AI Research: Where Does India Stands?

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the hot-favourite topics of the entire world today. Nationally, we have made a modest beginning and have allocated $480 million to promote artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT this year. However, when it comes to research, India lags behind in the race.


Going by the examples of China, India’s primary competition in AI and many other areas, there has been a regular collaboration between Chinese corporates, universities and the government over many years, which has now begun to pay off for the country. The ratio of industry and university research is not very good compared to other countries back home. About 70 percent of the AI research is at non-Indian companies’ headquarters in India as per the analysis by Scopus. While Google and IBM have published almost 62 percent of all industry research publications, there is only one Indian company in the top 10 – TCS with 13 percent of all publications.

Although India is among the top countries in terms of the number of engineers graduating every year, the engineering talent in India is largely focused on IT and not research and innovation. The Scopus analysis shows that there are only 15 universities that contribute to almost 42 percent of all research publications out of 129 deemed universities, 67 public institutions, 700 degree-granting institutions, 35,539 affiliated colleges. The research hub of the Indian IT sector, IIT Kharagpur contributes to just 2.86 percent of research publication.

If we take a look at the engineering colleges, Artificial intelligence has been a part of the curriculum at some of them for almost a decade. But what is taught in the colleges is mostly irrelevant to the real world. Going by the statistics, it is pretty evident that India needs massive upgradation programmes in new technologies. IITs and IIITs must redefine themselves as institute driving cutting-edge technologies for the fourth industrial revolution.

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