The Defence Ministry has made an Artificial Intelligence (AI) roadmap for each defence public sector undertakings (PSUs) under which 61 defence specific projects have been identified for development.
“Out of these 61 projects, 26 have been completed by the defence PSUs,” Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, said in a written reply to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in the Rajya Sabha.
Bhatt said that to study the whole gamut of issues surrounding strategic implications of AI in the perspective of national security, the Department of Defence Production (DDP) set up a multi-stakeholder task force in March 2018 under the chairmanship of N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons.
The task force submitted its report in June 2018, which recommended integrating and embedding AI strategy for defence with defence strategy and the establishment of a high-level Defence Artificial Intelligence Council (DAIC) and a Defence AI Project Agency (DAIPA).
The task force also recommended development of data management framework, establishing a data management office and appointing a data management officer.
It also recommended scaling the existing capability of data centres and establishing a centrally facilitated network of test beds.
The task force further recommended the creation of a framework to work with the industry and encourage startups to develop AI capability for defence and IP management.
It also recommended organising AI training courses in all defence training centres and institutes for training of defence personnel, and earmarking of AI budget from yearly defence budget with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to be provided each year for next five years to support AI activities.
Based on the recommendations, the Defence Ministry through an order dated February 8, 2019 created the Defence AI Council (DAIC) under the chairmanship of the Defence Minister, and Defence AI Project Agency (DAIPA) with Secretary (DP) as ex officio head for providing necessary guidance to enable and effect development of operating framework, policy level changes and structural support for AI adoption.
Moreover, the services have established organisational institutional mechanisms in the form of AI sub-committee and joint working group on AI in the tri-services.
As part of the data management framework, services have formulated data policy and appointed data management officers.
Each service has also identified key AI domains for the development of AI projects.
Besides, the services are also engaged in the development of AI projects from the startups through the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) and the academia.
“Towards capacity building, officers at different levels from the services have been nominated to different courses on AI, both in-house and at reputed academic institutes,” the minister said.