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Centre of Excellence in AI launched in India

The Minister of Electronics and Information Technology has inaugurated a Cantre of Excellence (CoE) in Artificial Intelligence (AI). The centre was developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

In a press release, the Minister said that new technologies have the potential to transform societies and facilitate transparency and efficient governance.

The NIC offers data and cloud services to the Government. Currently, it has four National Data Centres and 30 Mini-Data Centres across the country. They provide over 10,000 e-Governance applications. The majority of the critical applications are hosted at these locations and the volume and nature of them have evolved and grown considerably.

The Government felt it necessary to set up a specialised ICT infrastructure facility for the effective monitoring and management of the performance and availability of all these critical services- an infra-monitoring system. With this aim, the NIC established the command and control centre, making it the first of its kind. It will increase the agility of the NIC’s coast-to-coast ICT infrastructure.

In addition to this setup, the NIC is also in the process of creating a centralised system to monitor critical websites hosted on its cloud.

Furthermore, for large projects, the NIC plans to provide users with a customised dashboard where they can monitor resources and the availability of their applications. These include eOffice, eHospital, and the Beneficiary Identification System (under Ayushman Bharat project).

According to the press release, the CoE in AI has been established to improve the quality of services and their delivery to Indian citizens.

The centre will be a platform for innovative ideas in the country’s AI space. It will function as a gateway to test and develop solutions for projects undertaken by the NIC at the central and state levels. The centre will provide capacity building and deploy AI technologies in ministries, departments and other organisations.

It will facilitate state-of-the-art tech support with supercomputing facilities for prototyping in the areas of image and video analytics, speech synthesis and recognition, and natural language processing.

Additionally, it will focus on areas of machine learning, AI in text and image recognition, deep learning, and chat or voicebots.

In 2018, the Government launched a Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA). It was a milestone in India’s progress toward digital governance and data analytics. The CEDA has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to permeate a culture of data-driven governance and capacity-building.

The release said the CEDA has undertaken PoCs (Proof of Concepts) with several departments to demonstrate the usefulness of data analytics in governance.

In collaboration with the GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) Council, the CEDA is working on a detailed data analytics solution for the E-Way Bill system to improve compliance and to ensure maximum utilisation of the system. The creation of skilled resources and knowledge management in the areas of data analytics and promotional events are some of the other activities that are a part of its mandate.

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