Shaping AI Regulations in India

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September 4, 2023

Shaping AI Regulations in India

Shaping AI Regulations in India: Balancing Values and Risks

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  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our lives, offering immense potential for transformative change. As AI’s influence continues to grow, the need for comprehensive regulation becomes increasingly evident. In this context, we explore the divergent approaches to AI regulation, contrasting the Western emphasis on risk with the Eastern focus on values. We urge India to shape its AI regulations in alignment with its rich cultural identity.

The Imperative for AI Regulation

  • Ethical Impact and Accountability: AI’s decisions can have ethical implications, necessitating regulations to ensure responsible and ethical use.
  • Data Privacy and Protection: AI relies on data, making it crucial to safeguard individuals’ privacy and prevent unauthorized data usage.
  • Addressing Bias and Fairness: Regulations are required to ensure fairness and prevent discrimination that can arise from AI perpetuating biases present in data.
  • Minimizing Unintended Outcomes: Complex AI systems can yield unexpected results, requiring careful regulation to ensure safe AI deployment.
  • Balancing Innovation and Risks: Regulations strike a balance between fostering AI innovation and managing potential risks such as job displacement and social disruption.
  • Ensuring Security and Accountability: Regulations help ensure AI system security by setting standards for protection against cyber threats and unauthorized access.
  • Preserving Human Autonomy: Regulations prevent overreliance on AI, preserving human decision-making autonomy.
  • Global Collaboration and Consensus: Regulations facilitate international collaboration and the development of common ethical standards and guidelines for AI.

Contrasting Western and Eastern Approaches to AI Regulation

  • Global Regulatory Landscape: Governments worldwide grapple with AI regulation, with leading regions including the EU, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and China.
  • Intrinsic Differences: Western and Eastern approaches to AI regulation exhibit fundamental differences, driven by cultural and philosophical distinctions.
  • Western Risk-Based Approach: Western systems employ a risk-based approach to AI regulation, categorizing AI applications into different risk levels and applying corresponding regulatory measures.

Eastern Models: Japan and China

  • Japan’s approach emphasizes human-centricity, data protection, safety, fair competition, accountability, and innovation.
  • China’s regulations emphasize adherence to laws, ethics, and societal values in AI services.

Values vs. Means

  • A stark difference emerges between the two models regarding their approach to regulation. The western model specifies how regulations should be implemented, while the eastern model emphasizes upholding values and ends.

Comparative Effectiveness

  • The western model is well-suited for rule-abiding societies, offering clear rules and punitive measures for non-compliance. In contrast, the eastern model allows for flexibility and acknowledges the intertwining of legality and morality.

Hindu Jurisprudence Concept

  • We introduce the concept of Hindu Jurisprudence, which embraces the overlap between legal rules and moral values.

Historical Perspective

  • Historical roots explain the differences between eastern and western approaches, with cultural and philosophical distinctions dating back to the 1930s.

Distinction between Eurocentric and Eastern Legal Systems

  • Eurocentric vs. Eastern Legal Systems: Professor Northrop’s analysis distinguishes between Eurocentric (Western) and Eastern legal systems.
  • Postulation in Western Legal Systems: Eurocentric systems prescribe precise actions and consequences for non-compliance, focusing on specifying what must be done within a legal framework.
  • Intuition in Eastern Legal Systems: Eastern legal systems establish rules through intuition, setting desired ends and moral values as the guiding principles.
  • Role of Morality and Ends: The moral aspect plays a central role in Eastern legal systems, aligning legal rules with specific moral and societal objectives.
  • Success of Ancient Indian Legal Systems: Ancient Indian legal systems succeeded due to clear objectives and moral codes, with laws guided by intuitive understanding and moral principles.
  • Law and Morality in Eastern Cultures: Eastern cultures often intertwine law and morality, influencing the creation, interpretation, and adherence to laws.
  • Impact of British Colonialism: The British colonization of India introduced Western legal systems, which diverged from India’s historical legal systems.

How AI Should Be Regulated in India

  • Perspective of Justice V. Ramasubramaniam: Justice V. Ramasubramaniam advocates for drawing inspiration from Indian traditions and jurisprudence rather than blindly emulating Western legal systems.
  • NITI Aayog’s Approach: While NITI Aayog’s discussion papers on AI regulations reference Western countries, India should establish regulations that reflect its cultural ethos and values.
  • Alignment with Indian Ethos: Regulations should align with India’s historical legal systems, providing a more appropriate regulatory framework rooted in Indian values.
  • Hope for Better Regulation: AI regulation in India should consider Indian values and heritage, emphasizing a regulatory approach that serves both innovation and morality.


  • The rise of AI demands robust regulation, and India has the opportunity to craft regulations that reflect its unique cultural identity. By embracing its rich legal heritage and considering the alignment of AI with societal values, India can strike a balance between innovation and morality in its AI regulatory landscape. It’s crucial for India to look beyond Western models and shape its AI regulations with a nuanced, culturally rooted approach.

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Shaping AI Regulations in India | Vaid ICS Institute