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India hops on the AI train with launch of new online course

India’s government has joined the growing list of countries seeking to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into key industries by launching a learning module for residents.

Union Minister of Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan issued the green light to launch an AI learning course.

The course, dubbed the AI for India 2.0, aims to deepen the talent pool for AI firms building solutions in the country while providing residents with “upskilling & recruitment opportunities.”

Developed as a collaborative effort between Skill India and GUVI, the online course is designed to be free for all Indian citizens. Pradhan noted that the course had received full accreditation from the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) and IIT Madras.

Apart from being free and wholly online, a major feature of the AI course is its support for nine official Indian languages. During the launch, the Minister noted that the multiple language support is a significant move “towards dismantling the language barrier in technology education” and widening the reach of the AI curriculum.

The project leveraged GUVI’s extensive experience in creating technology courses in India’s vernacular languages. India has 22 official languages, with pundits expecting the AI program to be extended to cover more languages.

The launch of the AI course is in line with the national government’s push to integrate innovative technologies to improve processes. In June, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made a call for commercial banks in the country to hasten the adoption of AI and blockchain technology to address pain points in the payments sectors.

“To prepare for the future, Indian banks will need to focus on digital transformation, enhance customer experience, and adopt innovative technologies such as AI and blockchain,” said RBI Deputy Governor Mahesh Kumar Jain.

“Additionally, they will need to prioritize risk management, regulatory compliance, and sustainability to ensure long-term resilience and competitiveness in the evolving banking landscape.”

Learning courses to promote adoption

The creation of a learning course is one of the strategies employed by India’s government to trigger increased adoption of novel technologies. In early 2023, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog launched a learning module for residents interested in acquiring blockchain skills.

The course, targeting over 10,000 schools, was developed in partnership with 5ire and Network Capital to provide a steady stream of talent for firms building in the sectors.

“DLT (distributed ledger technology) has the potential to unlock tremendous opportunities for the youth, and this module will introduce students as young as grade 6 to the concepts of blockchain, which will help them in solving societal issues through its application,” said NITI Aayog Mission Director Chintan Vaishnav during the January launch of the learning module.

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