Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Digital Technology , Digital Transformation

Global AI Dynamics: India's $1.34 Billion Bet on AI

IndiaAI Mission Will Push AI Development and Supercomputing Capacity
Global AI Dynamics: India's $1.34 Billion Bet on AI
6th meeting of the GPAI Ministerial Council held at New Delhi (Image: Press Information Bureau)

Countries in North America and Europe have dominated the development of artificial intelligence, as well as discussions about how to regulate this emerging technology. But the Global South may be joining the group.

India has invested more than $1.34 billion in its ambitious IndiaAI Mission to build AI supercomputing infrastructures to support startups, academia, researchers and industries.

The aim of IndiaAI Mission is to establish an ecosystem that promotes AI innovation by democratizing computing access, enhancing data quality and developing indigenous AI capabilities. Key components of this ecosystem include the IndiaAI compute capacity, innovation center, datasets platform, application development initiative, FutureSkills, startup financing, and safe and trusted AI. The IndiaAI Mission ecosystem is expected to develop top AI talent, foster industry collaboration, support startup risk capital, ensure socially impactful AI projects and promote ethical AI use.

Investing in Compute Capacity

The initial phase involves allocating approximately $599 million of the IndiaAI Mission fund to buy more than 10,000 GPUs. This will help in strengthening the country's AI infrastructure and provide subsidized compute capacity to Indian startups, said Abhishek Singh, additional secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, at the recent Global IndiaAI Summit. "This is a significant step toward establishing a formidable AI ecosystem capable of competing on a global scale."

Supporters hope investing in 10,000 GPUs and making them available to researchers and innovators will be a step toward making India the AI application capital of the world. The move will reduce dependency on models from companies such as OpenAI and Meta AI, enabling startups to create foundational models from scratch for a variety of applications.

Building Quality Datasets

Key objectives of the IndiaAI Mission include establishing the IndiaAI datasets platform, national data governance policy and national data management office. Considering the importance of data quality for the performance and reliability of AI models, the data governance policy will enable Indian startups, researchers and academia to safely and securely access high-quality, anonymized, nonpersonal datasets from government and private sectors.

Developers need more datasets in Indic languages, said Kavita Bhatia, general counsel and COO, IndiaAI. "Addressing data scarcity is essential to avoid wasting computational resources. High-quality Indic datasets for both training and evaluation are key to ensuring the models' effectiveness and utility."

To enhance data quality and accessibility, IndiaAI Mission plans to establish a national data management office. The office will ensure nonpersonal data is available for AI research and innovation while maintaining a high level of privacy and trust. It will set metadata and data standards and advise ministries on best practices for data management and sharing.

Collaboration With the Private Sector

India's mega AI mission will operate on a public-private partnership model and extend GPUs as a digital public infrastructure that can offer AI as a service and provide access to targeted funding for AI startups. Companies in the private sector, including GPU manufacturers and data centers, are collaborating with the government to strengthen the country's AI infrastructure. "Currently, the AI ecosystem in India imports models from the west and adapts them domestically. The IndiaAI Mission aims to develop indigenous models and applications tailored to local needs," said Anil Nanduri, vice president and head of AI acceleration office at Intel.

The importance of support systems to effectively use these datasets for public AI models is crucial, as they address the industry's fundamental challenges of unlocking open datasets and making them AI and machine-ready, according to Gaurav Godhwani, co-founder, CivicDataLab. "Civic datasets must be discoverable, standardized and timely updated to drive real-time insights. Support systems are needed to utilize these datasets for public AI models," he said.

Open Data Action Plan

Approximately 75 countries worldwide have published open data plans, and the European Union has set a precedent by providing access to high-value datasets under the Open Data Directive.

About the Author

Sandhya Michu

Sandhya Michu

Senior Assistant Editor - Editorial, ISMG

Michu is an experienced professional with over 10 years of expertise in the ICT industry. She has worked with leading media groups such as Cybermedia, 9.9 media and The Indian Express. Michu's focus areas include enterprise technology and government tech initiatives.

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