Amid the shortage of talent in Indian AI sector, here’s how IITs are playing their part

Studies have shown that India has greatly increased its artificial intelligence workforce –from around 40,000 in 2018 to nearly 72,000 in 2019, and in fact, the revenue has also surged significantly, owing to the increasing adoption of business intelligence, AI-based data management practices and government’s prioritisation to invest in AI. Despite that, a substantial number of positions in various companies across the AI sector still remain vacant, mainly because of the challenges faced in finding the right talent.

This can be partly attributed to the rote-learning education model that creates individuals who are book smart but lack analytical and practical skills. Amid the shortage of employable workforce in the AI sector, renowned institutes like IITs have been putting their best foot forward to churn out talented people who can contribute significantly to the industry going forward. IIT Delhi has been boosting research eco-system within its campus by supporting start-ups and research scholars who are willing to foray in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The institute envisions to transform ideas into actual start-ups through fund allocation. In this regard, Rajat Khare, an IIT Delhi alumnus, said, “It is important to note that IITians would always work in the direction that is always best for the society.” He is the founder of the Luxembourg-based bridge fund Boundary Holding that mainly invests in deep-tech and artificial intelligence.

In addition to this, in their bid to plug the skill shortage in India’s AI sector, IITs have rolled out degree programmes and certifications including B.Tech in Artificial Intelligence earlier in 2019, IIT Hyderabad being the first institute in the country to introduce the course. Surprisingly, there were more number of students enrolling in B.Tech in AI against B.Tech in computer science. This testifies the fact that students have realised the lucrative career prospect of AI in today’s times.

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Even though, owing to the innovative teaching methodology, comprehensive curriculum and their key focus on R&D, IITs have been producing some of the nation’s finest entrepreneurs and change-makers especially in the field of technology. Furthermore, looking at how they are adopting further initiatives to up-skill their students, the skill gap in India’s AI sector can potentially be bridged.

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