Taking a step ahead in the adoption of the Artificial Intelligence (AI), Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, is planning to build the country's first AI city in Lucknow.
This city is intended to accommodate and foster the AI ecosystem, demonstrating a progressive approach compared to other states.
A report vy Grand View Research estimates the worldwide AI market to be valued at $137 billion in 2022. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030.
Lucknow is home to Centres of Excellence specializing in fields such as Artificial Intelligence and MedTech, which heavily incorporate AI.
The AI Centre of Excellence, located in IIIT Lucknow, provides support to over 15 AI and Machine Learning start-ups, fostering an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The AI city, through the incorporation of advanced technology, research facilities, and educational bodies, aims to serve as a breeding ground for innovative ideas and the development of future professionals, according to an Expression of Interest (EoI) released by UP Electronics Corporation Ltd.
The UP Electronics Corporation, which is acting as the nodal agency for the project, is seeking a real estate developer to develop and operate the AI city.
The real estate developer will develop office infrastructure based on plug-and-play infrastructure and a tower with Grade A office space for incubators, start-ups, and corporates.
The government will provide 40 acres in Nadarganj Industrial Area for the project, which is free from all encumbrances and supports land acquisition, zoning regulations, and other relevant clearances.
The developer will receive financial assistance through attractive financial incentives, according to the EoI document. These include a one-time Capex support of 25 per cent, which can reach up to Rs 20 crore for an IT Park and Rs 100 crore for an IT City, as well as a full exemption from stamp duty in accordance with the IT and ITeS Policy of 2022.
UP Electronics Corporation outlined in the EoI that the AI City is to feature a blend of high-end and budget-friendly residential buildings, supporting a walk-to-work lifestyle. Space will be specifically allocated for premier engineering and management institutions to encourage cooperation between academia and industry. The city will also incorporate AI-powered internal transportation systems.
The UP government has undertaken a journey to become a $1 trillion economy in the next 5 years, and in this regard, IT and ITeS have been identified as core sectors to propel the economy in this direction.
UP is the sixth-largest state in terms of the IT ecosystem and is also home to one of the highest numbers of start-ups in India.
Noida is becoming a global IT and ITeS hub, and Uttar Pradesh aims to further boost this sector by promoting Tier 2 cities such as Lucknow that have also been identified by leading IT industry associations as emerging technology hubs.
According to the EoI document, AI is expected to be a primary growth stimulator for the IT and ITeS sectors on a global scale, and the State is keen on capitalising on this opportunity.
Major IT corporations such as HCL and TCS have a significant presence in Lucknow, contributing to a flourishing tech ecosystem. This vibrant sector is further enhanced by a highly skilled workforce of over 75,000 tech professionals.
In addition, the city has 23,000 STEM graduates and more than 300 colleges. These include prestigious institutions like IIM-Lucknow, IIIT-Lucknow, BBDU, and Amity, the EoI stated.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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