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Draft AI regulation framework to be released by July: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

The government has been planning to release an AI regulation framework for a long time now. In May 2023, Chandrasekhar had shared plans to release the first draft of the framework.

Draft AI regulation framework to be released by July: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Wednesday February 21, 2024 , 4 min Read

The government will come out with a draft regulatory framework for artificial intelligence (AI) by June-July, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Tuesday.

Addressing the opening session of the two-day Nasscom leadership summit in Mumbai, he said, "the government is working on a draft AI regulation framework that is set for release in June or July this year. The intention is to harness AI for economic growth and address potential risks and harms."

Chandrasekhar further said the government is also determined to build AI-skilled individuals.

"We will fully exploit the potential of AI but set up the guardrails as well to prevent misuse. We are today seen by the world at the forefront to harness AI technology. We are all for deploying AI across use cases, from farm to factories and we want to use AI for economic growth, healthcare, agriculture, and farmer productivity," the minister said.

The statement comes amid a Nasscom-BCG joint report released on Tuesday pegging India's AI market at $17 billion by 2027, with the growth driven by a host of factors, including increasing enterprise tech spending, India's growing AI talent base and a significant increase in AI investments.

"We intend to exploit AI to its fullest for achieving the goals of our economic growth, ensuring a huge impact on healthcare, agriculture and farmer productivity among others," the minister said.

The government has been planning to release an AI regulation framework for a long time now. Even in May 2023, Chandrasekhar had shared plans to release the first draft of the framework. However, the same is yet to be released.

"Given the ubiquitous and boundary-agnostic nature of the Internet and AI, it is important that there is a global governance framework that deals with safety and trust of AI," he said.

The Nasscom-BCG report titled "AI Powered Tech Services: A Roadmap for Future Ready Firms; AI & GenAI's Role in Turbocharging the Industry", also said that globally, investments in AI have seen 24 per cent CAGR since 2019, with 2023 seeing close to $83-billion investment.

Majority of investments were made in data analytics, GenAI, and ML algos and platforms, as per the report.

Notably, around 93% of the investments made by Indian tech services and made-in-India product players focus on digital content, data analytics and supply chain, according to the report.

With increasing enterprise tech spending, technology service providers are developing a wide array of innovative AI-based services and solutions, expanding their offerings beyond traditional IT services, it stated.

This includes the development of proprietary AI & GenAI platforms, tools for automation, data analytics solutions, and bespoke AI applications for specific industry verticals such as healthcare, banking & finance, and retail, the report said.

Earlier, Chandrasekhar had said the government approach to regulating AI would involve establishing principles and a comprehensive list of harms and criminalities related to the technology.

Instead of regulating AI at specific points in its development, he had said the government favoured setting clear guidelines for platforms with a focus on addressing issues like bias and misuse during model training.

On the rising internet usage, he said the already 900 million strong internet population is going to touch 1.2 billion soon. But the minister did not offer a timeline.

The industry added 60,000 net employees in FY2024E. However, the focus on digital skills continued to remain strong with AI, Cloud, Data and Cybersecurity emerging as top in-demand skills for the industry in 2023, Nasscom had said on February 16.

According to the report, India has the second highest installed talent base with 420,000 employees working in AI job functions.

India also has the highest skills penetration with three times more AI-skilled talent than other countries. The country ranks among the top five nations with a 14 times growth in individuals skilled with AI in the last seven years, it said.

As the investments in AI continues to increase, the demand for AI talent in India is also expected to grow at 15% CAGR till 2027, the Nasscom-BCG report said, adding the tech industry in India is already seeing more than 15% growth in AI/ML jobs over the past 12 months with positions such as AI engineers growing at 67% year-on-year.

Recognising the importance of human capital in the AI journey, leading firms have invested heavily in upskilling and reskilling their workforce in AI and related technologies, with some organizations allocating $1-billion over the next three years dedicated to upskilling.

Edited by Megha Reddy