In a landmark development, India’s Union Cabinet, led by its highest decision-making body, has officially approved the ‘IndiaAI Mission’, with an impressive initial budget of Rs 10,300 crore (approximately $1.24 billion). This strategic move is aimed at stimulating startups and innovations within the domain of artificial intelligence (AI) over the next 5 years.

Facilitating national access to essential computing power

With the launch of the IndiaAI Mission, India aims to facilitate nationwide access to essential computing power for innovators, startups, students and educational institutions, recognizing that computing power is a critical enabler for the development and deployment of AI technologies.

The announcement of this milestone was made by Union Minister Piyush Goyal on March 7 during a press conference after a Cabinet meeting. The initiative is hailed as an important step forward in pursuing a structured implementation of the IndiaAI mission through a public-private partnership model, aimed at strengthening the AI ​​innovation ecosystem in India.

Focus of the mission

The mission will focus on seven key components, four of which are primarily aimed at building and democratizing computing power and developing indigenous large multimodal models (LMMs), as well as easing access to high-quality non-personal data sets and advancing the development of AI applications. A leading AI computing infrastructure, supported by more than 10,000 graphics processing units (GPUs) and established through public-private partnerships, will provide essential resources to AI startups.

In addition, the mission will work to introduce educational programs in AI, financially support deep-tech AI startups, and develop safety nets for AI-related developments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the impact of the IndiaAI mission, saying it represents a significant step forward in India’s ambition to become a global leader in AI innovation. He believes this development will not only strengthen AI startups, but also significantly expand access to the necessary computing infrastructure.

These initiatives underline the Indian government’s view that advances in AI technologies are essential for growing the Indian economy and creating quality jobs. In an additional move, the Indian government on March 1 warned all tech companies that they need prior government approval before launching new AI tools. This is with a view to maintaining the integrity of the electoral process, especially in view of the general elections scheduled for the summer of 2024.


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