The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) is mulling setting up a research centre for artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), which dedicated for conducting research and teaching in modern concepts of these and other technologies, IIT-K deputy director Manindra Agrawal told Business Standard.
Agarwal, who is also a professor in the IIT-K Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said the proposal was at the discussion stage and would materialise soon. He said the institute already offered a few courses in AI and related topics at the undergraduate level, which were quite popular with the students. He added that these streams would be further fortified.
Last year, IIT-K was engaged by a central cyber security agency to develop an indigenous blockchain architecture. The project was commissioned by the Office of the National Cyber Security Coordinator to create a blockchain platform for application in e-governance. Agrawal and fellow IIT-K faculty member Sandeep Shukla were the principal executors of the prestigious project.
India has been ranked third globally in terms of quality AI research publications, although it is way behind top ranked China and second-ranked US, according to an analysis by research firm Itihaasa.
The agency, founded by Infosys co-founder and former CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan, had computed the number of ‘citable documents’ on AI during 2013-17 as listed out by Scimago, a compendium that collates trends in the scientific research publications.
India was placed third with 12,135 documents, behind China andthe US with 37,918 and 32,421 documents respectively.
However, when analysed on the basis of ‘citations’ parameter, India was ranked 5th behind the United Kingdom, Canada, USA and China, thus suggesting the country needed to upgrade the quality of AI research and output.
Last year, federal think-tank NITI Aayog had also floated a discussion paper on the transformative potential of AI in India, which mentioned that the country could add almost US$ 1 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by integrating AI applications with its economy.
Besides, IIT-K had been working on new age semiconductor devices, which could be used by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in indigenous space exploration. The Institute also worked with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for similar cutting edgeprojects.
IIT-K had even developed Integrated Circuit design simulation software, which was approved as a standard model by Compact Model Coalition (CMC), a global R&D group formed by the semiconductor industry to develop simulation programmes for Integrated Circuits.
The research had received annual grant of $70,000 towards further R&D on semiconductors. A team helmed by Prof Yogesh Chauhan of IIT-K Department of Electrical Engineering and his Australian collaborator had evolved the technology after 5 years of research.