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Science & Technology

Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal’s announcement of a ‘National Programme on Artificial Intelligence’ ties into an existing programme led by the Union Science Ministry called the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS). The latter was cleared by the Union Cabinet last December at a total outlay of Rs. 3,660 crore for five years.

“Artificial Intelligence is an important component of cyber physical systems,” Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science of Technology, told The Hindu, “However we are yet to identify a centre where this will be hosted.” The budget document made public Friday has allotted Rs. 5 crore for the year ahead for the mission.

Training for new jobs

Cyber physical systems deal with training youth for new kinds of jobs that would be created due to the destruction of conventional jobs and the mechanisation of jobs. The mission aims to establish of 15 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), six Application Innovation Hubs (AIH), four Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP). The hubs and TTRPs would connect to academics, industry, Central Ministries and State government in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organisations across the country in a hub and spoke model, according to a note from the Union Science Ministry. About 40,000 jobs would be created in the short term and about 2,00,000 in long term, the note adds.

CPS and its associated technologies, include Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of Things (loT), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DP), Big Data Analytics, robotics, quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum encryption (quantum key distribution), Data Science and Predictive Analytics.

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