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Government appoints panel to resolve MEITY’s and NITI Aayog’s conflicts over AI: Report

The government has formed a committee to resolve differences over the Artificial Intelligence (AI) mission between the MEITY and NITI Aayog, reports The Economic Times. It will be headed by principal scientific advisor K Vijay Raghavan. The other representatives in the committee will include Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, the CEO of NITI Aayog and Secretary of MEITY.

What will the committee do? It has been tasked to remove duplication of work between various government arms and resolve the overlap between MEITY’s and NITI Aayog’s plan for AI. It will specify the role of different agencies to fast-track the implementation of the AI missions.

What had happened before? In an inter-ministerial meeting held in August, MEITY had raised concerns over the overlaps between NITI Aayog’s roadmap, and its own work in the area of AI. They even asked the Finance Ministry to intervene and resolve the issues. However, NITI Aayog had clarified that there were no differences between the Ministry and itself over the government’s AI project and both the bodies are working together to take it forward.

It is worth noting that NITI Aayog received clearance from the expenditure finance committee (EFC) for a budget of Rs 7,000 crore, and MEITY had sent a separate Rs 400 crore proposal to the EFC to set up a national AI programme.

What is MEITY’s plan for AI? The MEITY’s programme on AI included the launch of a national AI portal along with development of applications and doing proofs of concepts in areas of health and education. It had planned to work in collaboration with other entities such as the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

What is NITI Aayog’s plan for AI? NITI Aayog created a ‘National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence’ which included setting up five centres of research excellence, 20 institutional centres for transformational AI and a cloud computing platform called AIRAWAT.

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