Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policies in India- A Status Paper

Artificial Intelligence (AI) 
Policies in India- A Status Paper
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As of now, several governmental bodies and policies are studying and aiding AI. Several papers are being published to share the Indian government’s findings on AI. Today we will explore one such paper, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policies in India- A Status Paper”, an in-depth analysis of all AI policies and initiatives provided by the Indian government.

The paper starts with a basic understanding of AI, it explains Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and act like humans. Any machine that demonstrates features associated with a human mind, such as learning and problem solving, is referred to as AI. This intelligence element is also known as machine intelligence, in which a machine is created to display human intelligence in contrast to natural intelligence.

The paper then goes on to share how Artificial Intelligence has been present for a long time in our lives, way before world war 2, and also mentioned Alan Turing, the British Mathematician. AI as of today impacts almost every nation across the globe. Starting from the field of studies like Mathematics, Linguistics, Psychology, etc. Even in all job domains like Finance, Healthcare, etc. AI is also now being used to solve socio-economic problems and achieve sustainable goals for all countries.

AI Ethics And Regulations

Ethical issues and AI regulation were recognized as significant challenges that needed to be addressed in formulating AI strategies across all AI methods. Before forming AI plans, ethical and regulatory challenges such as algorithmic transparency and explainability, clarity on liability, accountability and oversight, prejudice and discrimination, and privacy have all been major concerns. Another area of attention indicated by policymakers in several countries is employment and the future of work.

There are several ongoing global initiatives, which are in the process of trying to articulate key principles for ethical AI. These discussions also feature in some of the national strategy documents.

As of now 35 developed and developing countries have released their strategies and approach for AI integration and its future mostly around 2017-2018.

AI Strategies in India

Niti Aayog’s National Strategy For AI: #AIFORALL

India's national AI policy is unique. It focuses on how AI may be used not only for economic growth but also for social inclusion. This method is dubbed #AIforAll by NITI Aayog, the government think tank that conceptualized and articulated the policy. As a result, the plan intends to:

  1. Enhance and empower Indians with the skills to find quality jobs.
  2. Invest in research and sectors that can maximize economic growth and social impact.
  3. Scale Indian-made AI solutions to the rest of the developing world.

NITI Aayog has established processes such as cooperating with experts and stakeholders. AI initiatives in a variety of disciplines with fully explicable proofs and building a strategy for developing a flourishing AI ecosystem in India. AI has been recognized as a transformative technology by NITI Aayog, which has coined the hashtag #AIforAll to encourage AI adoption in India. This brand is being introduced in India to meet the country's needs and goals to become a leader in AI development. The strategy is designed to employ AI primarily for India's inclusive socioeconomic progress, to put India at the forefront of AI technology development. The approach aims to use AI to drive economic, social, and inclusive growth, as well as serve as a "Garage" for rising and developing economies. Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Smart Cities, and Infrastructure, and Smart Mobility and Transportation were the five principal topics that Niti Aayog concentrated on.

AI Initiatives By Ministry Of Electronics And It (Meity):

Given the possible impact of AI on the economy and society and to come out with a policy framework on AI, MeitY constituted the following four committees on AI. The four-committee reports were released in July 2019 and published in December 2019.

  • Committee A on platforms and data on Artificial Intelligence.
  • Committee B on leveraging AI for identifying national missions in key sectors.
  • Committee C on mapping technological capabilities, key policy enablers required across sectors, skilling, and reskill.
  • Committee D on Cyber security, safety, legal and ethical issues.

AI Initiative By Ministry Of Commerce And Industry:

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TASK FORCE: The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry set up an Artificial Intelligence Task Force in August 2017 with a view to ‘Embed AI in our Economic, Political and Legal thought processes so that it is the systemic capability to support the goal of India becoming one of the leaders of AI-rich Economies’.

AI Standardization In India

Department Of Telecom (Dot) And AI Standardization: In September 2019, the Department of Telecommunications established a group to standardize Artificial Intelligence technology by combining the knowledge of many stakeholders. The Committee has requested papers on Artificial Intelligence from all interested parties. These original publications aimed to cover a wide range of AI topics, including functional network architecture, AI architecture, data structures necessary, and so on.

Bis Committee For AI Standardization: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) established a new committee in December 2017 to advance standardization in the areas of artificial intelligence and big data. The council includes professionals from top research institutions, academia, government entities, and technological businesses. The group would concentrate on the standardization of projects involving cyber security, legal and ethical challenges in the IT sector, technological mapping, and the use of artificial intelligence for national missions.

Amazon India, Google India, IBM India, Intel India Technology, Microsoft (India), Qualcomm India, and other leading technology companies are among the committee's members.

Use Cases Of Artificial Intelligence

  • Manufacturing Sector: Artificial Intelligence has a positive impact on manufacturing industries, particularly in the areas of engineering (AI for R&D), production (for cost reduction and efficiency enhancement), maintenance (for asset utilization enhancement and maintenance via prediction), and quality assurance.
  • Financial Sector: The use-case for AI in the financial sector begins with improving customer experience through increased efficiency in engagement, customer experience managed virtually, and chatbots. When it comes to the most vital aspects of the financial sector, such as fraud, cheating, money laundering, and other wrongdoings, artificial intelligence has played a key role through its reactiveness in monitoring and prevention.
  • Agricultural Sector: AI has the potential to drive a food revolution and meet rising food demand in the agricultural sector. It also has the potential to address issues including poor demand forecasting, a lack of reliable irrigation, and pesticide and fertilizer overuse and misuse. Crop yield improvement by real-time advice, enhanced detection of pest infestations, and crop price prediction to inform sowing techniques are just a few examples of application cases.
  • Healthcare Sector: The healthcare sector is one of India's most vibrant, yet tough, industries. AI in healthcare can assist address challenges such as high barriers to access to healthcare facilities, especially in remote areas with poor connections and a shortage of healthcare experts. This can be accomplished by implementing use cases like AI-driven diagnostics, tailored medicine, early pandemic detection, and imaging diagnostics, among others.
  • Education: Personalized learning, automating and expediting administrative processes, and forecasting the need for student intervention to prevent dropouts or promote vocational training are all possible use cases in education. Since the 1980s, intelligent tutoring systems have been developed. For quite some time, several apps have been in use. With advancements in artificial intelligence techniques such as natural language processing, etc.
  • Infrastructure and Smart Cities: Under the smart city project, an investment of over 2.04 lakh crores INR has been made to make roughly 100 cities smart cities. On how to make the transition from smart city to intelligent city, which has a primary data source from which predictive intelligence may be generated, giving smart cities Artificial Intelligence applications.

AI Policy Challenges

  • Economic and social impact: The lower cost of intelligent automation is already leading to the reshoring of many businesses to the global north's industrialized economies. As a result, India's ability to generate jobs through an export-oriented manufacturing strategy will become increasingly difficult. This could lead to major job losses, but it will also improve the efficiency of many jobs.
  • Accountability, Transparency, and Explainability: Because of the lack of transparency and explainability associated with machine learning, it might be difficult or impossible to understand why an algorithm made a certain conclusion. There's also the issue of who has access to critical algorithms and how well they're understood, which is compounded by the usage of proprietary algorithms. Because AI systems are taking over decision-making, there are no clear criteria for who will be held responsible for any negative consequences.
  • Privacy Issues: AI systems are capable of drawing significant inferences, classifications, and categorizations, and their application is widespread in industries ranging from advertising to law enforcement. Because AI enables real-time monitoring and analysis of video and other data streams, including capabilities like live facial recognition, it extends surveillance possibilities. These applications raise concerns about privacy, justice, and civil liberties, especially in the context of policing and law enforcement.
  • Security and cyber Security: AI has a variety of effects on national and global security, ranging from the development of new forms of information warfare to the expansion of the threat landscape, as well as contributing to destabilization and weaponization. Furthermore, AI will be increasingly used to assist in the execution of cyber-attacks. This will both amplify existing risks and introduce new ones, as it will allow attacks to be carried out on a larger scale, with greater complexity and sophistication, even by non-sophisticated actors. AI systems are also vulnerable to a variety of flaws. Artificial intelligence software can be hacked, and the data it uses can be changed or manipulated.


Government has a major role to play in infrastructure development, applications in the public sector, policy & regulations, technology development, and HRD. The paper has reviewed the national status of the adoption of artificial intelligence technology. In AI, India has a unique opportunity to apply the technology to solve some of its biggest problems such as shortage of healthcare facilities, low quality of education, financial system, etc. Based on the world experience on AI, it has suggested a way forward for India, which involves infrastructure development, policy & regulations, research & development, and human resource development. Such as-

1.    Invest India shall become the executing partner and provide R&D support to implement the Government of India’s vision in creating an Artificial Intelligence-focused Centre of Excellence across the country.

2.    India should create two-tiered research institutes (for both basic and applied research).

3.    Finally, it should establish a regulatory framework for data protection and cyber security.

4.    The country should also create targeted data sets and incubation hubs for start-ups.

These are just a few of the ways to help pave a way for growth and a future full of advancement.