The Government of Telangana signed an MoU with The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) to establish a Centre of Excellence for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (CoE – DS&AI) in the State, on the sidelines of NASSCOM India Leadership Forum being held in Hyderabad.
The CoE will be established on a public-private partnership model and is the most recent addition to NASSCOM’s ‘hub-and-spoke’ network of CoEs across major locations in the country, aimed at evangelizing new and emerging technologies.
According to a statement from Nasscom, with an initial joint investment of Rs. 40 crore, the CoE will catalyze the growth of the deep tech ecosystem in Telangana, by providing the stimulus for innovation and in-depth research in the areas of data science and artificial intelligence.
Jayesh Ranjan, IT secretary of state of Telangana says that this is part of its IT policy where it identified data sciences and artificial intelligence as two important areas of focus for the government. “When we came out with our IT policy, we mentioned that we will set up CoEs. I’m glad that the CoE is coming up with Nasscom. The Centre will be initially set up in IIIT-H campus temporarily. The centre will help Nasscom partner companies to develop programs and hold training sessions,” he said. The IIIT Hyderabad campus also currently houses startup incubator T-Hub, which is also another public private partnership model initiated by the Telangana government.
The CoE will serve as a platform for intelligence-sharing and technology collaboration between stakeholders, to build collective capabilities for the industry and country in the cutting-edge areas of data science and artificial intelligence. It will provide high-end technology, field expertise, and curated programs to augment capabilities across academia, enterprises, government, innovators and advanced start-ups.
“State government had introduced special IT Policy and taken up T-Hub for encouraging start-ups. The first phase of the T-Hub had already earned the reputation of being the largest incubator in the country. Government of Telangana realizes the opportunities the newer technologies present and laid the foundation of a Data Analytics Park to tap the innovation and employment opportunities in this rising sector. The Government is keen to create a robust Data Science and Artificial Intelligence ecosystem for the various stakeholders to thrive, by providing support, mentorship, and other capabilities. This Centre of Excellence, in partnership with NASSCOM and the industry, is in the direction for developing Telangana and India as global hub for DS & AI in the coming years,” K T Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Industries, Telangana said.
Speaking of the challenges with data and the importance of data sciences for the government, KTR also said that the government will be the CoE’s biggest customer to explore the applications of AI and data sciences. He further added that this partnership with Nasscom gives the government the opportunity to create large scale employment opportunity and the government will make sure students and youth are well equipped to benefit from this CoE.
R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM expects this centre to play a big role in promoting the innovation ecosystem in the country to find applications for AI in real work scenarios.
The CoE will be treated as an ecosystem and will connect with all kinds of resources such as research and academic institutions that can add and abstract value from the CoE.
“India is now on its next growth curve, led by disruptive technologies like data sciences and AI. The vision behind this CoE is to consolidate and streamline efforts in this space by building state-of-the-art infrastructure to amplify the impact that India can indigenously create. With the opportunities that digital technologies present, this CoE-DS&AI is strategically placed to provide data-backed solutions to critical and complex problems across the country and globe,” he added.
Data science and artificial intelligence technologies allow harnessing complex, high volume, high speed data into insights for decision making, emerging as the one of biggest growth opportunities for India to capitalize on.
Artificial intelligence too, has emerged from the confines of scientific labs and found various uses cases in everyday life and across industries such as financial services, automotive, healthcare, and retail, to name a few.
According to Nasscom, the data science and artificial intelligence industry in India (IT and non-IT industries) is expected to be worth $16 billion by 2025, and is likely to spur an additional employment of 150,000 professionals in the country.