IIT Madras to collaborate with TN e-Governance Agency

IIT Madras to collaborate with TN e-Governance Agency

CHENNAI: The Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBC-DSAI) at Indian Institute of Technology Madras is collaborating with the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency for enhancing data driven governance in the State. This will be carried out by working closely with various official branches and entities within the government of Tamil Nadu.

These collaborations are expected to contribute towards various aspects of governance, including but not limited to, education, healthcare, and agriculture. 

Mr. Santhosh K. Misra I.A.S, Chief Executive Officer, Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency, and Prof Ravindra Gettu, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions. The MoU was exchanged at a function held in Chennai today (9th October 2018) in presence of Minister of Information Technology Mr Manikandan and Secretary of IT Mr Santhosh Babu.

Speaking about the importance of this project, Dr. Nandan Sudarsanam, Assistant Professor, Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras, said, “Societal impact through AI is a central objective of RBC-DSAI at IIT Madras. We believe that by teaming up with the TNeGA we can contribute towards multiple pillars of the government, covering areas such as education, health-care, and agriculture.”

Expressing happiness about this collaboration, Mr. Santhosh K Misra said, “Today Governance needs to move from demand mode of service delivery to predictive mode of service delivery. We need to deliver the services to people even before they ask. The Governments need to tap the power of AI, IoT, Blockchain and Drones in addressing the needs of their citizens. Tamil Nadu Government is the First state Government to collaborate with a premier research institute like IITM for harnessing the power of Artificial Inteliigence and Blockchain technology in areas of health, education and agriculture.”

This collaboration seeks to take up five channels for engagement:

* Support and collaborate on research relating data science for government and e-governance,

* Through specific projects the parties will develop products, decision-support systems and provide insights from data,

* Capacity Building in the areas of data science and Information and communications technology (ICT) for the Government of Tamil Nadu,

* To conduct periodic Hackathons and workshops involving students in the areas of data science and ICT, and

* Work towards creation of registered entities, potentially in collaboration with external IT vendors, to carry forward projects at a larger scale.

IIT Madras has agreed to work with TNeGA on the above broader scope and provide complete support to TNeGA.

Speaking about this project, Prof B. Ravindran, Head, Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and AI, IIT Madras, said,“"RBC DSAI is an interdisciplinary centre for research in AI, and hence is uniquely positioned to effectively engage with multiple departments of the Government.”

The TNeGA is the State Nodal Agency formed under the Information Technology Department to support and drive all e-Governance initiatives of the Government of Tamil Nadu. It is implementing various e-Governance projects with the objective of making all Government services, wherever feasible and accessible, to the common man in an efficient and transparent manner. The Vision is ‘Through use of Information Technology in Governance and delivery of services to public at their doorsteps.’

IIT Madras established the Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBC-DSAI) to create societal impact through multidisciplinary interactions with government, academic, research and industrial collaborators on core challenges in Data Science (DS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It seeks to undertake foundational research in many areas of AI and Data Science, namely, deep learning, reinforcement learning, network analytics, interpretable machine learning, and domain aware AI.