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Sri Lankan government to allocate Rs. 8 billion for AI research policy

Sri Lankan government to allocate Rs. 8 billion for AI research policy

The Morning: The State Ministry of Technology has proposed Rs. 8 billion allocations to develop a national research policy for Sri Lanka, State Minister of technology Kanaka Herath told The Daily Morning Business.
Speaking to The Daily Morning Business, State Minister Kanka Herath said: “this (allocation) is to fuel AI advancements in the country.”
The Daily Morning Business also inquired about the recent cabinet decision made to teach AI in schools, to which the subject minister responded that integrating AI into the country’s school system, in fact, would empower Sri Lanka’s students with the skills necessary for the island’s digital transformation.
Accordingly, the State Ministry expects that AI tools can individualise learning while enhancing student success. It will also foster innovative mindsets through engaging simulations and applications.
The Daily Morning Business inquired the status of the stakeholder consultation in this regard, the state minister said responding: “This initiative represents a strong collaboration between the Ministry of Technology, the President’s office and key industry partners. Together, we ensure this aligns with our national vision for a technology-driven future.”
Moreover, the state ministry said that another 500 million rupees is to be allocated for the purpose of modernising state universities for the AI, commencing from the University of Peradeniya (UoP).
“We’re proud to announce the landmark partnership with IIT University in Chennai, India, to establish a new University of Technology in Kandy. This will create a hub for AI education and innovation,” State Minister Herath said, explaining other initiatives that the state ministry has taken on AI related education.
Speaking of Sri Lanka’s AI strategy, the State Ministry has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Technology on the AI Readiness Assessment (AIRA).
“This study will inform targeted investments, positioning Sri Lanka as a leader in AI development,” Herath noted.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka’s expanding economic activities and becoming a business destination in the South Asian region have expanded opportunities in the country’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. Realizing the need to be on par with the fast evolving global trends in the field of ICT and digital infrastructure, the government of Sri Lanka has invested heavily on the transformation of the country into an e-economy while expanding the digital platforms in the country. This has opened up a host of new business/investment opportunities for foreign businesses/investors. Also, Sri Lanka’s focus on becoming a business hub in the South Asian region has made it imperative for the country to be in step with the developments in the field of AI. It is this reason that the Sri Lankan government has allocated funds AI research as well as for AI education for students. The strength, growth and profits recorded by local businesses engaged in the ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors is also a clear indication of the growing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s ICT and digital infrastructure development sectors. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore the expanding business/investment opportunities in these sectors.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240312/Z_2

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