Updated March 11th, 2024 at 19:07 IST

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar unveils 10 AI labs in Thiruvananthapuram colleges

A global AI giant will help in operating the labs, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology said

Reported by: Business Desk
MoS Rajeev Chandrashekhar | Image:PTI
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AI labs in South: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said 10 labs for artificial intelligence (AI) will be established in Thiruvanathapuram.

The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology is contesting from the Kerala city from the Bharatiya Janata Party against sitting Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor.

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The labs will be allocated under the India AI Mission announced by the Cabinet last week.

A ‘global AI giant’ will help in the operation of these labs, Chandrasekhar said in a state press conference.

The number of AI labs will not be confined, he said, adding that any college which wants such a lab will have government support over the next five years for the same.

"I said I am starting it, not ending it. I believe such labs will spread all across Kerala and across India," he added.

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The name of the global AI giant will be unveiled, Chandrasekhar said, when he feels the time is right for the same. 

"It is not just the Government of India, but a collaboration with the Government of India with a global AI giant," he added.

The Minister said they have received applications from 17 colleges, and in the first phase AI labs will be allotted to 10 of them.

“The names are yet to be finalised," he added.

As part of the India AI mission, India aims to accomplish a comprehensive system in Artificial Intelligence, for which Rs 10,361 crore have been allocated. 

The MInister said Rs 2,000 crore have been set aside for AI-based startups. 

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In response to choosing the Kerala capital’s colleges for the 10 AI labs, Chandrasekhar said he has a reason - in indication to his candidature from the  constituency. 

"I have a reason to start here. I have come here to represent Thiruvananthapuram," Chandrasekhar said, who also has portfolios as Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Jal Shakti apart from MeitY.

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He refuted allegations of using government machinery for announcing projects in the city as unethical, since he is pleased to do it for the people of Thiruvananthapuram.

"I am the candidate, and that is why I am doing it. I do not have anything to cover up in this," Chandrasekhar said.

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He also expressed his wish of undertaking these projects before being elected as the MP for the Kerala capital. 

"If I was a typical politician, I would have done this after the election," Chandrasekhar said.

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The Minister said he has initiated various of these programmes across India for the past few years, and is now undertaking them in Thiruvananthapuram.

"Only now I can talk about Thiruvananthapuram, as I got a chance only now. If you had asked me two years ago, how would I have spoken about Thiruvananthapuram then? Only now, I got a chance," Chandrasekhar said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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Published March 11th, 2024 at 19:07 IST