Steps taken by GoI to promote upskilling or reskilling in the field of Artificial Intelligence

The Indian government has taken a number of efforts to encourage upskilling or reskilling in the field of artificial intelligence, including: –

In partnership with NASSCOM, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has launched FutureSkills PRIME, a B2C framework for re-skilling/up-skilling IT professionals in 10 countries. Artificial Intelligence is one of the newer technologies. So far, 7 lakh candidates have registered on the FutureSkills PRIME Portal, with 1.2 lakh of them completing their courses. NIELIT/C-DAC Resource Centres have also trained 524 trainers and 4292 government officials in these technologies, and about 1.3 lakh unique learners have together earned 8.9 lakh ‘badges’ in acknowledgment of having completed bite-sized digital fluency courses. 36,528 candidates are enrolled in deep–skilling courses and 47,744 candidates are enrolled in Foundation courses under Artificial Intelligence.

In June 2018, the government released the National AI Strategy, which seeks to create an ecosystem for AI research and adoption, dubbed #AIFORALL. The government has developed the ‘National AI Portal’, which is a one-stop shop for all AI-related projects in India. At the time of writing, the National AI Portal has 1024 national and international articles, 655 news stories, 200 videos, 90 research reports, 279 startups, and 120 government programmes.

The ‘Visvesvaraya PhD Scheme’ was launched by the government with the goal of increasing the number of PhDs in the country’s Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) and IT/IT Enabled Services (IT/ITES) sectors. Artificial Intelligence (82 PhD fellows) and Machine Learning are two of the research fields covered by the scheme (covering 59 PhD fellows).

For Youth, a National Program on Responsible AI Use: With the goal of empowering the youth to become AI-ready and bridging the skills gap, the government, in collaboration with industry partners, has launched a programme to raise AI awareness among government school children.

The National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) is being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology to enhance R&D, Human Resource Development (HRD), Technology Development, Entrepreneurship Development, and International Collaboration, among other things. 25 Technology Innovation Hubs (this) in respected institutes across the country have been built as part of the Mission’s implementation in advanced technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

India’s government has also become a founding member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), which is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth, alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore.

In 2020, the Government of India hosted Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (RAISE), a first-of-its-kind worldwide meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to help India’s vision and strategy for social transformation, inclusion, and empowerment through responsible AI. It drew 79,000+ participants from 147 nations, including representatives from academia, research, industry, and government. There were 320 prominent speakers from 21 nations in attendance.

These efforts, which include those from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, are aimed at digitally enabling residents in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Furthermore, the FutureSkills PRIME initiative uses a ‘aggregator of aggregators’ approach for national digital skills training and is housed as an online B2Ce-commerce platform, allowing residents in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to join. As Lead & Co-Lead Resource Centres, 40 C-DAC/NIELIT Centres around the country are institutionalising blended-learning programmes in a hub and spoke pattern to further increase physical and digital connectivity.

Furthermore, the FutureSkills PRIME programme aims to re-skill/ up-skill candidates in emerging technologies so that they can remain relevant in their current jobs with better prospects while also exploring other career paths. The programme also aims to help people who have lost their jobs as a result of disruptive and developing technologies. To that end, the initiative incorporates employment linkages such as a platform-wide ‘Career Prime’ web page and an integrated ‘Career Portal,’ which provides information about IT-ITeS positions, internships, apprenticeships, hackathons, and other opportunities.

Following successful assessment and certification, trainees, including those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, are eligible for incentives under FutureSkills PRIME. The incentive mechanism is designed to encourage learners to complete online up-skilling/re-skilling programmes effectively.

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