Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar on the future of artificial intelligence in India

Rajeev Chandrashekhar says government aims to make India a ‘trillion dollar digital economy’

New Delhi:

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar outlined a plan for the future of AI in India in an exclusive interview with NDTV today. “We want to be at the forefront of AI developments,” Chandrashekhar said, adding quickly that the government was also looking to create “safeguards about where AI shouldn’t go.”

“We also want to create our safeguards on where AI shouldn’t go and we’ve laid out our doctrine for the world to follow. We will regulate them through the lens of user harm and not follow some other countries,” he said.

The Minister of State for Computing and Electronics – who is leading a massive exercise involving broad stakeholder consultation to frame the Digital India Bill which will replace the two-decade-old Computing Act – said: “we will regulate it (AI) in such a way that it cannot harm a user on the Internet, whether it is misinformation or any type of harm.

Speaking about India’s digital future, Mr Chandrashekhar said the country is heading towards a “techade” – a term previously used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to refer to the decade in which technology dominated and India produced the majority.

He said the government aims to make India a “trillion-dollar digital economy” within the next few years.

“We plan to be a trillion-dollar digital economy. We want to grow the digital part of the economy from the current 6-7% of GDP to 20%,” he said.

“There will be no part of the ecosystem of the global economy that India and its startups will not be part of,” he added.

The Minister also addressed the burning question of the impact of AI on jobs – “Will AI replace jobs?”

“I think AI will be disruptive, but it will also bring opportunity,” Chandrashekhar replied.

“It gives an opportunity to create skilled AI-ready talent that is really lacking around the world and India can be a hub for AI-ready talent in the future for India and the rest of the world,” he said.

He also talked about the use of India’s NavIC semiconductor chip on a satellite which was launched yesterday by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

“It’s a very important marker of what the future holds. This is a very powerful statement, not only about atmanirbharta, but also about the ability of deep technology to support this. it’s about designing a semiconductor, making it, putting it in a chip and having the ecosystem of satellites to support the absolutely independent global positioning system that’s designed, created, launched and managed from India.

ISRO on Monday successfully launched and placed into geosynchronous transfer orbit the first in a series of its second-generation navigation satellites – NVS-01 – using a GSLV rocket.

The launch of NVS-01 is significant as it would ensure the continuity of NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) services – an Indian regional satellite navigation system, similar to GPS, providing accurate, real-time navigation.

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