Google To Spearhead AI-Led Development In Maharashtra

Tech giant Google has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Maharashtra to enable artificial intelligence (AI)-led developments across sectors. The company will be collaborating with the state to drive innovative and scalable AI solutions in agriculture, healthcare, sustainability, education, and startups. 

As per the MoU, the tech company will be offering startups mentoring and networking opportunities. Experts at Google and industry leaders will mentor startups in areas like technology, product development, business strategy, and more. 

Further, Google will allow select startups to connect with investors. In addition, Google’s AI Startup programme will be providing eligible VC-funded AI startups with Cloud credits, technical training, and business support to accelerate their growth.

With this MoU in place, Google will support state government-led skills training and education initiatives. It will assist the Maharashtra government in the launch of skills courses on YouTube, provide a train-the-trainer programme on its Gen AI products for educators, and equip 500 government IT professionals with conversational AI skills through Google Cloud.

“Maharashtra is committed to AI-driven development and our partnership with Google marks a significant milestone in this journey. This collaboration will empower our citizens with critical future-ready skills, revolutionise essential sectors like healthcare and agriculture, and create a thriving environment for the Maharashtra AI startups through the AI Center of Excellence at IIIT Nagpur,” Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said during the MoU exchange.

Meanwhile, to increase access to healthcare through AI-enabled screening, Google will be engaging with the state to provide state-of-the-art Health AI imaging models such as TB-Chest X-ray and Diabetic Retinopathy, the company said in a statement.

“We’re delighted to partner with the Maharashtra Government in this AI-first collaboration and leverage our bold and responsible approach to AI to help drive progress across critical areas such as skilling, healthcare, agriculture, and sustainability. Through this collaboration, our aim is to empower citizens, create new opportunities, foster a thriving innovation ecosystem, and bring the transformative power of AI to the people of Maharashtra,” Google’s India country head and VP Sanjay Gupta said.

The company will also help the state government develop an AI-powered pilot solution for farmer assistance in the state of Maharashtra. It will provide the state with its agricultural landscape understanding (ALU) API, which offers in-depth insights about farmland, including field sizes, water resources, and other topographical elements at an individual farm level, using remote sensing AI/ML technology. 

Further, the government will also be utilising Google Cloud’s AI and machine learning tech for pilot solutions to process citizen questions and feedback, for government scheme access.

As per Inc42 data, India is home to more than 70 generative AI startups that have raised more than $440 Mn since 2019. 

Powering the nascent ecosystem is the small but growing AI talent pool in the country. As per a report, AI will necessitate the reskilling and upskilling of 16.2 Mn workers in India by 2027.

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