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DST partners with Intel India to boost AI readiness

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‘Building AI Readiness among Young Innovators’, a program by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, in partnership with Intel India, was launched on the occasion of National Science Day on 28th February by Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology(I/C), Government of India.

The program aims to build digital readiness among the students from classes 6 to 10, enrolled under DST’s INSPIRE-Awards MANAK scheme. The flagship program of DST reaches out to students pan India with an aim to create a culture of creativity and innovative thinking. Intel’s commitment to promoting AI readiness in India is in synergy with the Government’s vision of leveraging AI to make India a leader in the field while utilizing the technology to address its socio-economic challenges.

The program will bring both these together and seek to build an AI-ready generation by empowering the students with the knowledge and skills to leverage AI in an inclusive way. Launching the program Dr Singh said, “Scientists must be classified in three categories as per age – the first one being children below 15 years. Every day, we come across incredible innovations by young minds. We must catch them young and provide them mentorship and opportunities to experiment and explore.”

Recognising the Government of India’s persistent efforts towards building an integrated approach of utilizing science and innovation for a sustainable future, Dr Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, said, “Over the last few years, we have seen substantial expansion in these foundational areas, particularly in the growth of our Central Universities, IISER, IIT and AIIMS. All these places have managed to attract talented researchers, students and faculties and these are an important set of opportunities which our young demographic now have.”

The launch was part of the National Science Day celebrations which marked the culmination of a glorious science week under the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ programme.

Speaking of the launch, Shweta Khurana, Director APJ – Government Partnerships & Initiatives, Global Government Affairs Group, Intel, said, “We are collaborating with governments globally to build a digital-first mindset and expand access to the AI skills needed for current and future jobs. We look forward to our collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology in scaling India’s digital readiness.”

During the journey of the ‘Building AI Readiness among Young Innovators’ program, students will be introduced to the basics of AI and its multiple domains – computer vision, natural language processing, statistical data, etc. They will dive deeper into the domain-specific concepts and python programming through extensive hands-on learning sessions. Students will be provided access to relevant content, learning resources, with adequate hand-holding, and mentoring.

The program will be launched in three different phases across the country. A certificate of participation will be given to students upon completion of virtual orientation sessions in the first phase. Participants will then submit ideas for their AI-based solutions out of which the top 200 entries will be shortlisted for the next phase.
In the second phase, shortlisted students will attend a boot camp to deep dive into AI with Intel AI for Youth coaches and domain experts. Post boot camps, students will create AI-based projects and submit their final projects. The top 50 projects will be shortlisted by an independent committee of experts for the third phase. These will then be showcased on national/international platforms to a wider audience.
‘Building AI Readiness among Young Innovators’ is a step in the series of efforts being made to skill the next-gen with a digital-first mindset.

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