Govt to recreate 20 monuments using 3D technology in 2 years: DST Secy

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With a view to facilitate tourists visiting India, the Centre would be using 3D technology to digitally reconstruct 20 historic monuments in the next two years and put them in Delhi, a top government official said at a recent ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi. “By 3D printing we can create Taj Mahal, Ghats of Benares, Buddhist circuit and any heritage or any monument. So tourists coming in can see and decide what they like and where they want to go,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST) while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

He said that using the 3D technology one can track/decide own path with the help of a laser light and it would seem as if one was visiting that monument and could see exactly what one would have seen if one was actually walking there and it would give information like a tourist guide.

“You can stop, climb up, can change the perspective, or the sky be it morning or night sky as it depends on how you are going to view it,” said Sharma.

He also informed that Government is going to launch a huge mission on cyber physical systems which is three layered and has 25 centers of excellence focused on each sector with basic knowledge layers, algorithms of AI and a fusion layer in between which is the physical layer i.e. the machine, robots, actuators, sensors in different contexts.

“This mission will cover from basic fundamental knowledge generation R&D to technology development, translational aspects, incubators, start-ups in this particular area thereby commercialising the technology which comes out of there,” added the DST secretary.

Explaining about the same he said, “When we started thinking about AI in the DST about two and a half years ago, we started in a modest way by putting in couple of hundred crores and now we are going to scale up those efforts on several thousand crores level in a very holistic way in the entire spectrum of AI that covers everything from theme knowledge generation in AI areas of deep learning, machine learning, contextual learning and all varieties of AI that one can think about.”

He further said that it would basically be an end-to-end system which is integrated from discovery science to solution science.

Sharma also urged the industry for robust participation and partnership in this mission. He commented, “There would be huge opportunities for industry to leverage infrastructure and human resources that will be developed through this mission.”

He also informed that DST along with Intel had started a Rs 35 crore worth project on intelligent sensors for air and water quality under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. “So scientists here and in the US are working on cutting edge to make smart pebbles, which are small miniaturised censors having on-board power, communication and sensing of whatever you want in air or water.”

Talking about another big project supported by the DST, he said it was about having infrared (IR) sensing to get hyper spectrum analysis of soil, and vegetation, crop. He stated, “You get a map based on this and with AI you can actually tell the quality of soil, moisture in soil, (see) if it needs more nitrogen fertiliser, look at the quality of crop, and see if it ready for harvesting.”

The DST secretary also informed that government is committed to get all the digital data compiled by the Survey of India (a 250 year old organisation under DST) would be made available to every citizen in the country which would help in comparing information about things like climate, environmental changes and others.

“So every Panchayat level, every local governance body can actually access and use this data for their developmental and governance related activities,” added Sharma.

In his address at the ASSOCHAM conference, R Ramanan, Head, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog allayed fears that AI would not lead to loss of jobs, instead it would generate various employment opportunities in different domains.