Budget’18: Niti Aayog to spearhead National Programme on Artificial Intelligence

By : |February 1, 2018 0

Startup industry doesn’t have much to take away from Budget 2018 barring two major announcements. Firstly, Finance minister, Arun Jailtey said that the government would invest in research and development in areas such as robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. To that end, Amitabh Kant-led Niti Aayog will establish a National Programme to direct efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development.

“Technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and others are the technologies of the future and NITI Aayog will establish a national programme to conduct research and development in these areas,” Jaitley said in his budget speech.

Appreciating the move, Keshab Panda, CEO & MD, L&T Technology Services said, “We welcome the government’s thrust on encouraging R&D pursuits in the areas of AI, machine learning, robotics and edge analytics. This move will further leapfrog the innovations in this space that is significantly driven by Indian companies and will place the country at the centre of global digital transformation focus.”

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“The government is quite bullish on Digital India & Green India Mission. We see an increased focus on compliance and reduced time for filing tax and dependency on paper receipts, which will help propel the business processes. We also laud the initiatives towards the national programmes focusing on R&D and innovation and the increased focus on AI, ML and data sciences,” said Neeraj Dotel, Managing Director, India and SAARC, SAP Concur Technologies.

The Finance minister also hinted towards introducing new measures to strengthen the environment for the growth of venture capital funds and angel investors.

“Venture capital funds and angel investors need an innovative, special development and regulatory regime for their growth. We have taken a number of policy decisions including launching of the startup in India program building a robust investment … taxation regime. We will take additional measures to strengthen the environment for their growth,”  FM Arun Jaitley said.

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