“At the outset, let me congratulate the author, Dr. Narendra Jadhav for giving us a book of great contemporary relevance.
The emerging technological revolution that underlies the Fourth Industrial Revolution is throwing up immense opportunities and possibilities. At the same time, the unfolding transformative technology has given rise to a series of complex questions and far-reaching societal concerns.
This book critically examines and elaborates on various dimensions of the so-called Industrial Revolution 4.0. It discusses the emerging New-Age Technology, brings out the opportunities and threats, makes an attempt to identify and analyze relevant public policy issues in the global context. The book maintains global as also an Indian perspective.
It raises complex issues and concerns relating to economy, society, democracy, national security and global peace.
While outlining how technology can benefit humanity by increasing productivity, wealth generation and accelerating global economic growth, it underlines that poverty could be drastically reduced, even eradicated if technological advances are combined with appropriate Public Policy measures.
It also touches upon the possibility of unprecedented technological breakthroughs in sectors such agriculture, industry, services, financial sector, education and healthcare. Also the emerging technology could be deployed to augment on-going global efforts at containing the fallout from global warming and climate change.
Challenges of Fourth Industrial Revolution
As regards the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution, it notes that while economic growth will undoubtedly get a big boost, there may not be a commensurate increase in jobs. While the global economy would be on a high growth trajectory, economic disparities and social inequities may rise.
The impact of AI and Machine Learning
Referring to the wide range of Artificial Intelligence applications from manufacturing to space exploration, the author discussed in detail the limitations of AI. Similarly, adoption of Big Data and Data Analytics in government and the private sector, can promote cost - efficiency, productivity and innovation.
With the emergence of AI and increasing computing power, the potential of Robots to support humans in their tasks has grown manifold.
The New-Age technology provides opportunities to product innovations, cutting-edge agricultural practices, and market developments. Innovations in crop genetics, organic agriculture as well as irrigation and other infrastructure can bring about productivity improvements among small farmers.
In order to make the potential benefits from technological advancements more inclusive across countries, it is imperative to close the digital divide among the nation-states. Challenges in various sectors such as infrastructure, energy, water, waste management, transportation, real estate, and urban planning could be overcome.
With the emergence of the New-Age Technology, there are concerns regarding job displacement or joblessness and the need to re-skill professionals who are at the receiving end. The only silver lining in all this is, “when physical jobs are lost due to automation, jobs for the mind open up”.
The book also highlights how conventional view of banking is rapidly changing. Increasingly, the traditional business model of banks and insurance companies is being challenged by the so-called ‘FinTechs’ and ‘TechFins’ which include a wide range of financial service providers and start-ups.
The other important issues which are dealt in the book include e-commerce and how Information Technology over the last decade or so has completely transformed the way people generally do their shopping. The important aspect of individual privacy, and the manner in which the social media has been influencing societies, economies, people’s attitudes, behaviours, cultures, and even their world-view also has been discussed in the book.
While instant communication of information is the biggest strength of social media, one has to guard against unsubstantiated, unverified fake information and fake news.
Cyber security and data protection have assumed huge importance in the present era. While the web is a source of lawful activity--both personal and commercial - concerns of national security arise nevertheless, simply because the seamless functioning of the web can be exploited by terrorists to wreak havoc and destroy parts of civilized societies. It is increasingly being realized by the policymakers and governments the world over that any country can be attacked remotely. Such attacks can cause widespread damage to telephone networks and even bring down aircraft flight control systems.
As communities, societies and citizens increasingly migrate to digital and online platforms, it is clear that data is going to be at the centre of all human activities in the times to come. Hence, it is imperative for countries to join hands and form international alliances in protecting and sharing data. There is an urgent need to develop a multilateral data-sharing framework that is based on the principles of adequacy and reciprocity.
Of course, the primary issue in formulating a multilateral privacy framework for data sharing at the regional, continental or global level remains the same - alignment of a nation’s right to territorial sovereignty with global cooperation.
I wholeheartedly applaud Dr. Narendra Jadhav and his team for coming out with this timely book on one of the most pressing issues concerning India and the rest of the world. This book will be useful not only for tech - savvy people but also for policy-makers.
Thank you, JAI HIND!”