Intel inks pact with CBSE to enable an AI-ready Next Gen

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  • Initiatives include the roll-out of an AI curriculum framework for grades VIII, IX and X for 22,000 schools, with the aim to empower100,000students within 2020
  • Launches India’s first AI Skills Lab in collaboration with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan

New Delhi: With the goal to empower India’s youth on emerging technologies,Intel and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that outlines initiatives geared towards increasing the pace of AI integration in India’s education system.These initiatives include co-development and roll-out of an AI curriculum for students; setting up focused AI Skills Labs;and creating AI-readiness by skilling facilitators across CBSE schools.

The AI curriculum is based on Intel® AI For Youth,which is an immersive, hands-on learning program using experiential methodologies covering both social and technological skills.The MoU also states that Intel along with CBSE will soon be launching a National AI Olympiad to motivate young students to showcase their meaningful social impact solutions as evidence of achievement.

Sharing her thoughts on the collaboration, Intel India Director (Programs, Partnerships & Policy Group) Shweta Khurana said, “Artificial intelligence has become a strategic imperative for worldwide economic growth and will continue to be one of the most crucial technologies of the future.Given its impact, there is a need for coordinated efforts by academic institutions and the industry to address the gap between the demand and supply of AI-related skills.

It is critical to empower India’s young population and equip them with the skill set and mindset required for AI-readiness; and democratize access to AI tools. Our collaboration with CBSE is a meaningful step towards enabling our youth to become digitally-empowered and effectively utilize emerging technologies such as AI to solve pressing local and global challenges.”

Why it’s important: It has been estimated that by 2030, AI, in all its applications, is predicted to contribute US$15.7 trillion to the global economy India’s own AI strategy identifies AI as an opportunity and solution provider for inclusive economic growth and social development.

While governments worldwide are working on creating comprehensive national AI strategies to create sustainable, inclusive and positive impact on citizens, industries and overall societies; the AI skill crisis is recognized as the biggest barrier for wider adoption and growth.

In order to help close this gap, Intel has rolled out a comprehensive program called ‘Intel AI For Youth,’ aimed at empowering the young generation to become AI-ready. Together with CBSE, Intel has curated an outcome-oriented AI curriculum for students of grade VIII and above. The curriculum was piloted with eight schools, training youth to create AI projects focused on social impact in 2019, with the aim to empower 100, 000 students with AI-readiness skills in 2020.

Speaking on the initiative, CBSE Director (Skill Education & Training) Dr Biswajit Saha said, “AI has been widely recognized as the power that will fuel India’s digital economy. It is imperative to understand its importance and enable Indian youth to become adept in harnessing its positive impact. CBSE is the only Board that has introduced AI as a full-fledged subject in school curriculum. Further, a new practice of ‘AI Integrated Pedagogy’ created by us will help the teachers to engage youth in an innovative way. We feel that building AI-readiness is critical in shaping India’s digital future.”.

Intel and CBSE,in consultation with academic experts,have also formularized an orientation manual along with a list of frequently-asked-questions to support school leaders in integratingAI as a subject in their schools.In the next two years,as part of the skilling initiative, Intel and CBSE will work together to create AI-readiness across 22,000 schools in India.

The collaboration will also enable AI-readiness across North and North-Eastern states with a special focus on ‘Aspirational Districts’. This will be achieved by creating AI Skills Labs as dedicated spacesfor students to learn basic AI-skills by engaging in experiential hands-onlearning sessions.

Intel has collaborated with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan to set up India’s first AI Skills Lab at Dr Rajendra Prasad Kendriya Vidyalaya, New Delhi in accordance with the AI curriculum specified by CBSE. The school will be using the lab for all students studying in grade VIII and those who adopt AI as a skill subject in grade IX and above.The lab has been designed to support the journey of a learner towards becoming AI-ready as they go from AI learning to AI modeltraining and inferencing.

J P GUPTA FOR SG BUREAU


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