Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

India plans to develop its own ‘Sovereign AI’


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Sovereign AI Initiative

Mains level: Read the attached story

Sovereign AI

Central Idea

  • In a strategic move towards bolstering its technological prowess, India is set to extend its Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) model to artificial intelligence (AI), aiming for sovereign AI capabilities.

Sovereign AI Initiative

  • Strategic Direction: Minister of State for Electronics and IT has articulated India’s commitment to developing its own sovereign AI, diverging from solely relying on ecosystems driven by global tech giants.
  • Focus Areas: The government’s AI strategy is based on practical applications in sectors like healthcare, agriculture, and governance, aiming for broader economic impact.

Tech Governance Solutions so far

  • Global Positioning: India is showcasing itself as a leader in using technology for large-scale governance solutions.
  • Prominent Examples: The country highlights its Aadhaar bio-metric identity program and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as key achievements.
  • Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI): This concept involves government-backed technology frameworks that are later expanded upon by private entities for various applications.

India’s Strategy for AI Control

  • Policy Framework: The National Data Governance Framework Policy, proposed by MeitY, aims to create an India Datasets platform, aggregating non-personal and anonymized government data.
  • Empowering Innovation: This initiative is designed to provide startups and researchers with access to valuable data for AI development and research.
  • Objective: The policy’s goal is to modernize data collection to enhance governance and stimulate an AI-centric startup ecosystem.

Unified National Data Sharing Platform

  • Report Findings: A recent IT Ministry report highlighted the India datasets program as a key to enabling diverse data sharing and exchange use cases.
  • Data Monetization: The potential monetization of non-personal data is seen as a catalyst for innovation and growth in the AI sector.

Regulating AI in India

  • Legislative Outlook: India’s future AI governance laws are expected to reflect the significant role AI plays in the digital economy.
  • Regulatory Approach: The government plans a hybrid regulatory model, incorporating elements of both European and American frameworks.
  • Tech Giants’ Data Sharing: A proposed directive, part of the draft Digital India Bill, may require major tech companies to contribute non-personal data to a government database.
  • Legislative Timeline: The Digital India Bill is anticipated to be a focus for the government post the 2024 general elections.
  • Committee Recommendations: A MeitY-appointed committee suggested utilizing aggregated non-personal data for economic gains, identifying specific high-value datasets for this purpose.


  • In its pursuit of sovereign AI and robust digital public infrastructure, India is positioning itself as a key player in the global AI domain.
  • The focus on practical AI applications, combined with a balanced regulatory approach, aims to foster innovation, ensure effective data governance, and drive economic growth.

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