The Indian IT industry on Friday lauded the Interim Budget 2019-20 for its push to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“The highlight of the Budget was the announcement of a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and the AI portal. This will play a key role for India to accelerate AI development and adoption,” IT industry apex body Nasscom said in a statement.
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) said it was keen to partner with the government on the AI initiatives.
Presenting the Interim Budget, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the government would set up a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence as a hub along with centers of excellence for AI and other disruptive technologies.
“In order to take the benefits of AI and related technologies to the people, a national programme on AI has been envisaged by the government,” Goyal said.
The Interim Budget’s plan to convert a lakh village into “Digital Villages” over the next five years gives an “impetus to technology integration and penetration” in the country, Nasscom said.
“While the Finance Minister focused on education, jobs, and start-ups, the industry’s key asks towards the abolition of Angel Tax and various Goods and Services Tax (GST) clarifications did not a find mention,” the IT industry body lamented.
Indian IT bellwether Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) also hailed the programme on AI.
“The announcement of a national programme on AI will provide a fillip to building national capabilities in this area,” said the company’s Chief Financial Officer V. Ramakrishnan in a statement.
While TCS reacted to the Interim Budget positively, the city-based global software majors Infosys and Wipro, however, declined to comment on it.
The support of the government to disruptive technologies like AI can help drive the nation’s growth, said L&T Infotech’s Chief Executive Sanjay Jalona in a statement.
“The role of such exponential technologies in driving the nation’s development is immense and provides a much-needed avenue to address and overcome pertinent age-old issues,” Jalona noted.