Updated February 8th, 2024 at 19:06 IST
Maharashtra govt inks pact with Google for AI
Google will work with the state government in areas of agriculture, healthcare and education
The Maharashtra government has signed an agreement with search engine firm Google to deploy Artificial Intelligence solutions in agriculture, healthcare, education and such sectors.
Inked in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Google country head and vice president for India Sanjay Gupta, as well as state chief secretary Nitin Kareer, the MoU will span seven areas including agricultural sustainability.
“Few weeks back, I met Gupta ji and we had a small talk on how AI is affecting our lives and he informed me that their different centres of excellence are creating different platforms and applications that are not only changing the businesses but the lives of people. I told him about the government’s plan to set up a centre of excellence in Nagpur. Here we both thought that this could be a mutually beneficial partnership,” the Deputy CM was quoted as saying.
Technology ought to be used to “positively affect” governance and enable delivery systems for changing people’s lives, Fadnavis added.
“Today we are talking about sustainability in every sphere of life but the sustainability issues are much more vital in agriculture. Half of our worries in government are about agriculture sustainability. With climate change issues, we have unseasonal rains, we have droughts in the same year. It has become a localised phenomenon that we need more predictability and sustainability in the field of agriculture,” Fadnavis said.
With the platforms and applications that Google is going to create, sustainability and predictability can be brought in agriculture and agricultural distress can be reduced, he added.
“In the field of start-ups, the collaboration will bring Pune on the global map. With the start-up ecosystem increasing, a lot of technology start-ups are coming up. A lot of start-ups are working in the field of agriculture and they are changing the lives of farmers,” Fadnavis said.
The Maharashtra government will also collaborate with Google for bringing healthcare to “the last man of society,” he further said.
“We can create infrastructure but the issue is with human resources. I do not blame the doctors but trained doctors have ample opportunities in cities and they are not ready to go to the interior places, and it is the technology which can bridge the gap. With AI, we can take the quality healthcare to the last man of the society and apply it,” he said.
With the support of technology-based delivery methods established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 25 crore people have been lifted out of poverty.
Moreover, government programmes are now accessible to the most marginalised members of society, Fadnavis said.
AI applications “will help create an ecosystem.” The Maharashtra government will be able to take advantage of Google's AI know-how to "unlock new possibilities in land record management, disease detection, urban environment resilience and AI upskilling, among others," as per an official release.
Published February 8th, 2024 at 19:06 IST