INDIA. New Delhi: The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for tapping the potential of revolutionary technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver benefits to the people and enhance the quality of life. Shri Naidu urged educational institutions, researchers, and developers to come out with practical AI solutions in the fields of agriculture, health, and education.
Enumerating possible applications for AI, Shri Naidu suggested industry and developers work towards solutions for precision agriculture to ensure quality farm output, bring about efficient grading of the produce, and to enable better price discovery for farmers. He also suggested exploring AI-based smart solutions in health such as remote diagnosis, and automatic translation of English texts to Indian languages in education. “If such solutions can be scaled up, even a small gain in efficiency and productivity can bring positive change in the lives of millions of people”, Shri Naidu said.
Addressing a gathering at IIT Jodhpur after laying the foundation of a fabrication laboratory for Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT), Shri Naidu remarked that technologies like AI and AIoT have been revolutionizing many sectors of the global economy in the last decade. He said that the ultimate aim of science and technology is to transform the lives of the people. “That should be the aim for the development of AI too”, he added.
Reflecting on the possibilities of AI in governance, Shri Naidu advised governments to explore using AI to improve the timely delivery of services. He mentioned the example of Direct Benefit Transfer through Jan-Dhan accounts and said that this has plugged leakages and protected people from exploitation to a great extent. Therefore, he also urged universities to work with local governments and develop intelligent solutions in governance and welfare. The Vice President further observed that such collaboration can give exposure to the students, test their knowledge in the real world, and enable them to come out with innovative solutions to some of society’s long-standing problems.
Touching upon the economic potential of AI, Shri Naidu noted that AI has the potential to add USD 957 billion or 15% of the current gross value added to India’s economy by 2035. Highlighting that AI could possibly displace many routine jobs, Shri Naidu stressed the importance of skilling and training youth to match the demands of changing job markets in the time of Industrial Revolution 4.0.
The Vice President suggested making basic courses in computing and data science mandatory for students across disciplines to keep students abreast of the latest technological developments. “This is absolutely important in today’s data-driven world”, Sri Naidu added.
Shri Naidu lauded the recent decision of 14 engineering colleges across eight States to offer courses in regional languages and called for more such professional courses in higher education in Indian languages. He also said that AI holds immense potential in the promotion of Indian languages by way of an automatic translation from English and other languages.
On this occasion, Shri Naidu inaugurated the Jodhpur City Knowledge and Innovation Cluster (JCKIC) at IIT Jodhpur. Noting that India has risen from the rank of 81 in 2015 2to 46 in 2021 in the Global Innovation Index, Shri Naidu said “innovation should become the national mantra for development”.
Terming the National Education Policy 2020 a visionary document, the Vice President said NEP recognises the importance of multidisciplinary in education, encourages collaboration, and seeks to foster innovation in students. He added that in the spirit of NEP 2020, universities must also offer flexibility in their curriculum.
Interacting with the students, the Vice President encouraged innovative efforts in research and development in the spirit of NEP 2020. He also encouraged students to proactively participate in social service activities and contribute towards nation-building in their capacities. Speaking about the preparedness for the pandemic, Shri Naidu, while stressing the importance of strengthening health infrastructure in the country, also advised the students to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle.
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