India’s Next I-T Boom May Be In Artificial Intelligence, Related Sciences
BY K RAVEENDRAN
A global survey of companies has revealed a severe shortage of tech talent when it comes to artificial intelligence, which threatens to
delay the shift to the new productivity tool.
majority of respondents in the survey, conducted by management consulting firm McKinsey, reported difficulties in finding for each AI
related role in the past year, and most say it was either no easier or more difficult to acquire this talent than in the past. AI data
scientists remain particularly scarce, with the largest proportion of respondents rating data scientist as a role that was difficult to fill
the roles we asked about.
The findings are particularly relevant to India, which boasts the world’s largest talent pool, and have lessons for the country’s education
system. India was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the IT boom, triggered by the much-feared Y2K problem at the turn of the new
millennium, which ultimately turned out to be a non-issue. But it has opened up a new world of opportunities for India’s human resource pool.
AI may well become another such opportunity.
According to UNESCO’s State of Education Report for India 2022, India has an advantage of having an advanced IT sector and a
large number of young people who will join the labor market in the near future.
There are, of course, concerns that even if additional jobs are created for AI-literate people, many other jobs may be lost due to AI-based
automation. But a McKinsey projected that while 57 million jobs in India would be eliminated due to AI and automation, 114 million or
twice as many news posts will be created as a result of AI technology.
According to the Artificial Intelligence Index Report 2021, India had the world’s second highest growth in AI hiring from 2016 to 2020,
behind Brazil and ahead of Canada, Singapore and South Africa. Analyst India magazine as well Jigsaw Academy also reported that there
were nearly 91,000 AI-related personnel working in India, with 16,500 jobs as of July 2020. The median salary was Rs 14.7 lakh, with the
highest median salary of Rs16.7 lakh paid in Mumbai.
The AI market in India is expected to reach $7.8 billion by 2025 at a rate of 20.2 percent compound annual growth rate. It is also
predicts that the AI software market itself will grow to $6.4 billion in 2025. According to NAASCOM, AI will reach between $450 billion and
$500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025. Similarly, a survey of over 3,000 stakeholders conducted by Intel and the Indian School of Business on
the suitability of machine learning showed 80 percent of respondents expected their staff to undergo significant conservation over the next
two years due to the arrival of AI in their businesses.
In 2018, NITI Aayog recognized the importance of AI in education, which is reflected in the National Education Policy 2020.
Education Policy of 2020 consequently highlighted several important areas in which the application of AI is mentioned. It recommends
the introduction of courses related to AI at all levels of education to develop the skills necessary to meet the current demands of industry. In this
In light of this, the policy recommends that computational thinking (CT) be introduced at a foundational stage of children’s education so that India has a
leadership in the fields of AI, machine learning and data science.
NEP advocates the development of hardware and software that uses AI, machine learning, learning analytics, big data, blockchain, smart
boards, adaptive systems, etc. to improve students’ learning and to identify their learning paths. It is not about advocating the development of
AI-based software to track students throughout their years at school, based on their learning data to provide information about their strengths
weaknesses and areas of interest and thus help them make decisions about the careers they want to choose.
According to UNESCO, India is far advanced in terms of AI literacy compared to other countries, which is illustrated by the fact that the
country has the highest relative AI skill penetration rate globally. At the same time, it highlights two important issues that require attention,
one of which is that women and girls as well as other disadvantaged socio-economic groups often have fewer opportunities to become AI
literate and the other is the human dimension as AI literacy, which is often overlooked compared to its technological dimension. (IPA)