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Microsoft and MeitY Collaborate to Boost AI Startups in India

Microsoft has partnered with Indian institute iCreate to select AI innovators under the iMPEL-AI programme. Under this, 100 startups from across the country will be selected and scaled to build with Azure OpenAI.

What’s the news: India in partnership with Microsoft launched an AI programme on February 21, 2024 to select and build up the most valued AI start-ups in India, as per a press release by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding with iCreate, a non-academic Indian institution that helps tech-based start-ups build their businesses, and launched the iCreate-Microsoft programme for Emerging Leaders in Artificial Intelligence (iMPEL-AI) programme. Under this programme, 1,100 AI innovators will be screened across India with “priority themes of Healthcare, Financial Inclusion, Sustainability, Education, Agriculture, and Smart Cities.” From these, the programme will select and scale 100 startups across India to build with Azure OpenAI, and the top 25 will receive go-to-market support from Microsoft’s Global Network to develop competitive products. “Microsoft and iCreate will also provide AI skilling opportunities to 11,000 innovators, startups, and young Indians from across the country through Microsoft’s Learning Management System. On completion, participants will receive globally recognized certifications from Microsoft,” said the press release. Big techs already working with Indian start-ups The MoU is in line with the company’s previous statements voicing interest in India’s AI sector. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, mentioned on February 8 that the company will be working with Indian generative AI startup Sarvam AI to make its Indic voice large language model (LLM) available on Azure. Nadella said this during Microsoft’s AI Tour in Bengaluru, India where select developers from nonprofit organizations, student developers, and large enterprises were invited…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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