was created with support from the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSE&L) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

At the launch event, the Minister said that India must be a leading country in the development of AI in the world, leveraging its Internet-savvy population and the data it is creating. India’s AI approach should be of inclusion and empowerment of human being by supplementing growth and development rather than making human beings less relevant, he said.

Responsible AI for Youth will empower the youth to become AI-ready and help reduce the skill gap, enabling youth to create meaningful solutions with social impacts, the release added.

The initiative was designed to reach out to students from government schools across the country and provide them with an opportunity to become part of the skilled workforce.

The role of digital technologies, especially in the context of the pandemic-afflicted world, has been of crucial help in the fields of education, agriculture, healthcare, e-commerce, and telecommunications, a government official said.

The youth programme is open to students from central and state government-run schools. It will be implemented in a phase-wise manner.

In its first phase, each of the state education department will nominate ten teachers as per the eligibility criteria. Teachers may also apply if they fulfil the eligibility criteria.

These teachers will be provided with orientation sessions to help them understand the premise and identify 25-50 potential students for the programme. The identified students will attend online training sessions on AI and understand how to identify social impact ideas/projects that may be created using AI.

They will then submit their ideas through a 60-second video explaining a proposed AI-enabled solution.

From the submitted ideas in the form of videos, the top 100 ideas will be shortlisted, and these students will be invited to attend residential boot camps or online sessions.

Post the sessions, these students will be asked to create real-time assignments and submit their final project in a video format on the website.

The programme will offer support through certified AI coaches and mentors throughout to ensure that ideas mature as prototypes. The experts will shortlist top the 50 project ideas and students will be invited to showcase their projects either face-to-face or virtually.

Further, the top 20 innovative projects will be selected by an independent committee of experts and provided opportunities to showcase them at relevant platforms.

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