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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