Minister KT Rama Rao launches three Projects iRASTE TELANGANA, BODHYAAN Car Platform, and MicroLabs at IIIT-Hyderabad

IIIT-Hyderabad

12 July 2022, Hyderabad: INAI (Applied AI Research Centre) and IHub-Data (TIH and NM-ICPS) at IIIT Hyderabad (IIITH) have been making significant progress in the focus domains of Mobility and Healthcare since it was launched as part of the Telangana Year of the AI effort in 2020.

INAI is an initiative to apply AI to population-scale problems in the Indian context, combining research and translation. This collaborative effort, championed by Intel and catalyzed by the Government of Telangana, is anchored at IIITH. INAI leverages the broader computing strengths and expertise in AI at IIITH, the technology leadership and architecture strength of Intel, and the activities of IHub-Data. IHub-Data at IIIT Hyderabad is one of the 25 TIHs (Technology Incubation Hubs) established by DST under the NM-ICPS program. The key focus is on Data-Driven Technologies & Solutions.

Shri. K T Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister for IT, Industries, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Government of Telangana launched the following projects on campus:

Project iRASTE Telangana: Project iRASTE (intelligent Solutions for Road Safety through Technology and Engineering) Telangana uses AI & ADAS solutions that will act as a force multiplier and transform Road Safety. This is in collaboration with INAI, IIITH, Intel, Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), and Uber. Predictive insights generated via AI can prevent accidents even before they happen. TSRTC vehicles that ply the highways are the target fleet for this project with Uber’s Road Safety Initiatives expertise.

Govt. of India (GoI) is driving the vision of a 50 percent reduction in road fatalities on Indian roads by 2024. Technology can act as a force multiplier in addressing the problems of road safety and mobility enhancement on India’s roads. Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solutions have shown remarkable results worldwide in enabling safer Mobility and Transportation systems.

Bodhyaan Car Platform: Bodhyaan is the car data capture platform set up at IIIT Hyderabad with multiple sensors – cameras, LIDARs, night-vision cameras, and RADARs, including the required computational power to capture and process real-time data on the car. Bodhran 1.0 is presently equipped with 6 cameras for a full surround view, a LIDAR sensor and high compute for data capture and processing. Researchers, academics, and start-ups in India can use this platform to test algorithms or methods of in-vehicle navigation, data collection, or anything related to Indian roads and research.

MicroLabs: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the strength of Genomics in knowing the virus, variants linked to disease outcome, and genomic surveillance. Current Genomic Surveillance initiatives send samples to Central Labs that have challenges with turnaround time and logistics. Pathogen sequencing capability closer to the sample collection point will address these challenges. MicroLabs [Next generation sequencing for pandemic preparedness], set up at IIIT Hyderabad in collaboration with CSIR-IGIB, is a solution approach to address the above questions. This solution brings genomic surveillance for communicable diseases to Point of Care (POC).

MicroLabs will work towards Broad Genomic surveillance of Communicable Diseases – Real-time dashboards/heatmaps for health officers, complementary to current IDSP, and road map to cover all districts in Telangana.

Addressing the gathering Shri K T Rama Rao said, “AI is one of the fastest-growing technologies according to Gartner’s 2022 CEO Survey. It is the top priority for business leaders and has remained top priority third year in a row. Speaking further quoting NITI Aayog estimates he said “AI is expected to raise India’s GVA by 1.3% resulting in an addition of USD957 billion to India’s economy in 2035 or 15% higher GVA.

Speaking about skilling manpower, he informed that the Telangana government in association with TASK trained 25,000+ students and 4500+ faculties. Further, it aims to train at least 1 lakh youth in high school in foundation AI courses.

He said, “I’m constantly reminded by our Honourable Chief Minister to use technology for the common man and assess its societal impact of technology. I’m glad to see that INAI’s projects are focused on building AI solutions for population scale. Each of these projects will save many lives either directly or indirectly”.

He also congratulated Prof P J Narayanan on setting up a Centre for Quantum Science and Computing at IIITH and assured the Telangana government’s full support in taking it further.

Prof P J Narayanan, Director, IIIT Hyderabad said, “IIIT Hyderabad built great academic strength in broad AI areas through its Kohli Centre on Intelligent Systems. We are keen to apply that to population-scale problems that can impact everyone. We teamed up with Intel and the Government of Telangana to create INAI in 2020. IHub-Data was established by DST at IIITH later that year. These entities join forces on three projects in healthcare and transportation areas that are being launched today. The car platform can be used by the research and start up community to collect data on Indian roads to build vehicle safety solutions for India. MicroLabs in collaboration with several healthcare establishments will provide the country with advanced disease surveillance. Project iRASTE will help immensely with road safety with specific context to Telangana.”

Commenting on the launch, Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India and Vice President, Intel Foundry Services said, “Over the last two years since its launch, INAI, an applied AI Research Center, set up as a collaborative effort between Intel India, Government of Telangana and IIITH has been driving critical projects with an aim to identify and solve population-scale challenges in healthcare and smart mobility. Our goal has been to enable open platforms to foster innovation by academicians, startups and industries, with data and AI platforms. Today’s announcement of three key projects in the areas of road safety, enhanced datasets and genomic surveillance with multiple ecosystem partners is expected to take the momentum further. I am excited about the potential that these projects could deliver in driving innovation and collaboration, making an impact on the ground and enriching lives.”

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