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Digital India Bill will be taken up by next govt: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

New Delhi: The Digital India Bill will be taken up for enactment and execution by the next government, as it would require much more consultation, said minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar at an event on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be able to catch the legislative window before the elections, because we need certainly a lot of consultation and debate and discussion around it. But we certainly have a roadmap of what is legislation, what is our policy goals and what are the policy principles for safety and trust,” he said at the Financial Express DigiFraud & Safety Summit 2023.

The minister was speaking in the context of India’s approach to regulation of AI as opposed to that adopted by the US and the Europe. He said that India’s approach to the regulation would be a combination of regulation of markets like the US and regulation of rights of citizens like Europe has.

“Our approach is that hybrid of both; we don’t think markets alone can regulate innovation and AI in particular, nor should we allow our fixation on rights and regulation to innocence, derail the power of AI,” he said.

The Digital India Bill is expected to be brought up for public consultation in the coming months, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told Mint in an interview earlier this week. The consultations will take place even as the government looks at a separate law to counter deepfakes. The bill has been in the works for more than a year now.

“We certainly are determined to harness the power of AI for our people and and for our economy. At the same time we want to make sure that AI is safe for individuals and their communities. So that in a sense, summarizes our approach. The legislation legislation for this is the Digital India Bill,” he said.

The minister added that the government was looking at a sovereign AI model, on the lines of DPI, which can form the bedrock for offering services to citizens.

“We are focusing on real life use cases healthcare, agriculture, governance, language translation, all of these applications of AI will have real use immediate use in our market. So our approach is around real life use cases and the enabling infrastructure of that the government of India is going to invest in the world, the startup in the private sector ecosystem,” he said.

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Updated: 29 Nov 2023, 10:49 PM IST


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