IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th March, 2024 Science and Technology


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  • The Union Cabinet's approval of the IndiaAI Mission marks a significant step towards addressing India's deficiency in AI computing hardware.
  • With an allocated budget of Rs 10,372 crore over the next five years, the mission aims to subsidize private companies in establishing AI computing capacity within the country.



  • Subsidizing Private Companies: The government will provide financial support to incentivize private entities to set up AI computing infrastructure.
  • Promoting Investments: Approval of the mission blueprint is expected to attract investments in AI infrastructure, encouraging the establishment of data centers by private firms.
  • Support for Startups: The initiative will provide startups access to computing resources, enabling them to develop and test generative AI models locally.

Challenges Addressed

  • High Costs: Acquiring computing capacity for AI development is costly, especially for smaller businesses. The mission aims to alleviate this financial burden by providing subsidies.
  • Access Barriers: Limited access to advanced computing hardware impedes the progress of AI innovation in India. The mission seeks to democratize access to such resources.
  • Competitive Disadvantage: Currently, startups in India lack the computing resources enjoyed by their counterparts in countries like the United States. The IndiaAI Mission aims to level the playing field.

Comparison with Global Practices

  • Example of Perplexity AI: Startups like Perplexity AI in the US benefit from access to computing capacity offered by companies like Nvidia. The IndiaAI Mission seeks to replicate this model in India.
  • Significance of Compute: Computing capacity is crucial for AI development, alongside algorithmic innovation and data sets. However, it is often the most challenging element to procure, especially for smaller businesses.

India's Plan for AI Computing Capacity


  • Establishing Computing Capacity: The IndiaAI Mission aims to set up AI computing infrastructure comprising more than 10,000 GPUs (Graphics Processing Units).
  • Foundational Models Development: Additionally, the mission intends to develop foundational models with a capacity of over 100 billion parameters. These models will be trained on datasets covering major Indian languages and targeted towards priority sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, and governance.

Key Features:

  • Selection of Advanced GPUs: Priority will be given to selecting the most advanced GPUs for the computing infrastructure.
  • Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model: The implementation of AI compute infrastructure will be carried out through a PPP model, with 50% viability gap funding provided by the government.
  • Viability Gap Funding: Companies setting up data centers can apply for viability gap funding from the government to cover a portion of the infrastructure costs. This funding aims to bridge the gap between project costs and revenue expectations.
  • Flexibility in Capacity Expansion: If computing prices decrease, private entities are required to increase compute capacity within the same budgeted amount to meet growing demand.

Financial Allocation:

  • A total outlay of Rs 10,372 crore has been allocated for the IndiaAI Mission.
  • Of this, Rs 4,564 crore is earmarked specifically for building computing infrastructure.

Implementation Process:

  • The implementation process involves issuing tenders inviting companies to establish data centers.
  • Companies applying for funding will need to demonstrate their plans and budgetary requirements for setting up the computing infrastructure.

Government's Role:

  • The government plays a facilitating role by providing financial support and creating an enabling environment for the establishment of AI computing infrastructure.
  • Through this initiative, the government aims to accelerate the development and adoption of AI technologies in priority sectors, fostering innovation and economic growth.

Proposals Beyond Hardware in IndiaAI Mission

  • Financing Deeptech Startups: The government will provide financing to deeptech startups at various stages of growth, allocating approximately Rs 2,000 crore towards this initiative. This funding aims to support the development and scaling up of innovative AI technologies and solutions.
  • IndiaAI Datasets Platform: A dedicated platform, the IndiaAI Datasets Platform, will be established to enhance the quality, accessibility, and utilization of non-personal datasets for AI innovation. The platform will host high-quality AI-ready datasets, facilitating research and development in AI applications.
  • IndiaAI Innovation Research Centre: The government will set up the IndiaAI Innovation Research Centre to focus on the development and deployment of large foundational models. This includes indigenous Large Multimodal Models and domain-specific foundational models. An allocation of close to Rs 2,000 crore has been earmarked for this center.
  • Support for Education and Research: Financial support will be provided to 4,000 BTech, 400 MTech, and 600 PhD candidates focusing on AI in premier educational institutions. This initiative aims to nurture talent and expertise in AI research and development, contributing to India's innovation ecosystem.

Alignment with Government's Overall Policy

  • Economic Development through Electronics Manufacturing: The announcement of the IndiaAI Mission aligns with the government's broader policy objectives, particularly in the area of electronics manufacturing. Recent approvals for chip projects worth Rs 1.26 lakh crore, including the establishment of commercial fabrication plants, demonstrate India's commitment to developing its semiconductor industry as a key economic driver.
  • Stimulating Innovation and Research: By investing in AI infrastructure, financing startups, and supporting education and research initiatives, the government aims to stimulate innovation and research in the AI sector. These efforts are integral to India's strategy for fostering technological advancement and enhancing competitiveness in the global AI landscape.
  • Global Best Practices: The IndiaAI Mission draws inspiration from global best practices, such as the European Commission's initiatives to enable access to hardware for AI development. By providing funding, infrastructure, and supportive policies, the government seeks to create an enabling environment for AI innovation and entrepreneurship in India.

Regulatory Landscape for AI in Different Countries

  • India: The IT Ministry in India issued an advisory requiring generative AI companies deploying "untested" systems to seek government permission. However, this move faced criticism and raised questions about its legal basis. The government clarified that the advisory was not applicable to startups, highlighting the need for clearer regulations and frameworks to address AI-related risks.
  • European Union: The EU reached a deal on its AI Act, which includes safeguards on AI use within the EU. These safeguards aim to protect consumers and address concerns about AI's impact on society. Clear guardrails have been established for AI adoption by law enforcement agencies, and consumers are empowered to file complaints against perceived violations.
  • United States: The White House issued an Executive Order on AI, offering a template for AI regulation that could serve as a blueprint for other countries. This Executive Order builds on the foundation laid by the AI Bill of Rights released in October, which outlines principles for the ethical and responsible use of AI technology. These initiatives reflect the growing recognition of the need for regulatory frameworks to ensure the safe and ethical development and deployment of AI systems.

Key Aspects of AI Regulation

  • Ethical and Responsible Use: Regulations aim to ensure that AI technologies are developed and deployed in an ethical and responsible manner, with safeguards to protect individuals' rights and interests.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Regulations often require transparency in AI systems, including clear explanations of how they operate and accountability mechanisms to address potential biases, errors, or harms.
  • Consumer Protection: Measures are implemented to protect consumers from potential risks associated with AI, such as data privacy violations, discrimination, or misinformation.
  • Law Enforcement and National Security: Regulations address the use of AI in law enforcement and national security contexts, balancing security needs with individual rights and civil liberties.





Q.  The IndiaAI Mission represents a strategic initiative to address India's AI computing hardware shortcomings. Comment. (150 words)