Data and artificial intelligence (AI) can add $450-500 billion to India's GDP by 2025, representing about 10 percent of the $5 trillion economy aspiration of the Indian government, a report by industry body Nasscom said on Tuesday.

Nearly 45 percent of this value is likely to be delivered by three sectors – consumer goods and retail ($90-95 billion), agriculture ($60-65 billion), and banking and insurance ($60-65 billion), the report said.

Artificial Intelligence

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The report, titled Unlocking Value from Data and AI, presented an action plan with five key building blocks to promote increased data utilisation and adoption of AI, including strategy, data, technology stack, talent and execution.

It emphasised that datasets of national importance be identified with each ministry with specific use cases, a programme to create a marketplace of data and derived assets be created, and a central agency be established for defining and enforcing data standards.

The report said platform(s) to securely host data, AI services, models, open-source libraries, applications and testbeds should be created and that policies be formulated to ensure the security, reliability, interoperability, and economic viability of the stack.

It also suggested the launch of the National Programme for AI and creation of a central, apex body to steer its execution, in collaboration with various ministries, industry groups, and other stakeholders.

The report highlighted the importance of building an AI innovation ecosystem and seeking greater participation from the private sector and entrepreneurs.

Engaging the AI ecosystem

It added that schemes to engage the AI ecosystem (industry, startups, civil society, and academia) should be created and guardrails be set up to protect public interest, while accelerating programme and economic impact.

Launching lighthouse projects in the public sector, partnerships to create data, tech and services, and grants or incentives to invest in research and innovation were also key suggestions of the report.

Unveiling the report, Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Digital India had reimagined how the government connects with citizens, and the accelerated deployment of AI and other emerging technologies would help this objective further.

"…the kind of data we are generating because of the sheer size of India, we need to leverage it…data is a national asset and this asset, we have to leverage it…

"What COVID has done is enable the world to see India's potential…we need to further exploit it. AI for three areas of human development (education, agriculture and healthcare) is very important to be focused upon," the minister said.

Debjani Ghosh, President of Nasscom, said the report can help India emerge stronger from the COVID crisis.

"Data and AI's true potential emerges from its ability to drive transformation across multiple sectors through a diverse range of applications. The report articulates the key structural steps that India needs to take to realise the value of this opportunity," she added.

The action plan and report has been reviewed by industry leaders, including Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji, Infosys COO UB Pravin Rao, and Microsoft India President Anant Maheshwari.

Nasscom will also hold Xperience AI summit 2020 in partnership with the Telangana AI Mission from September 1-4 with curated discussions on four key themes – Build AI from and for India, Scale AI Adoption in India, India's AI Policies, Thought Leadership in AI.

Additionally, deep dive sessions will be organised for developers to understand latest trends in AI technologies and use cases.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)

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Big banks in the US (defined in this case as those with more than $1 billion in assets) charged customers a total of $11.68 billion in overdraft fees last year, according to data from the Center for Responsible Lending cited by The New York Times.

average overdraft fee at major banksBusiness Insider Intelligence

Vulnerable customers were hit the hardest: Just 9% of account holders paid for a whopping 84% of those overdraft fees, and those customers tended to have low balances already, averaging less than $350. The Center for Responsible Lending opined that banks should stop overdraft fees for the duration of the pandemic.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The COVID-19 pandemic will lead to an eight percent decline in information technology spends in India in 2020 to $83.5 billion, a research house said on Wednesday.

This will be the first time in five years that the yearly spends will slip into the negative territory, analysts at Gartner said.

In an estimate released in November 2019, the research house had estimated a 6.6 percent growth in IT spends to $94 billion in 2020.

In partnership with their chief financial officers (CFOs), chief information officers (CIOs) in India are reprioritising their IT budgets on mission critical initiatives, Naveen Mishra, Senior Research Director at Gartner said.Booming IT sector of IndiaAlso ReadPM Modi to share his vision on 'Getting Growth Back' with India Inc on Tuesday

He added that fear of a global economic recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing CIOs in India to be very cautious on their IT spending.

The Indian CIOs will consider extending life cycles of their existing device assets which will delay new purchases, Gartner said, adding spending on devices and data centre systems will contract the sharpest.

Data centre systems spends will contract by 13.2 percent in 2020 over the year-ago period to $3.186 billion, while devices spend will fall by 15.1 percent to $31.07 billion, it said.

Communication services at $28.227 billion will be down by 1.8 percent, and enterprise software at $6.125 billion will be down by 2.6 percent, making the two segments the least impacted, it said.

Government restrictions like social distancing will result in more spends on business continuity, remote working and workforce collaboration, the research house said.

This will result in a shift in spending toward technologies such as desktop as a service (DaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), virtual private network (VPN) and security, it said, adding that the overall cloud adoption in India has increased.

The lockdown measures forced sectors such as education, healthcare, and public utilities to accelerate their digital transformation, Mishra said.

However, for other sectors like retail, insurance and banking, which were already advanced in their digital transformation, have to reduce their IT spending in 2020.

These sectors will continue to spend on targeted digital initiatives such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual sales assistants. However, they will have to reduce or stop spending on business transformation, process re-engineering and modernisation of existing systems, Mishra said.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)

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Peet's Coffee ShopREUTERS/Mike Blake

Peet’s Coffee raised $2.5 billion in its initial public offering, one of the largest this year despite the coronavirus pandemic. 
The company announced its IPO plans just 10 days ago. 
Shares of Peet’s Coffee surged as much as 17% in its first day of trading.
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A bet that coffee could withstand a pandemic and ensuing economic downturn has paid off for the European investment firm responsible for Peet’s Coffee, Krispy Kreme, and Keurig. 

JDE Peet’s BV, carved out of JAB Holdings, said Friday it raised $2.5 billion, or 2.3 billion euros, in its initial public offering. The company is selling about 71.4 million shares, or 14% of the business, at 31.50 euros per share. See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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