Atal Innovation Mission Labs, NITI & NASSCOM partner to bring AI modules to Indian schools

New Delhi: NITI Aayog announced in a Press communication today that with an imperative to empower the youngest minds of the country with the latest technologies, NITI Aayog, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) based module rolled out for students in Indian schools.

The AI-Base Module has been introduced for students to leverage the full potential of AIM’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and further empowers them 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, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said India can add 1.3% 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, diseases 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,” said Kant.

He further added that this AI module is critical in the sense that it will start teaching young children from a very young age so that Indians will become major players in AI, as has been done in the past for robots, 3D printing, and IoT.

“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,” Kant said.

Technology innovation over the last decade was breathtakingly fast as industries became 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 trillion, out of which India’s share will be close to a trillion.

Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, R Ramanan, said that AI is going to be an integral part of the new 21st century innovations and he is proud to introduce the Learn-It-Yourself module 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,” said Ramanan.

Meanwhile, for India to lead and remain relevant in a 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, NITI Aayog stated.

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.”

NITI says the hands-on AI module has been designed considering academic, co-scholastic, and other ATL programs 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 grassroots 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 in the country, spread across 33 different states and union territories, for the establishment of ATLs.

NASSCOM acknowledges the role played by AI and other emerging technologies as an imperative to build a digitally powered tomorrow. By inculcating AI and a ‘learning by doing’ culture in schools, huge opportunities are bound to arise for the overall industries at global scale. To achieve this, NASSCOM and AIM have worked in collaboration with industry members and universities to develop the special modules on artificial intelligence learning.

The AI Base Module is ready to be introduced to ATL students on 27 February. Additionally, an AI Step-up Module is under development, the next step that builds on the base module.


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