Friday, 1 July, 2022
HomePageTurnerAfterwordHow the fourth Industrial revolution can make or mar India’s fortunes

How the fourth Industrial revolution can make or mar India’s fortunes

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Pranjal Sharma’s book ‘Kranti Nation’ records the transformation that is taking places in 10 different sectors, warns of job losses due to automation.

The world is on the cusp of what is called the “fourth industrial revolution” with automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, block chain and other technologies changing the very way things were produced or consumed.

India, which had missed the first industrial revolution as it was under the British rule at that point, has the potential to lead this technological revolution given the huge number of smart phone and internet user base. According to a survey, India will have the second highest smartphone users — 530 million — this year after China’s 1.3 billion. The US stands at a distant third with 229 million users.

Pranjal Sharma’s book, Kranti Nation – wherein KRANTI stands for knowledge, research and new technology — records the transformation that is taking places in 10 different sectors, including manufacturing, logistics, services, transportation, retail, mobility, healthcare, hospitality.

It also highlights how the use of technology has changed the way the companies in these sectors produce, market and sell their products to their prospective consumers.

The author points out that it is not the big IT companies which are the prominent players of this big transformation as they are busy in their outsourcing business. Rather, it is the local firms which are adopting new technologies to align with the new world order dictated by AI, and other things.

However, behind this rosy picture is a worrying sign for millions of jobseekers as automation is eating into their jobs. In India, where unskilled labour forms a major portion of the workforce, technological revolution can wreak havoc if the government and the industries do not devise a way where the youth can adapt themselves to the changes that’s taking place in every sector.

Sharma, in fact, makes a strong point that automation may be highly beneficial for a country with sparse population but for India it might result in 1.5 million job losses a year.

Both the government and the private sector in India would do well to read this writing on the wall even as they talk about automation and AI in areas like manufacturing, transportation and logistics.

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