Maharashtra plans AI clusters with Canadian help

In a move that would give a big boost to the use of emerging technologies in India, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis today hosted a series of meetings in Quebec, Canada, to promote investments in Maharashtra in emerging technologies, especially artificial intelligence.

Fadnavis, who is on the second leg of a three-nation tour of the UAE, Canada and the United States, held discussions with key players in the emerging technology space, including Data Valorisation and AI Next.
Fadnavis is in Canada, after his engagements in Dubai, UAE, where the chief minister signed an agreement with Dubai-based ABM Group for a project to redevelop Mumbai’s sprawling Dharavi slums.
Fadnavis is hosting a series of meetings in Quebec with the intent of promoting emerging technologies, especially Artificial Intelligence.
The chief minister met vice premier of Quebec, Dominique Anglade, and both agreed to  a collaboration between Maharashtra and Quebec to increase increments in AI and Aerospace, as also promoting AI accelerators like AI Next and Data Valorisation.
Institute for Data Valorisation (IVADO) has signed a collaboration agreement with the department of information technology, Maharashtra for setting up an AI accelerator in the state. They also signed a letter of intent to become part of the World Organization on AI (Artificial Intelligence – Quebec).
AI Next has signed an agreement with the government of Maharashtra’s Department of IT for setting up a joint AI accelerator to promote 50 start-up AI units in Maharashtra. It has also been agreed that IVADO and Applied AI Research Institute will focus on social good in Mumbai, which was launched in February, will work together to set up AI clusters in Maharashtra in conjunction with IIT Mumbai.
"There is a great deal of uncertainty around AI. However, as representatives of the people, if we begin to embrace it, it will give a great deal of confidence to the citizens and enable us to demystify the technology. With effective use of AI, we hope to bring basic services to the doorsteps of the people, be able to save lives through improved healthcare as also create about 230 million jobs in the country by year 2025 under WEF Industry 4.0," the chief minister said during a panel discussion on the topic.
Maharashtra claims to be the first state in India to come up with a comprehensive cloud policy that has enabled the entire government to take steps to shift its operations to cloud and take advantage of the capabilities of cloud computing. The state government also came out with the first fintech policy in India that includes incentives to start-ups, Mumbai fintech sandbox, fintech registry etc. The state’s IT department has also started to use blockchain technology in some key areas such as land registry, health care, transport etc.
Fadnavis said artificial intelligence can be put to varied uses, including agriculture, healthcare, smart homes, revenue and finance, power, information technology, social justice etc.