When States are looking at using artificial intelligence (AI), India’s largest State, Uttar Pradesh, has gone a step ahead with plans to build India’s first AI city in Lucknow to house and promote the AI ecosystem.

A report by Grand View Research pegged the global AI market size at $137 billion in 2022 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 37.3 per cent from 2023 to 2030.

Lucknow houses Centres of Excellence in areas like AI and MedTech (with extensive AI integration). The AI COE (centre in IIIT Lucknow) alone supports more than 15 AI/ML start-ups, nurturing a culture of creativity and entrepreneurship.

EoI issued

By integrating cutting-edge technology, research centres, and educational institutions, the AI city aspires to be a hub where ideas flourish and the workforce of tomorrow is nurtured, says an Expression of Interest (EoI) issued by UP Electronics Corporation Ltd., the nodal agency for the project, inviting 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.

Govt’s support

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.

Financial support will be provided to the developer through attractive financial incentives, such as one-time Capex support of 25 per cent up to ₹20 crore for IT Park and ₹100 crore for IT City, and 100 per cent stamp duty exemption as per the IT and ITeS Policy, 2022, the EoI document says.

UP Electronics Corporation Ltd., the nodal agency for the project, said in the EoI that AI City should also have a mix of luxury and affordable housing residential complexes to incorporate a walk-to-work model. A dedicated space for top engineering and management institutes will be provided to promote industry-academic collaboration. There will also be AI-enabled internal modes of transport.

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.

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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. AI will be a key growth driver of the IT and ITeS sectors globally, and the State wants to leverage this, the EoI document says.

The city also has the presence of major IT players, including HCL and TCS. The thriving tech ecosystem is enriched by a skilled workforce, with over 75,000 tech professionals, 23,000 STEM graduates, and 300+ colleges, featuring renowned institutions such as IIM-Lucknow, IIIT-Lucknow, BBDU, and Amity, the EoI says.