India Will Use AI, ML To Achieve Sustainability Goals: Amitabh Kant

The CEO of Niti Aayog believes that the vast scale of data and the massive digital footprint is India's biggest strength for the technological leapfrogging in AI, ML

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Last year, Google’s Sundar Pichai said the tech giant aims to power all its offices and data centers on sustainable energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its newest campus, Google Bay View, is a step towards this larger goal to run its operations carbon-free. IBM recently launched an artificial intelligence service to assist companies with climate change analytics. L’Oréal Paris aims to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 50 per cent. PepsiCo India plans to reduce the use of virgin plastic by 35 per cent across its beverage portfolio by 2025. 

In-House

These are just a few examples of efforts taken across the world towards environmental sustainability. 

Sustainability is today a key agenda for companies and governments in most countries. And, India too is working towards this larger global goal of reducing carbon footprint. “India is the only G20 nation well on track to achieve the goals mentioned under the Paris Agreement,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog on Tuesday at the Schneider Innovation India summit 2021.

He also added that India introduced the faster adoption of electric mobility policy (FAME) which is facilitating India's transition to clean mobility. 

Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and EV (FAME) scheme was introduced in 2015 by the government with an outlay of INR 8.95 billion to provide subsidies for electric 2- and 3-wheelers, hybrid and e-cars and buses. FAME II, which came into force in 2019, had an outlay of INR 100 billion to upfront incentives on the purchase of EVs and deployment of charging infrastructure. 

“When we talk of sustainability, and a future which is cleaner and greener, one cannot ignore the dangers posed by climate change. India is not responsible for the situation. In fact, India is one of the only G20 countries well on track to achieve its nationally determined contributions,'' he said while adding that a coalition of 14 global think tanks has rated India the only G20 that has 1.5 degrees Celsius compliant policies.

Role of Technology And EV Startups

Startups have been spearheading the usage of tech in all arenas including sustainability. Kant said when it comes to roads, a sector that contributes 90 per cent of emissions from the transport sector, India is moving towards electric mobility rapidly. According to a Tracxn report, there are 399 EV startups in India. 

“An average of three startups are turning unicorns every single month. We have seen 26 startups enter the unicorn club so far this year, and we are witnessing a record number of IPOs. This is totally unprecedented,'' he said.

Kant believes that the vast scale of data and the massive digital footprint is India's biggest strength for the technological leapfrogging in artificial intelligence and machine learning development. ''As India moves from being data-rich to data intelligent, it'll use machine learning and AI to find solutions to a vast number of its challenges, water availability, learning outcomes, and of course sustainability and reduction of our carbon footprint,'' he said.

S Shanthi

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Entrepreneur Staff

Shanthi specialises in writing sector-specific trends,  interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. She is also a mom who looks forward to playing a game of cards with her tween daughter every evening after work.