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India must take the opportunity, can have upper hand in AI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday said that India will have an upper hand in AI.

He said India will lead the world in AI capabilities, and exhorted young entrepreneurs and startups to work on ‘Indian solutions for global applications’ to solve challenges faced by nations across the world.

Addressing the Startup Mahakumbh, Modi said the three missions on AI, semiconductors and quantum, launched by the government earlier, will generate jobs for youth and investment opportunities for global investors.

“We are in a new era of AI technology, and world acknowledges that India will have an upper hand in AI. It is now our priority to ensure that we do not let go of this opportunity,” he said.

AI offers limitless possibilities for young innovators and global investors. “The leadership of AI capabilities will and should remain in hands of India…I am confident that spirit of `Indian solutions for global applications’ will be a force…solutions by Indian innovators will solve problems for many countries,” Modi said.

Modi recalled that in his address to the US Senate last year he had mentioned that India would continue to be a leader in AI.

The prime minister also exuded confidence that his government will come out with a full budget after the upcoming general elections.

He said numerous jobs are being created for young innovators and investment opportunities for global investors with the advent of the AI industry and mentioned the National Quantum Mission, India AI Mission and Semiconductor Mission.

The Union Cabinet had earlier approved National Quantum Mission with the objective of developing intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50-1000 physical qubits in 8 years in various platforms like superconducting and photonic technology.

The prime minister said India has decided to form National Research Foundation with investment of thousands of crores and is also gearing up to create a better mechanism for funding startups.

“The country has decided to form National Research Foundation with investment of thousands of crores…Rs 1 lakh crore fund has been announced for research and innovation in the interim budget. This will help in long-term research conducted in sunrise sectors,” Modi said.

The prime minister said there were not even 100 startups in 2014 and the country now has approximately 1.25 lakh.

“Around 12 lakh youth are directly connected to them. We have over 110 unicorns. Our startups have filed over 12,000 patents,” Modi said.

The prime minister said that he is making use of AI technology for his election campaign and sharing his statements in Tamil, Telugu and other languages.

The union cabinet has already approved a Rs 10,000 crore plan for India AI Mission which will be leveraged for building computer infrastructure and providing funding as well as other support to startups for innovation. He said youth in India are now becoming job creator instead of being job seeker.

The prime minister asked startups to file patents expeditiously or somebody else would start making use of their innovations.

He said that startups have done business of more than Rs 20,000 crore on Government e-Marketplace.

The prime minister also noted that financial startups have gained a lot from UPI and financial inclusion is gaining strength from the use of technology.

“The country has been able to reduce the rural and urban divide. World over, there were concerns when digital progress started. The theory of have and have-nots was linked to it. There were talks about social divides. India has democratised technology. Therefore have and have-nots can not work here. We have everything for everyone,” Modi said.

He said that more than 45 per cent startups are being led by women, and added that innovation culture is not only important for Viksit Bharat but also for a better future of the world.

He appealed to unicorns to support new ideas the way they had received when they were growing. They should also visit educational institutions and Atal Tinkering Labs as mentors. PTI

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