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India Unveils Centre of Excellence in AI

India’s Ministry of Finance has entered a strategic partnership with a tech giant to build a Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies at the Arun Jaitley National Institute of Financial Management (AJNIFM).

According to reports, the proposed centre of excellence will serve as a central body for research, AI scenario envisioning, and technology-led innovation. The two sides will jointly explore use cases of emerging technologies in finance and related areas, across central and state ministries and public sector enterprises.

NIFM, set up under the Ministry of Finance, specialises in the capacity building of professionals in the fields of public policy, financial management, and other governance issues. The collaboration is meant to explore the role of cloud, AI, and emerging technologies in transforming and shaping the future of public finance management in India. Officials from the Finance Ministry noted that the organisation will partner closely with AJNIFM to define the future of public finance management in India, providing the technology, tools, and resources to build a strong ecosystem of partners, upskill government officials, and build thought leadership.

Both sides will also work closely on a capacity-building programme for senior government officials working with ministries, government departments, and financial institutions. As part of this skilling effort, public sector officials will be trained on the application of emerging technologies in finance management to address potential risks like money laundering, use of machine learning models for decision making, and the role of responsible tech in finance, among others.

The private player will also work closely with its partners to build customised solutions that address the challenges of the sector. The Steering Committee on fintech-related issues under the chairmanship of Secretary, Economic Affairs, had recommended setting up centres of excellence on fintech in key premier national institutions like AJNIFM. The ambit of research studies will seek to address key challenges in public financial management, particularly expenditure management, revenue leakages, studying existing DBT systems, and the potential of emerging technologies, said Prabhat Ranjan Acharya, Director, AJNIFM.

With continuous technological support from the private sector, AJNIFM will be the only institution in the country equipped with a high pedigree of financial analytical tools in the financial sector research domain, he added. This collaboration brings together AJNIFM’s rich experience in the public sector with private sector cloud and AI capabilities, paving the way for data and AI-led governance and fintech transformation. The two sides will work together to accelerate research, enable skilling in emerging tech, and invest in building a strong industry ecosystem for public finance management in the country, an official stated.

The government has been investing in public-private collaboration in areas of AI and cloud computing. Recently, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) collaborated with a tech giant to launch a Hybrid Cloud lab to advance research in hybrid cloud technologies and drive breakthrough innovations in the area. Located at the IISc campus in Bengaluru, students, and faculty across departments of the institute will work alongside the company’s research scientists to conduct cutting-edge research that can help organisations leverage the true power of hybrid cloud by enabling the faster and more secure adoption of hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI).

OpenGov Asia had reported that the Hybrid Cloud lab will bring together a community of scientists, faculty, and students, to solve research challenges that enterprises face today, in scaling the adoption of cloud computing across industries. The lab will engage not just with academia, but also the broader open-source community for wider adoption and acceleration of innovation.

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