Maharashtra to Receive AI Support Through ‘Marvel’

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become one of the most significant buzzwords in technology today. When used positively, AI can simplify human life. Its application is rapidly expanding across various fields worldwide. Now, the Maharashtra Police Force has integrated AI to expedite crime-solving, thanks to the establishment of the ‘Marvel’ company. This initiative is poised to greatly benefit Maharashtra, positioning the state as a future leader in various sectors.

In recent years, numerous innovations and advancements have been made through artificial intelligence. Concepts that seemed unimaginable many years ago have gradually become reality, supported by scientific theory. Today, we can view artificial intelligence as a modern transformative force.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence in computers designed to think and act like humans. Examples of computational abilities include learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception, and language comprehension. AI involves creating computers, computer-controlled robots, or software that emulate human thought processes and intellect. By studying the human brain and analyzing information, AI produces results that mirror human cognitive functions.

Artificial intelligence (AI) began gaining traction in India about a decade ago, initially used to create realistic, high-quality images, videos, and audio. Its application has since expanded with technologies like Google AI, Chat-GPT, Siri, and Alexa becoming household names. These tools represent a limited form of AI, demonstrating the technology’s growing ability to mimic human thought processes.

Today, chatbots are widely popular, especially in the corporate sector, where employees are trained using data, and large companies leverage AI to enhance product quality and assist workers. AI is increasingly utilized to solve complex problems by harnessing human-like cognition and reasoning-based decision-making capabilities. This advancement is particularly beneficial for the police force, aiding in the efficient resolution of crimes.

Currently, various government departments have access to vast amounts of information. The police force, in particular, receives a significant amount of data about crimes and criminals. With the rise in cyber and financial crimes, new methods are being adopted to defraud citizens, and the variety and number of crimes are increasing.

Traditionally, each case is solved by using human brainpower and analyzing available information. However, modern computers can be trained to use this information to make human-like decisions. Recognizing this potential, the state cabinet decided in its meeting on March 16, 2024, to establish a special purpose vehicle for the use of AI in the Maharashtra Police Force. Consequently, the ‘Marvel’ company was established to provide AI support to the police force, facilitating faster and more efficient crime-solving.

The state of Maharashtra has established the ‘Maharashtra Research and Vigilance for Enhanced Law Enforcement (MARVEL)’ company to strengthen intelligence capabilities and improve the state police force’s ability to predict and prevent crimes using artificial intelligence. Maharashtra is the first state in the country to create such an independent entity for law enforcement.

The government will provide 100 percent share capital to MARVEL for the first five years, amounting to ₹4.2 crore annually. The first installment of this share capital has recently been distributed, marking a significant step towards modernizing law enforcement in the state.

On March 22, 2024, a tripartite agreement was signed between the State Government, the Indian Institute of Management Nagpur, and Pinaka Technologies Private Limited to establish ‘MARVEL’. This company is registered under the Companies Act 2013, aiming to enhance law enforcement capabilities in Maharashtra through advanced AI technologies.

In a recent meeting held at Police Gymkhana, a presentation was delivered in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis, State Chief Secretary Sujata Saunik (Additional Charge) from the Home Department, Director General of Police Rashmi Shukla, Brihanmumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar, and Transport Commissioner Vivek Bhimanwar.

The Integration of artificial intelligence into the police force can greatly benefit crime-solving and prevention efforts by teaching machines to analyze information and mimic human thought processes. Additionally, analyzing available data can help predict potential crime hotspots and areas prone to law and order disruptions.

Pinaka Technologies Private Limited, a Chennai-based company with experience in providing AI solutions to entities such as the Indian Navy, Intelligence Department, Andhra Pradesh, Income Tax Department, and SEBI, is partnering in this venture. The ‘MARVEL’ office is situated within the premises of the Indian Institute of Management in Nagpur, leveraging the institute’s expertise.

While Pinaka will deliver AI solutions tailored to the police force’s needs, the Indian Institute of Management Nagpur will collaborate on research and training initiatives. The Superintendent of Police, Nagpur (Rural), and the Director of Indian Institute of Management Nagpur will serve as ex-officio directors of the company. Additionally, the Director of Pinaka Technologies Private Limited will sit on the board. The Superintendent of Police, Nagpur (Rural), will hold the ex-officio position of Chief Executive Officer.

There is no doubt that the efficiency of the renowned Maharashtra Police Force will be further enhanced through the adoption of artificial intelligence, facilitating prompt resolution of various types of crimes. ‘MARVEL’ will operate directly under the Home Department of the government, paving the way for other government departments to also benefit from AI in the future. This initiative positions Maharashtra and India to potentially lead globally across various sectors.

-Brijkishor Zawar 

Senior assistant director

(DGIPR)

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