Artificial Intelligence (AI) set to be a major part of India’s growth story: study

A new study carried out jointly by a team from The Institution of Engineering and Technology and a UK India Tech Partnership team from the British High Commission has confirmed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all set to be a major part of India’s growth story with increasing demands for skill development among today’s youth.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 168,000 members in 150 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century.

The team’s  independent study on AI skilling in India was based on inputs from close to 140 respondents who were representative of students, startups, academia, incubators and large corporations.

The study shed particular light on the need for a standardised AI curriculum for undergraduate and post graduate programmes. Also, students trying to equip themselves with in-demand skills indicated that they were discouraged by not knowing where to start, finding the right expert and a fear of coding being too tough. This next generation of entrepreneurs also wanted support with application-led concepts like Speech recognition, Computer vision and Robotics and Natural Language processing.

Startup founders also highlight avenues that exist for building awareness around core AI technologies and use cases of successful AI adoption. Entrepreneurs already running start-ups expressed the need for a more strategic and joined up approach for AI adoption, both within government and industry a sentiment echoed by large corporations who wanted to see the skills gap mapped out and a renewed approach to the AI skills eco-system. Confirming the demand for skills and innovation: 70% of large corporations surveyed said that AI is a component of their 2-5 year strategic roadmap.

Speaking about the findings of the survey, Shekhar Sanyal, Country Head and Director, IET India said, “We are very happy to have been able to lead this study jointly with the team at the UK India Tech Partnership. India’s specific proof points are crucial for kick-starting industry and academia alike to build AI skill capacity for the ecosystem as well as to provide neutral and insight-led advisories to the government and ecosystem stakeholders. This study was a first step in that direction and it has helped us build a baseline for AI skills in India. We look forward to engaging with the ecosystem players in multiple areas of skilling for AI.”

British Deputy High Commissioner to Karnataka and Kerala, Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford said, “I am happy to endorse this important joint study that recognises both the growing importance of AI to India’s successful tech sector and the need to further bolster AI skilling in India, especially Karnataka which is at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship in AI. The growing strength of UK-India collaboration in the tech space coupled with increasing partnerships between academia and start-ups between UK and India will help address key challenges facing our countries and the world.”