India, positioning itself as a technological innovator on the global stage, is leveraging its success in deploying governance solutions at scale. Noteworthy examples include the biometric identity program Aadhaar and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). These achievements underscore India’s commitment to Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), where government-sanctioned technology serves as the foundation for diverse use cases developed by private entities.
In a strategic move, India is now extending the DPI approach to artificial intelligence (AI). Minister of State for Electronics, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, emphasized the country’s determination to establish sovereign AI, distinct from ecosystems driven solely by global tech giants or domestic startups. The focus extends beyond competing in the generative AI model; the government aims to apply AI in practical scenarios, such as healthcare, agriculture, governance, and language translation, to stimulate economic development.
To execute its vision, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) unveiled the National Data Governance Framework Policy draft in May, proposing the creation of an India Datasets platform. This platform would aggregate non-personal and anonymized datasets from central government entities, enhancing accessibility for diverse stakeholders, including government bodies, private sector companies, MSMEs, academia, and civil society.
A report released in October by a working group established by the IT Ministry elaborated on the India datasets program. Described as a “unified national data sharing and exchange platform,” it aims to facilitate collaboration among various stakeholders. Notably, the report suggests that non-personal data within the platform could be monetized, playing a pivotal role in fostering India’s AI ecosystem by providing a robust foundation for data-driven innovation and development.