Indian Government Mandates MeitY Approval to Launch AI Models in the Country

  • The Indian government has introduced a new regulation for launching AI models in India.
  • Tech companies are now required to get MeitY approval to launch under-trial or unreliable AI models in the country.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued a new advisory on March 1 regarding the launch of new AI models in India. In light of the recent Google Gemini controversy surrounding the Honorable Prime Minister of India, the Indian government requires tech companies to seek MeitY approval before launching unreliable AI models in India. The move is intended to improve transparency and accountability regarding AI models being launched in India. Let’s take a look at the latest development in the AI scenario in the country.

Tech Companies Must Get MeitY Approval Before Launching New AI Models

The new MeitY advisory focuses on three specific measures to prevent incorrect and unlawful content from being spread through AI models and social media platforms.

  1. To start with, companies are required to clearly label under-development or in-trial LLMs or generative AI models. According to the advisory, unreliable models should be labelled as such to inform users about the fallibility or unreliability of the content generated by these models.
  2. Secondly, the companies must seek government approval before deploying any such under-development or under-trial AI models in the country. This rule applies to social media and other platforms.
  3. Lastly, MeitY has advised the companies to add a pop-up notification explaining the unreliability of the content generated by the model and obtain explicit content from users before presenting the unreliable AI models to them.

The advisory and measures mentioned in it are not legally binding as of now.

However, the ministry warns that this is the future of the regulation, and if companies don’t comply, there could be a law and legislation in the future. Moreover, the minister assured that the advisory is intended for large tech companies and not for startups.

Why MeitY Now Wants Companies to Take Approval Before Launching AI Models in India?

The IT Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar had responded to an X post by the user @greatbong. The X user asked Google Gemini if PM Modi is fascist and the AI model responded citing unidentified sources that some policies implemented by the PM have been characterised as fascist. Condemning this, the Union IT Minister posted that this is a “direct violation” of the IT Rules, 2021 as well as “several provisions of the Criminal Code.”

TOI reports that the ministry then sent a notice to the company asking for clarification about the controversial result produced by Gemini and the company replied by saying, “Sorry, the platform is unreliable.” Arguing that this is not the defense you can take, MeitY has now issued the advisory and has warned companies that either they comply or the advisory will be set in stone through legislation in the future.