Niti Aayog plans index to rank states on artificial intelligence adoption

NEW DELHI: Government think tank Niti Aayog is planning to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) readiness index that will rank states on their capacity to adopt the technology for public service delivery and exploit its innovative potential.

The index could be among the first few indices that the Aayog will develop in its second term after the successful roll-out of the health, education, water composite index and the agriculture index in the last few years.

A senior government official told ET that the Aayog has been aggressively pushing for adoption of AI and it is natural that the outcome of states’ initiatives on AI are assessed. “Hence, the need for an index,” the official said, adding that the parameters to rank states could be finalised in some time.

The Aayog has been aggressively moving towards outcome-based monitoring and has in the past ranked states on key social indicators, much in line with its role of promoting competitive and cooperative federalism.

According to the official, while the Aayog is yet to decide on the indices to measure the states’ performance, some of the likely parameters could include digital skills, innovation capabilities and existing data capabilities and management in each state. “The index is likely to even identify challenges for each state in adoption of AI and recommend possible areas of improvement for every state,” the official added.

Niti Aayog has proposed that India pumps in 7,500 crore initially over a three-year period and set up a high-level task force to oversee rollout of artificial intelligence in the country. A cabinet note to this effect is likely to be tabled soon once the new government takes office.

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It is estimated that AI has the potential to add $957 billion to India’s GDP by 2035 and boost India’s annual growth by 1.3 percentage points by 2035 and hence its early adoption has become one of the government’s key priority area.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has already written to all states and ministries requesting them to identify key projects across the five identified sectors where artificial intelligence can be adopted.

The government had in the Union Budget 2018-19 entrusted the Aayog with the responsibility to develop the national programme on AI, following which it had in June last year released the national strategy for AI.


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