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Govt’s Bhashini initiative to use AI for Beneficiaries of Welfare Schemes

Feb 19, 2023

Govt’s Bhashini initiative to use AI for Beneficiaries of Welfare Schemes

Today we will discuss Govt’s Bhashini initiative to Use AI for Beneficiaries of Welfare Schemes in our today's edition of Current Affairs. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.

For Prelims: General Science

ChatGPT on WhatsApp, WhatsApp Chatbot, AI chatbot ChatGPT, Bhashini initiative, Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).

For Mains: GS Paper III (Science and Technology)

Context, Highlights of this Initiative, About ChatGPT, About the Bhashini initiative, Limitations or concerns around such models.


Recently the Government of India has taken an initiative named WhatsApp Chatbot to facilitate search on key government schemes on WhatsApp through the sensational AI chatbot ChatGPT and Bhashini initiative, an ambitious national-level program.

Probable Question

How will the chatbot work? How will the bot understand and interpret local languages? (150 words, 10 marks)

Highlights of this Initiative

  • The initiative is taken to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for the country’s estimated 150 million farmers.
  • Bhashini, a small team at the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), is building a WhatsApp-based chatbot that relies on information generated by ChatGPT to return appropriate responses to queries.
  • It can make use of the repository of voices through the Bhasha Daan portal and a vast database of all the languages that Doordarshan broadcasts in.

About ChatGPT

  • ChatGPT has been developed by the San Francisco-based firm OpenAI, in which Microsoft has reportedly made an investment of $10 billion.
  • In essence, a user could simply ask a question using voice notes, and receive a voice-based response generated by ChatGPT. 
  • Working: OpenAI's GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) language model has revolutionized the field of natural language processing (NLP). GPT is trained for all of the Government of India’s documents and then scaffolded with speech recognition software.
  • Significance: The chatbot has been developed keeping in mind sections of India’s rural and agrarian population that most depend on government schemes and subsidies. 
  • The model is currently in the test phase, where it supports 12 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Odia, and Assamese.

About the Bhashini initiative

  • Bhashini aims to build a National Public Digital Platform for languages to develop services and products for citizens by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.
  • It is an ambitious national-level program that aims to build vast crowdsourced datasets with samples of Indian voices in several local languages.
  • The WhatsApp chatbot that the Bhashini team is developing will need to succeed in constructing a nationwide digital public platform for Indian languages. For this Bhasha Daan can help to have large datasets of the various local languages spoken in India, on which the model can be trained.
  • Bhasha Daan is an ambitious project that aims to crowdsource voice datasets in multiple Indian languages. 

Limitations or concerns around such models

  • Accuracy: Technology ethics experts have cautioned that responses of generative AI models like ChatGPT may not always be accurate. 
  • Limitation in accessing real-time information: Currently, the WhatsApp chatbot can only respond to simple queries about government schemes, etc. This is primarily due to the current limitation of ChatGPT itself which only includes information until 2021.

Way Forward

  • Once ChatGPT has the ability to search the Internet and return with real-time results, the scope of the WhatsApp chatbot could expand greatly. 
  • ChatGPT can be a game changer as people will not just be able to get information about various government schemes in a concise manner, but they will also be able to inquire if they are eligible for those schemes.
Additional Information:


WhatsApp is an enormously popular messaging service

It is owned by Meta Inc (formerly Facebook).

WhatsApp has more than 500 million users and even those with relatively low digital literacy know their way around the app.

News Source: The Indian Express

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ChatGPT free?

ChatGPT is available free of charge during the research preview. ChatGPT is the twin model of InstructGPT, trained to follow instructions in prompts and deliver thorough responses. We are eager to launch ChatGPT in order to gather user input and understand its advantages and disadvantages.

What is ChatGPT full form?

ChatGPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) has been developed by the San Francisco-based firm OpenAI, in which Microsoft has reportedly made an investment of $10 billion.

What can I use ChatGPT for?

Chat-GPT and similar engines are "trained" (programmed and reinforced) to replicate writing idioms, steer clear of particular conversational tenors, and gain knowledge from your inquiries. In other words, the more sophisticated models can adapt their responses as you continue to ask questions and then store what they have discovered for future use.

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