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Indian govt “studying” the requirement of regulatory framework for AI: IT Ministry in Rajya Sabha

Despite noting that MeitY has constituted seven groups to explore various areas to the AI ecosystem in India, the MoS did not provide any details in this regard.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has constituted seven working groups to evaluate all aspects of Artificial Intelligence ecosystem in the country, Minister of State (MoS) for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar informed the Parliament on July 21. The MoS, however, did not provide details on the work undertaken by the working groups while responding to questions regarding steps taken to evaluate the impact of AI in different sectors, by Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi.

Is a regulatory framework for AI in works? When asked whether the government is planning to create a regulatory framework for AI-enabled platforms like ChatGPT, the Minister stated that the government is currently studying the requirement of a regulatory framework. During the previous session of the Parliament, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had stated that the government had no plans to regulate AI at the time.

“To address the ethical concerns like IPR, copyright, bias of algorithm, transparency and potential risks associated with AI, various central and state government departments and agencies have commenced efforts to standardize responsible AI development, use and promote the adoption of best practices,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar noted in his July 21 response.

He added that NITI Aayog has published a series of paper on ‘Responsible AI’— first published in 2021, which outlines the principles for management of AI based on transparency, accountability, privacy and security among others.

Why it matters:

Governments have been working on AI rules to address concerns of user harms caused by generative tools such as cybercrimesmisinformation, bias, copyright infringement, and risks to privacy. Domain researchers have also emphasised on the role of regulators in setting up norms and accountability measures to mitigate the risks imposed by AI. While China, EU and the US have been at the forefront of initiating legislative measures, the Indian government has maintained that guardrails are necessary, but has not indicated any plans to bring in a regulatory framework specially for AI.

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Impact of generative AI on jobs: Responding to the question whether generative AI has led to any job losses in India, the MoS stated that the AI is not leading to any job losses, instead it is being used as a tool for “augmenting capability”.

“AI is expected to raise India’s annual growth rate by 1.3% by 2035, which amounts to an addition of USD 957 billion, or 15% of current GVA (gross value added) to India’s economy.AI may result in automating some routine jobs but will also result in job creation in various data science, data curation etc,” he added.

In order to boost reskilling and upskilling, Chandrasekhar informed that MeitY has initiated ‘FutureSkills Prime’, which provides skilling facilities for strengthening IT human resources in ten fields of emerging tech including AI.

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Curious about privacy, surveillance developments and the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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