Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar dismissed concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) taking away jobs in India, labeling such comments as “nonsense, bakwas.” Speaking to reporters at the unveiling of electromagnetic interference and compatibility laboratories at the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER), Chandrasekhar expressed his skepticism towards the pessimistic outlook on AI. He compared it to the Y2K scare, saying, “In 1999, the whole of 1999, I heard how Y2K is going to wipe out the world. Then I hear AI will finish our jobs…AI will finish our jobs, zero, nonsense, bakwas.” He highlighted that AI today is primarily task-focused, improving efficiency by emulating human behavior.
Regarding the government’s efforts, Chandrasekhar mentioned a data sets program aimed at providing anonymized government data to Indian AI researchers and startups. The curated data sets, with their design overseen by the Ministry, would be made available to support innovation in the AI field. The minister revealed that two consultations had taken place, and soon the government would announce the complete architecture of the data sets program.
Shifting the focus to the semiconductor industry in India, Chandrasekhar emphasized the government’s commitment to building a semiconductor ecosystem, which is expected to materialize within three to five years. He cited the rapid progress made in the past 18 months, with nearly 30 semiconductor design start-ups emerging and private investors supporting their growth. Chandrasekhar highlighted the case of IIT Madras, which has transformed from a PhD project to a privately funded enterprise dedicated to next-generation computer development through semiconductor design.
Expressing confidence in India’s potential, the minister stated that the country would establish a semiconductor research center and become a player in the global semiconductor value chain. Chandrasekhar compared India’s projected progress in 10 years to China’s 30-year struggle in building a semiconductor industry, stating, “We are going to end up doing in 10 years what China took 30 years to do and failed.” He expressed optimism that India would develop a fully competitive, world-class semiconductor ecosystem within the next three to five years, highlighting the significant growth of the electronics industry since 2014 and India’s reputation as a trusted player in the field.