Defence Minister launches AI-powered grievance management app

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered grievance management application, developed by IIT-Kanpur, in the presence of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh in New Delhi today.
The application intends to automatically summarise and utilise the gist of public grievances received on the web-based Centralised Public Grievances Redress & Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) pertaining to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh 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.
He lauded the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) for playing an important role in the reforms 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.
Highlighting the salient features of the application, the Defence Minister said this AI-powered application will automatically handle and analyse the complaints of the people and would reduce human intervention, save time and bring more transparency in their disposal.
Underlining the importance of use of the AI, Rajnath Singh said MoD has been working on the use of AI applications in many areas. He said Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed equipment like robots for military use; AI-based wheelchairs for social use; internet traffic monitoring applications like ‘NETRA’ and ‘Atman AI’ to detect Covid-19 infection from chest X-ray. “This reflects our progress in the defence sector as well as our responsibility towards society,” he said.
The Minister urged DAPRG to explore the possibilities of use of AI in other sectors like health, education, agriculture, skill development, manufacturing and retail. He assured all possible support of MoD, saying that AI can play a crucial role in the overall development of the nation.
A tripartite MoU for the project was signed among the Department of Defence, MoD, DARPG and IIT, Kanpur on 04 Aug 2020. In its current form, the application provides automatic segregation of irrelevant and repetitive grievances, reducing manual effort for grievance routing officers. It also permits officers to search for grievances by gist, as expressed in natural language queries. Combining semantic search with spatial and temporal filters, the application gives unprecedented granularity in identifying policy lacunae and jurisdictional locations facing challenges in policy implementation.
The release of this application marks the introduction of AI-based innovations into governance and administration. This project is the first of its kind initiative of the Government for using AI, data science and Machine Learning techniques in grievance redressal. The success of this pilot project in MoD will pave the way for 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 web-based application has been jointly developed by the Department of Defence, MoD; DARPG and a team of IIT Kanpur comprising of Professors Shalabh, Nisheeth Srivastava and Piyush Rai.
Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar; Secretary, DARPG Sanjay Singh; Director, IIT Kanpur Prof Abhay Karandikar and other senior officials were also present on the launch of the application.