News: Union Budget 2023: What do we need to “Make AI in India” and "Make AI Work for India”?


Union Budget 2023: What do we need to “Make AI in India” and "Make AI Work for India”?

Industry experts are excited about the government’s pitch to promote artificial intelligence, calling it a “strong step”. However, some say more quick measures are needed to realise the ambitious goals.
Union Budget 2023:  What do we need to “Make AI in India” and "Make AI Work for India”?

The government is opening floodgates of new opportunities in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics with the tabling of Union Budget 2023, which promises to usher in a new era for professionals. 

In her budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said for realising the vision of “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India”, three centres of excellence (CoEs) for AI will be set up in top educational institutions.

“Leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. This will galvanise an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field,” she added.

Sitharaman further added that to unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia, a National Data Governance Policy will be brought out. This will enable access to anonymised data.

Industry experts say the pitch to promote AI is a strong step by the government. However, more quick measures are needed to realise the ambitious goals of "Make AI in India" and "Make AI Work for India".

Sandeep Dutta, Chief Practice Officer - APAC region at AI firm Fractal, said India is sitting on a unique opportunity to become the AI powerhouse for the world - "we have the demographic dividend of a growing young workforce and are already at the cutting edge of AI with the third rank in AI-related publications globally."

“The creation of centres of excellence for artificial intelligence in top educational institutions across the country will foster innovation in the field of AI while developing solutions for and significantly reinventing areas like agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. Furthermore, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 to skill youth through new age courses like coding, AI, robotics, and IOT will help create an AI talent pool that can contribute to the growth of the industry as well as the Indian economy. This emphasis on investment in AI research and talent development is a welcome step towards establishing India as a global AI leader,” he added.

Aditya Malik, Founder of and a mentor with the Nasscom DeepTech Club, said the Union Budget reflects the government’s profound interest in making India a tech-driven and knowledge-based economy.

Malik added that more quick measures are needed to realise the ambitious goals of "Make AI in India" and "Make AI Work for India," the way AI is engulfing the world with its efficacy.

“The long-term but workable solution appears to be an institutionalised structure that focuses on educating AI. A ray of hope for the future of AI in India can be found in the three COEs that will be established in the best educational institutions.  I see it as a positive step for start-ups and investors in technology-focused industries.  Additionally, the national data governance strategy will positively affect providing access to anonymised data by aiming for innovation and a tech-driven economy,” he said.

Binu Philip, CHRO, Greater India Zone, Schneider Electric, feels establishing CoEs for AI across top educational institutions will play a pivotal role in preparing the workforce for the future. “If rolled effectively, all these initiatives will act as a game-changer for the Indian economy and allow India to emerge as a global talent hub in the Amrit Kaal,” Philip added.

Nitin Varma, Managing Director, India & SAARC, CrowdStrike, said the three proposed CoEs for AI can be a good opportunity for industry players to partner in interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions.  “These initiatives will pave the way for building a workforce that will be skilled and ahead of the curve in their respective industry.”

“The 100 5G labs and 3 CoEs for AI will foster the growth of the 5G ecosystem and fuel innovation . These initiatives will aid in bridging the skill gap and will enable the country to realize the Digital India vision,’’ added Priyanka Anand, Vice President, and Head HR, Southeast Asia, Oceania & India at Ericsson.

Though not explicitly highlighted in the budget, Manish Mimani, Founder & CEO,, said the cybersecurity landscape is expected to evolve and benefit from increased use of AI in operations, products, and services.

As per Rajeev Sharma, Chief Strategy Officer, Mitsubishi Electric India, the vision to promote AI in overall industries will further lead to automation in the industries which will help in propelling India’s growth and promoting smart cities.

Amit Chadha, CEO & MD, L&T Technology Services, says the Union Budget 2023 focus on boosting digital infrastructure and adoption is a positive sign for the technology industry.

“It was also encouraging to see the Finance Minister share her vision of "making AI in India and making AI work for India”, further highlighting the importance of building a strong AI ecosystem in India. The government’s move towards developing three AI excellence centres and 100 5G labs, as well as introducing the National Data Governance Bill, will open up a wide range of opportunities for business growth and employment generation.

"As a pure-play ER&D services provider, our belief is that such a mass-scale enablement of digital transformation and innovation will unlock the full potential of the Indian engineering and technology sector. It will also result in complementing uptake of digital engineering capabilities resulting in the country maintaining its strong hold as a global preferred destination for engineering services,” Chadha added.

Nitin Agarwal, Co-Founder & CTO, of Mumbai based AI-powered CXM platform Locobuzz, said AI has already become an integral part of businesses and is driving innovation across industries and establishing CoEs for AI and focusing on the development of skilled IT professionals, will empower the next generation of workforce and economic growth in the future. “This initiative towards a robust AI ecosystem in India is truly aspiring."

Nishant Chandra and Siddharth Maheshwari, Co-founder of edtech platform,  Newton School, feel the National Data Governance policy will make way for innovation and deeper research across different fields in the start-up ecosystem.

“National Data Governance policy is also a crucial initiative that provides hope in the face of the growing threat of cyber-attacks,” said Vijendra Katiyar, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Trend Micro.

“The National Data Governance Policy will help realise a holistic security solution towards data protection, be it on-premise, in the cloud, or hybrid environments - a must for every sector,” added Khadim Batti, CEO and Co-founder, Whatfix.

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Topics: Technology, Skilling, Learning & Development, Economy & Policy, #Budget2023

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