Fourth Industrial Revolution — Technology

With the introduction of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization ( LPG) in 1991 , India has travelled a long tedious path from being a country heavily dependent on agriculture ( still is ), to a path where there can be seen promising prospects in other fields like IT hub, service sector, tourism industry and education sector.So far, LPG has done a brilliant job as it opened the gates for Foreign Direct Investments, removal of tariffs and quotas, booming the private sector and integrating with the other nations of the world.What is the fourth revolution then?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution in India is that of technology which is the most prominent of all the revolutions, which comes with a promise to stay for a longer run and enhances the development and growth of a country. It is still underway in India, as many people have not yet recognized its full potential  and capability to turn the tables of future.A lot of entrepreneurs, businessmen, CEOs, start-ups are now at a stage where they are on a race to a more technical path than the old traditional ways. They are rapidly adopting involving technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, advanced robotics and neurosciences.

Be it the first 3D printing cafe in Mumbai or big accounting and finance firms adopting to AI or even the Pizza Hut in Beijing being fully operated by robots, technology has definitely carved its way through the established stigma of resistance to change. Quietly and with firm resolve, visionary leadership in the Indian industrial field is bringing the country into the arc of progress.From water-pumps, railway coaches, chai shops to telecom towers, burger chains and cafes and warehouses, technology is definitely carving its way through different business firms from global corporations to domestics companies and most importantly, start-ups. In Sanskrit, the word used for revolution is Kranti. A new Kranti is happening in the country right now which has a greater and a wider meaning. KRANTI could be developed as an acronym for – Knowledge, Research and New Technology in India.

According  the statistics, prior to 2015, the impact was felt already with rising geopolitical volatility, mobile internet and cloud technology and processing power. Along with an increase in sharing economy through crowd-sourcing, there is an increased participation of the middle class  and youngsters in emerging markets. Some of the other noticeable changes have been rapid urbanization, climate change and changing nature of work with it being more flexible.It is only after 2015 that technology actually become the backbone of our country with new energy supplies and technologies being introduced- the concept of Internet of things (IoT), Advanced manufacturing and 3D printing, longevity and aging services, new consumer ethics, privacy issues, women’s economic power and their aspirations.

So what does future really unveil for India in this fourth revolution ?There are promising fields like Robotics, autonomous transport like wireless cars, drones, on-air taxis, Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced input materials and biotechnology and neurosciences. One of the other most emerging technologies in India is Data Analytics-Blockchains. Blockchain is on its way to create a revolution in the sphere of the digital economy called cryptocurrency. Blockchains makes use of very advanced algorithms which greatly reduces the dependence on people to verify all sorts of transactions. It as an anonymous online ledger which makes use of the online data structure and thereby simplifies the way we transact. Also, it uses a more secured networking system that protects the identity of its users, thus making the transactions highly secured. It is not only limited to financial sectors, but has also been used effectively by different nations for different purposes.

For India, the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings tremendous opportunities hastening its journey towards becoming a developed economy. In many ways, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a game change- a leveller. The technologies used in India will be the same used in the developed nations. Robots, AI, IoT and all such innovations are transforming the Indian industries to operate in the same way as those in the West.Many companies are still waiting and watching and some of them have been stunned into inactivity as they do know where to begin or how to start deploying the technology around them. A good example of this would be Nokia, which was initially reluctant to change and now has become the least bought phone in any country.

But there is much that India needs to be worried about. Over-reliance on automation will shrink job creation. It does not suit a country like India, where 12-13 million people remain unemployed and seek jobs every year. There is a natural fear of job loss resulting from automation and robotics. Banks in India are already using chatbots and even humanoid robots.In many ways, companies in India are ensuring their survival by adopting these technologies. Their survival comes at the cost of jobs. But these can be tackled by reskilling and creating new opportunities.

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