First in India: You can pursue B.Tech program in Artificial Intelligence

In what could be a first for India, the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) is set to launch a full-fledged B.Tech program in AI starting from the academic year 2019-2020. 

With this, IIT-H becomes the first Indian educational institution to offer a full-time engineering program in AI while it happens to be the third institute globally after Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both of which are in the United States. IIT Hyderabad is already offering an M.Tech program in AI and Machine Learning, and an M.Tech program in Data Science. 

Admissions to the B.Tech course in AI will be accepted based on the JEE Advanced score. The institute is planning to start the course with just 20 students initially and then expand its strength, depending on the response to the course. When asked about why the Institute chose to introduce the course, the faculty said that the growing needs of the industry was one of the crucial reasons for the management to take the decision.

Students pursuing other degrees such as B.Tech. in chemical engineering or mechanical engineering also can pursue a minor in Artificial Intelligence from the upcoming academic year. Along with this, the Department of Liberal Arts in collaboration with faculty from Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in IIT Hyderabad has also launched a minor in AI and Humanity.

Meanwhile, minor, certificate and diploma courses on Artificial Intelligence are already popular in 10 states - Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Telangana while the North and the Eastern states are lagging. 

With India witnessing widespread job lesses due to automation, this could escalate to 54 lakh, according to a FICCI report. Despite there being a high demand for skilled professionals in AI and Machine Learning, India has not been able to produce the required resources. 

Therefore, there is a dire need for the government to work with technical colleges across India and push for the introduction of courses related to emerging technologies such as robotics, data analysis, data crunching, machine learning and artificial intelligence.