Budget 2023 Tech Announcements: Centers for Excellence in AI, 5G labs and more
Many initiatives in the field of technology were announced in the Budget 2023-24, including 5G labs, Centers for Excellence in AI and more.
The Budget for 2023-24 was just presented in the Lok Sabha by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman where she announced important reforms and initiatives in various technology-related fields. One of the most rapidly growing fields that has the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI can be helpful in a number of ways, such as its ability to automate repetitive tasks, thus freeing up time for humans to pursue more important innovative tasks.
To promote study and innovation in the field of AI, the Finance Minister announced that 3 Centers of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be set up in top institutions across the country. It will galvanize an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field. “Leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research, developing cutting edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health, sustainable cities," she said.
“FM has acknowledged and rightly set the agenda for a ‘Tech and Knowledge-driven' India. The move to set up three centres of excellence for AI will be very effective, as it will further boost Innovation for new products/services, and acceptance of new technologies. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana, will go a long way to skill youth on jobs relating to AI, coding, robotics, Industry 4.0, and other new technologies thus providing a solution to current talent crunch in the country. Make AI in India initiative will also boost startups in India working with AI and will encourage more investors to accept and adopt the new technology,” said Sumit Chanda, Founder and CEO, JARVIS Invest, AI-based investment advisory platform.
Moreover, the 5G innovation continues in the country as the Finance Minister announced that 100 labs for developing applications using 5G services will be set up in engineering institutions across the country. “To realize the new range of opportunities, business models and employment potential, the labs will cover, among others, applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems and healthcare applications,” she said.
"The budget recognizes the growing importance of the smartphone industry in India, where production has increased significantly in the past fiscal year. 5G technology was a major focus in the budget, with projections indicating that up to 45% of devices sold in 2023 will be 5G-enabled. The announcement of a reduced custom duty for spare parts provides a welcome relief for the refurbished device industry," says Subodh Garg, CFO, Cashify.
Other important announcements
A national digital library for children and adolescents will be set up for facilitating availability of quality books across geographies, languages and genres to address the loss of learning which incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Finance Minister said, “As many as 38,000 teachers and support staff will be recruited in the next three years for 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools serving 3.5 lakh tribal students.”
Moreover, teachers training will be re-envisioned through innovative pedagogy, curriculum transaction, continuous professional development dipstick survey and ICT implementation.
Investment in the diamond industry will also take place. “Lab grown diamonds is a technology and innovation driven, energy driven sector with high employment potential. To encourage indigenous production of such diamonds, a research grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years,” she said.
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