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Niti Aayog ties up with ABB to ready India for a digitalised future via AI and robotics

Libza Mannan
23rd May 2018
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Niti Aayog and ABB India have signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) on May 23 in New Delhi, to help India leverage the power of advanced technologies, including robotics and artificial intelligence.

The two parties will work towards making key sectors of Indian economy ready for a digitalised future and realise the potential of AI, big data and connectivity.

According to a statement released to the media, Niti Aayog will work with ABB India (an Indian subsidiary of the Swiss technology giant) to prepare key sectors of the economy, such as power, water utilities sector, food, heavy industries, transport (rail and metro) and infrastructure sectors for digitalisation using the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The initiative also covers the fast-growing segment of electric mobility. Jointly, Niti Aayog and ABB will work with government ministries, solicit feedback for areas critical to them and discuss solutions using industrial automation, and digitalisation technologies. Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, said,

We are looking forward to learning more about practical applications of future technologies such as AI and IoT, especially in streamlining governance and economic systems. This collaboration, which will include cross-sectoral understanding of digitalisation at ABB’s world class centers, will be key in driving progress of key sectors in India.
Sitting (L-R): Anna Roy of Niti Aayog and Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director of ABB India. Standing (L-R): Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, and Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB

Through this SoI, Niti Aayog will facilitate policymakers and government functionaries’ participation in workshops and training programmes organised by ABB India. Such programmes will feature subject matter experts and will aim to sensitise policymakers and government officials about relevant AI capabilities, and explore ways they can be used for revolutionising manufacturing productivity. Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB, said,

We look forward to working with key stakeholders in the Indian government, and supporting key initiatives of Prime Minister Modi such as ‘Make in India’.

With a presence across 100+ countries and over 1.3 lakh employees onboard, Zurich-based ABB is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally.

“ABB’s more than a hundred years’ presence in India and our pioneering technology leadership in industrial digitalisation positions us well to support India in its ambitions for the next phase of its transformation,” Ulrich Spiesshofer added.

The first workshop for senior government officials, under this collaboration, would be organised in June, 2018, at the ABB Ability Innovation Center in Bengaluru. Given the importance of the Indian food processing sector, the workshop will focus on digital and automation technologies for this sector. Senior officials from the Central and State governments as well as autonomous bodies will be nominated for this workshop. Similar workshops will be organised for other sectors such as power, urban development and transport in the near future.

Niti Aayog and all stakeholders will experience hands-on experience of ABB Ability, the company’s comprehensive digital portfolio of solutions that deliver value of industrial digitalisation to utilities, industries and transportation and infrastructure. ABB Ability integrates all of ABB’s services and domain expertise to turn data into analytic insights and direct action to drive competitiveness of Indian and global customers.

Based on the interactions with ABB India, NITI Aayog will also make recommendations to government ministries for guidelines and policies regarding development and adoption of AI technology in sectors such as power & water utilities, manufacturing, emobility and infrastructure, with industrial automation and digitalisation as the backbone.

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