Niti Aayog joins hands with Nasscom to roll out AI modules in schools

Government’s policy advisor NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) today announced the launch of an AI-based module for students in Indian schools.

The AI-based module is intended to leverage the full potential of AIM’s Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) and further empower students to innovate and create valuable solutions benefiting societies at large. The module contains activities, videos and experiments that enable students to work through and learn the various concepts of AI.
Sharing his thoughts, CEO, NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant said India can add 1.3 per cent to its GDP on an annual basis through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
“Indians can find solutions to the challenges of a shared connected zero emission world, improving learning outcomes, disease like tuberculosis, cancer etc. If we are able to find solutions to these challenges for the 1.3 billion people of India, we can find solutions for the 7.5 billion people of the world too,” he said.
He further added that this AI module is so critical, in the sense that it will start teaching young children from a very young age, which will allow Indians to emerge as major players in AI. “This is path breaking, it combines playing and academics and our job is to make things very interesting. We want to make artificial intelligence a great fun, so that children can enjoy it, they can evolve and learn and take India forward.”
Technology innovation over the last decade was breathtakingly fast as industries got intertwined with emerging technologies like never before. It has been estimated that by 2030, the global market in AI is likely to be in the range of 15 to 15.5 trillion dollars, out of which India’s share will be close to a trillion.
Mission director Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, R Ramanan said AI is going to be an integral part of the 21st century innovations and the `Learn-It-Yourself’ module will be introduced in all 5,000 Atal Tinkering Labs with over 2.5 million students having access to it. “This is the first ever industry government academia initiative on such a scale to keep the school students abreast of latest technologies.” 
Meanwhile, for India to lead and remain relevant in this new ‘tech driven decade’, especially in emerging technologies like AI, and the ubiquity of AI in society, it is critical for the government and academia to collaborate and introduce AI learning at schools and prepare young minds for the AI led digital future. 
Speaking on the collaboration, Debjani Ghosh, president, Nasscom, said, “AI has become a strategic lever for economic growth across nations and will continue to be one of the most crucial technologies of the future. Given its impact, it is an embracing step taken by NITI Aayog to introduce the resources for students to learn AI. This will create the right foundations for students, especially the K-12 segment, to onboard onto future technologies and prepare them fully for the digital and AI era. The partnership is a crucial step in building citizens and a workforce that is aware of AI and can work with AI.”
The hands-on AI module has been designed considering academic, co-scholastic and other ATL programmes at school and is formulated to encourage young students to contribute to the journey of nation building. The module will be a catalyst for the youth to explore, ideate and learn the latest technologies and build a generation of innovators at the grassroot level.
Atal Innovation Mission housed at NITI Aayog is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. At the school level, AIM is establishing ATLs in all districts across India. As of today, AIM has selected a total of 14,916 schools across the country spread across 33 different states and union territories, for the establishment of ATLs.
Nasscom and AIM have worked in collaboration with industry members and universities to develop the special modules on Artificial Intelligence learning.
The AI-based module is ready to be introduced to ATL students while an AI step-up module is under development, which will be the next step that builds on the base module.