Tech firms hail focus on AI, rural manufacturing

New Delhi (IANS) Hailing the Interim Budget, tech companies on Friday said the focus on leveraging digital technologies will boost rural manufacturing and create jobs.

"The focus on leveraging emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable a positive impact on the lives of people is an encouraging step," Sumeer Chandra, MD, HP Inc. India, told IANS.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday announced that the government will soon launch a National Artificial Intelligence Portal.

"Further, the expansion of rural industrialization using digital technologies, development of clusters encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups, will boost rural manufacturing, job creation and strengthen the overall economy," added Chandra.

Dr Subho Ray, President, The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said the announcement of a National Artificial Intelligence portal is expected to propel India on the path of leveraging advanced and disruptive technologies.

"The budget acknowledges that is now the second-largest hub for start-ups in the world," he added.

Sanjay Jalona, CEO and MD, LTI (L&T Infotech) said the continued support by the government to New-Age concepts such as AI is a huge trigger to further advancements in these fields. 

"The role of such exponential technologies in driving the nation's development is immense and provides a much-needed avenue to address and overcome pertinent age-old issues," he added.

Budget proposals such as those on AI, one lakh digital villages and the thrust on RFID usage will not only fuel entrepreneurship but also unleash enormous job opportunities, noted Deepak Maheshwari, Director-Government Affairs, India, Symantec.

Souma Das, Managing Director, Teradata India, said the investment proposed by the government in the field of AI and allied technologies will lay a strong foundation for making revolutionary transformation in the scope of governance and the opportunity to provide seamless and improved citizen services experience.

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