Budget 2024 expectations in AI: How will India's tech landscape transform with anticipated initiatives?
Budget 2024 expectations in AI: Discover key expectations for India's 2024 Budget in AI: from upskilling and diverse AI applications to ethical regulation and startup funding revitalisation.
Budget 2024 expectations in AI: In the forthcoming Interim Budget 2024, set to be announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at 11 am today, the government is expected to introduce some initiatives on artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies. As the nation gears up for the 2024 budget, the technology sector is rife with expectations. Key industry figures spanning AI, semiconductors, and edtech have articulated their aspirations and recommendations for the government's fiscal policies.
NITI Aayog has advocated a forward-looking strategy, proposing the establishment of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) to fortify AI development and foster application-based research. Over the past five years, AI has not only permeated various sectors but has become a recurring focus in the Union Budget, the nation's pivotal financial document. The Union Budget 2023-24 articulated Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's vision to 'Make AI in India and Make AI work for India,' signifying a commitment to harnessing AI's potential for technological advancement.
Despite active promotion of AI by the Indian government, positioning the nation as an AI and analytics powerhouse, challenges persist in the widespread adoption of AI solutions. These challenges necessitate a strategic approach, prompting industry stakeholders to eagerly await more robust policies and measures in the upcoming Union Budget 2024-25.
Diverse AI Implementation
Last year's Union Budget focused on enhancing AI deployment in critical sectors like agriculture, healthcare, and sustainable cities. Industry stakeholders now call for its expansion into additional areas, including telecommunications, where AI-powered voice agents have proven transformative, enhancing efficiency and user experience.
Fiscal support for upskilling and integration of AI in education
An industry report highlights the demand to upskill 1.62 crore workers in AI and automation to address the existing skill deficit in India. The technology sector alone has the potential to create 4.7 million new jobs, catering to the proficiency enhancement of the existing IT workforce of 4.6 million professionals by 2027. To align with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, there is a growing imperative to integrate AI, AR, VR, metaverse, and other technologies into the education sector, Financial Express reported.
Ethical AI Regulation Framework
While AI promises to revolutionise tech development, the potential to disrupt established norms necessitates proactive legislation. The Union Budget should advocate for a "state-control" strategy in AI regulation, emphasising government involvement in development and deployment to ensure ethical use and align technology progression with national strategic objectives.
Fostering AI Startup Funding
India's tech startup ecosystem experienced a funding slowdown in 2023, with a 72 percent drop compared to 2022. To revitalise the AI startup landscape, the budget should prioritise ease of investing, catalysing a robust funding scenario to invigorate the entrepreneurial spirit, encourage innovation, and bolster India's position in the global AI arena.