• Artificial for a long Intelligence time; was first the has used term been by ‘Artificial around John McCarthy in 1956. However, in the last year or so, with the advent of Generative Al and the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI, Al has become a buzzword. This has also been enabled by the rapid expansion of data and computing capabilities. 
  • Today, Al can be harnessed to solve societal challenges in health care, education, and agriculture, build innovative products and services, increase efficiency, elevate competitiveness, and enable economic growth, contributing to an improved quality of life. Recent advances in Al have also significantly enhanced its potential to transform governance, public service delivery, citizen engagement, and catalyse large-scale socio-economic transformation.

India’s Approach

India have used AI ecosystem through four key interventions:

  • National Data Management Office (NDMO): Recognising data as the foundational element for AI innovation, the NDMO aims to enhance data quality, utilisation, and accessibility, modernising government practices to fully unlock the potential of data and the AI innovation ecosystem.
  • NationalCentreon AI(NCAI):NCAI is envisaged as a sector-agnostic entity that identifies Al solutions for public sector problem statements and facilitates their nationwide deployment, aiming to drive large-scale socio-economic transformation.
  • Skilling for AI: This pillar aims to revamp technical education infrastructure, particularly ITIs and polytechnics by building data labs that can help equip the workforce with Al-ready skills and mitigate the disruptions caused by the accelerated adoption of Al.
  • Responsible AI: Emphasises the need to address potential biases and discrimination in Al adoption through the development of indigenous tools, guidelines, frameworks etc., and suitable governance mechanisms.

Key Government Initiatives Leveraging Al

  • The Government of India is pioneering the approach of harnessing the power of Al for social good, applying Al in education, healthcare, agriculture, languages, and other critical sectors.
  • UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for NewAge Governance)
  • UMANG serves as a unified platform, offering all Indian citizens a singular point of access to pan-India e-government services, spanning from central to local government bodies. The platform provides access to 1836 vital government services encompassing a wide spectrum of areas such as education, Covid-19 vaccinations, public transport, employment guidance, passport applications, utilities, cybercrime reporting, and more. Since its launch in 2017, UMANG has aimed to propel India towards mobile governance by enabling citizens to get access to all public services with one super app.


The DigiYatra initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, marks a revolutionary step towards leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the air travel experience for citizens. DigiYatra is a biometric-based boarding system for Indian airports.

Digital India Bhashini

  • Digital India Bhashini (National Language Translation Mission) is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology that is building speech-to-speech machine translation systems for various Indian languages and dialects and evolving a Unified Language Interface (ULI). 
  • The mission is working towards creating a ‘voice-based internet’ that is accessible in vernacular Indian languages and building multilingualism as well by developing the next generation of ‘conversational’ government apps and websites. This will enable citizens to access digital services in their own language, further increasing digital inclusion and accessibility.

Applications of Al in Urban Governance:

  • Several government departments across States- including municipal corporations and police, are using image recognition and Al for near-real-time monitoring of traffic and the infrastructure of the city. The solution deployed has demonstrated highly promising outcomes, detecting 1,000 violations per hour and reporting over 50,000 catastrophic issues.

Applications of Al in Health Care:

  • DRDO’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) has developed ATMAN Al, an Al-based Covid detection application software using Chest X-rays (CXRs), which can classify the images into normal, Covid-19, and pneumonia classes using a limited number of sample images.
  • This secure, web-based solution was developed to optimise Chest X-rays for rapid detection of Covid-19-triggered lung abnormalities. The ATMAN backend incorporates a specifically tuned Deep Convolutional Neural Network designed to accurately identify Covid-19, overcoming the challenge of a limited dataset of Covid X-ray images.

Al-Based Pest Management System:

  • Cotton Ace, an Al-driven early warning system, is aiding farmers in safeguarding their crops by offering timely, localised advice on pesticide application. Developed by Wadhwani Al, the Al system has undergone successful piloting. In collaboration with the Better Cotton Initiative and the Maharashtra Government. It is currently operational in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Telangana, benefiting over 18,000 farmers. Following the integration of this Al system, farmers have witnessed a significant 25 per cent increase in cotton crop yields.

Al Applications in Agriculture

  • The Government of Telangana has deployed an AI solution that has the capability to leverage agricultural data and provide actionable inputs that can potentially increase crop yield. The initiative involves accurately delineating field boundaries for approximately 60,000 agriculture fields, providing precise data on acreage, forested areas, and irrigation structures with an impressive 85% accuracy. The solution is also enabling landscape monitoring and event detection models to deliver valuable information on crop types, sow and harvest schedules, as well as the identification of water bodies.

Al-Based Attendance Monitoring (Shiksha Setu)

  • The government of Assam has developed a mobile application called ‘Shiksha Setu’ for recording the digital attendance of both students and teachers. The application includes an Al-based facial recognition attendance system, which has been implemented across 44,000 schools in the state. The facial data of all students has been entered into the system, and all schools in the state have been geotagged and geo-fenced. The attendance is recorded in real-time, and analysis can be conducted on a group or individual basis.

Way Forward

  • As the proliferation of Al in citizen-centric public services accelerates, the imperative for establishing robust ethical guardrails becomes increasingly evident to safeguard against potential misuse and ensure responsible deployment. 
  • To ensure that adequate guardrails are in place to protect citizens, India is adopting a multi-stakeholder approach to designing and adopting voluntary frameworks, policies, and legal mechanisms for the development, deployment, and use of Al that is safe and accessible for all.



Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

Get The Gist 1 Year Subscription Online

Click Here to Download More Free Sample Material

<<Go Back To Main Page

Courtesy: Yojana