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India’s Defence Minister launches AI-powered application developed by Defence Ministry & IIT-Kanpur

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered grievance management application developed by the Ministry of Defence with the help of IIT-Kanpur.

This is the first AI, data science, and machine learning-based system developed to improve grievance redressal in the Government. The AI tool developed as part of the initiative has the capability to understand the content of the complaint based on the contents therein. As a result, it can identify repeat complaints or spam automatically.

Based on the meaning of the complaint, it can categorize complaints of different categories even when keywords normally used for such search are not present in the complaint. It enables geographical analysis of complaints in a category including analysis of whether the complaint was adequately addressed or not by the concerned office.

Easy user-friendly search enables user to formulate his own queries/categories depending on management requirements and seek performance results based on the query.

Given that lakhs of complaints are received on the Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) portal of DARPG, this application will have great use in understanding the nature of complaints, geographies from where they emanate, and policy changes that can be introduced to create systemic improvements to address these grievances.

Speaking on the occasion, the Defence minister described the application as a product of good governance, which reflects the growing synergy between the Government and academia. He said this initiative is another citizen-centric reform of the Government that aims to empower the people at large.

Singh lauded the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) for playing an important role in the reform of the Public Grievances Redressal System, saying that resolving the grievances of people is a great service in itself. He added that the active involvement of reputed institutions like IIT Kanpur will further bolster the system and resolve the grievances of people in a transparent and effective manner.

The Defence minister was briefed that this AI-powered application will automatically handle and analyze the complaints of the people and would reduce human intervention, save time and bring more transparency in their disposal.

The success of this project in MoD will pave the way for the extension of this application across other Ministries. The MoD and IIT, Kanpur intend to drive their collaboration forward in the coming years, seeking to better leverage the use of AI for the disposal of citizens’ complaints. The application will be improved further with more features in the next three years. The release of this application plants a marker on the path to introducing AI and data science-based innovations into governance and administration in India. IIT Kanpur and the Ministry of Defense intend to drive their collaboration forward in the coming years, seeking to better leverage the use of artificial intelligence and data science for the redressal of citizens’ grievances.

A tripartite MoU for the project was signed among the Department of Defence, MoD, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) and IIT, Kanpur on August 4, 2020.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, DARPG V Srinivas, Additional Secretary MoD Nivedita Shukla Verma, Director, IIT Kanpur Prof Abhay Karandikar, Professor Shalabh, Professor Nisheeth Srivastava and other senior officials of MoD were present on the launch of the application.

The web-based application has been jointly developed by the Department of Defence, MoD, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances(DARPG), and a team of IIT Kanpur comprising of Professors Shalabh, Nisheeth Srivastava, and Piyush Rai.

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