In Big AI push, Centre to Step Up Compute Capacity, Offer Free Services to Startups

La Excellence IAS Academy

In Big AI push, Centre to Step Up Compute Capacity, Offer Free Services to Startups

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La Excellence IAS Academy | December 21, 2023 | Science and Technology, Polity and Governance

Syllabus: GS-II, Polity and Governance; GS-III, Science and Tech;

Subject: Polity and Governance, Science and Tech;

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation, Emerging technologies;

Issue: India’s AI mission;

Context: As part of an Artificial Intelligence Mission to develop its own ‘sovereign AI’, the Centre is looking to build computational capacity in the country and offer compute-as-a-service to India’s start-ups.

Compute Capacity Under AI Mission:

  • Capacity building models: done both within the government and through a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
  • Targets: In total, the country is looking –
    • To build a compute capacity of anywhere between 10,000 GPUs (graphic processing units) and 30,000 GPUs under the PPP model, and
    • An additional 1,000-2,000 GPUs through the PSU Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
  • Incentives for private: The government is also exploring incentive structures for private companies to set up computing centres in the country, ranging from
    • A capital expenditure subsidy model which has been employed under the semiconductor scheme,
    • A model where companies can be incentivised depending on their operational expenses, to offer them a “usage” fee.

Working of Public Model for Building Computing Capacity:

  • Part of Supercomputing mission: Under the public model, compute capacity will be set up within the C-DAC as part of the National Supercomputing Mission.
  • C-DAC already has the Rudra and Param systems and it is planning to add 1,000-2,000 GPUs to them.
    • Rudra is an indigenous server platform built by the C-DAC which has two expansion slots for graphic cards.
    • Param Utkarsh is a high-performance computing system setup at C-DAC which offers AI over machine learning and deep learning frameworks, compute and storage as a cloud service.


About India AI mission:

  • Announced by PM at the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Summit 2023.
  • Aim: to establish sufficient AI compute power in the country. This will help India’s innovators and startups get better facilities.
  • Under this mission, AI applications in agriculture, healthcare and education-related sectors will be promoted.

Source: Indian Express

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