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Q: Discuss the key challenges that India faces in leveraging the full potential of Artificial Intelligence for its socio-economic development. (15 Marks, 250 words)

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Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the ability of a computer or a computer-enabled robotic system to process information and produce outcomes in a manner similar to the thought process of humans in learning, decision-making and solving problems.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds significant potential for driving socio-economic development in India through various applications:

  • Healthcare: AI can enhance disease diagnosis by analyzing patient data and presenting hypotheses, as seen in IBM’s Watson supercomputer.
  • Education: Automation of grading and personalized learning using AI can benefit students and teachers.
  • Agriculture: Real-time advisory based on AI analysis of satellite imagery and weather data can boost agricultural yields.
  • Robotics: AI-driven robotics can aid the elderly, improve traffic safety, and enhance disaster response.


However, India faces challenges in fully utilizing AI for development due to:

  • Limited Private Investment: India’s AI investment is around $150 million, lagging behind economies like the U.S., Europe, and China.
  • Insufficient State Support: NITI Aayog’s strategy on AI lacks a dedicated national program, unlike countries like China with substantial investments.
  • Skills Gap: India’s science graduates lack proper training, leading to low employability, and there’s a shortage of qualified AI faculty.
  • Internet Quality: Despite improved internet access, India’s AI progress is hindered by inadequate internet quality; full 5G deployment is delayed.
  • Data Ecosystems: Absence of robust data ecosystems and access to intelligent data hampers AI development.
  • Intellectual Property Issues: Unfavorable IP regulations hinder AI research and adoption.
  • Resource Costs and Awareness: High costs and low awareness discourage AI integration in businesses.
  • Regulatory Concerns: Lack of clear privacy, security, and ethical regulations raises data anonymization and usage issues.


In addition to incentivising both public and private investment, India will have to create a cadre of
technocrats and enable closer academia-industry linkages to harness AI’s potential in socioeconomic development of India. These challenges, if addressed in an expeditious manner, through
collaborative efforts by relevant stakeholders with government playing a leading role could form
the core to India’s march towards leadership in AI.