Budget 2023’s An ‘AI Opener’: Library to Agriculture, FM Sitharaman’s Push for ‘Digital India’

The national digital library will promote access to high-quality books across geographies, languages, and device-agnostic accessibility. (File)

Three centres of excellence in artificial intelligence will be established in educational institutions. The FM announced that 100 labs will be introduced in engineering institutions to develop 5G-based apps, smart classrooms, precision farming, etc.

In a push to Digital India, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a national digital library for kids and teenagers to promote access to high-quality books across geographies, languages, genres, levels, and device-agnostic accessibility. The minister also announced the introduction of Digital Public Infrastructure for agriculture to provide farmer-centric solutions.

Three centres of excellence in artificial intelligence will be established in educational institutions in India. Industry players will help conduct interdisciplinary research and develop next-generation tech solutions and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, sustainable cities and healthcare.

ALSO READ | Budget 2023 LIVE News Updates HERE


The finance minister stated that these facilities are critical to achieving the goal of ‘Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India’.

As India launched 5G last year to support the Digital India initiatives, Sitharaman announced that 100 labs will be introduced in India’s engineering institutions to develop 5G-based apps. The labs will cover, among other things, applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems and healthcare applications in order to realise the new range of options, business models, as well as job potential.

ALSO READ | Capex Point: Capital Expenditure Target Up by 33% to Rs 10 Lakh Crore in Budget 2023

The Union Minister announced the Skill India digital platform, while stating that it will enable demand-based formal skilling, link with employers, including MSMEs, and facilitate access to entrepreneurship initiatives to give stipend assistance to 47 lakh youngsters in three years. This initiative will help further expand the digital ecosystem for skilling.

ALSO READ | Income Tax Slab in Budget 2023 LIVE Updates HERE

The government will also bring the National Data Governance Policy, said Sitharaman, adding that it will unleash innovation and research by start-ups and academia and enable access to anonymised data.


Amit Relan, Founder and CEO, mFilterIt, told News18 that AI will change the face of the country and enable the country to establish a stronger foundation of a “Digital India”. He believes that it will increase efficiency, improve decision-making and accelerate economic growth bringing in a significant change in sectors such as healthcare, education, agriculture and finance through automation, data analysis and predictive modelling.

ALSO READ | FM’s ‘Track Record’: At Rs 2.40 Lakh Crore, Budget 2023 Has Highest Ever Capital Outlay for Railways

“For a country to maximize the benefits of AI, it will be essential for the public and private sectors to work together to ensure that the use of AI will align with the country’s values and priorities and to address the ethical, legal and social implications of AI,” the industry expert added.

Sanjay Notani, Partner, Economic Laws Practice, told News18 that this policy aims to facilitate the export of services and technology by aligning India’s policies relating to data governance with international standards.

Meanwhile, Supratim Chakraborty, Partner, Khaitan & Co, said that while this policy will facilitate access to anonymous data for various beneficial purposes, “there is also tremendous push towards giving impetus to the fintech ecosystem, starting from KYC simplification to the expansion of the scope of documents available in Digilocker. For capacity building, educational aspects to also cover skilling on IOT, drones, etc”.

Read all the Latest Business News and Budget Live Updates here