Niti Aayog seeks $1 bn for cloud boost; TCS exec to lead Tata Sons’ digital push

Niti Aayog seeks $1 bn for cloud boost; TCS exec to lead Tata Sons’ digital push
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20 May, 2019

Niti Aayog, the country’s top policy think-tank, is seeking Rs 7,500 crore (more than $1 billion) from the department of public expenditure in order to push research and boost implementation of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, The Economic Times reported.

Niti Aayog is said to have circulated a cabinet note as well as written to the expenditure finance committee seeking funds to start work on developing a cloud computing platform called ‘Airawat’ and come up with new research institutes. 

However, according to a senior government official cited in the report, the note will be presented only when the new government is formed following the general election results that are due later this week.

The money will go towards creating five centres of research excellence dubbed CORE and setting up 20 international centres for transformational AI called ICTAI. The official also said that 'Airawat' would be made accessible to all.

The report added that the entire project would be monitored by a task force and will be headed by a member of Niti Aayog along with representatives from various ministries and states.

Niti Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant is said to have already written to ministries and states asking them to identify areas where artificial intelligence can be adopted for the greater good. 

Tata Sons' digital push

Pratik Pal, president of IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services' consumer and retail business, is being promoted to holding company Tata Sons to lead the company's digital initiatives, The Economic Times reported. 

According to the report, Pal will help chairman N Chandrasekaran create a digital footprint of the holding company's businesses by making use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics, among others. 

Pal will be replaced at TCS by Shankar Narayanan, the company’s head for UK and Ireland.