We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. Some call it the fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0, but whatever you call it, it represents the combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Systems We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, We must involve all the stakeholders from across all the sectors.

The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology like artificial intelligence, robotics, automated vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing. In short it is the idea of smart factories connected with artificial intelligence which can make decisions on its own.

Challenges and opportunities

New technology is what makes us successful. But there are risks. The fourth industrial revolution brought by data and connectivity creates a great need to compete with big disruptive technologies otherwise we will fail, with terrible consequences for the next generation. Yet it is also the next generation who are best equipped to thrive in this environment. There has been a fascinating discussion about how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect “Governance, Business and Society”.

The impact on Society

People are asking whether the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the road to a better future for all. The power of technology is increasing rapidly and facilitating extraordinary levels of innovation. And as we know, more people and things in the world are becoming connected. But that doesn’t necessarily pave the way for a more open, diverse, and inclusive global society. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we live, work, and communicate. It’s reshaping government, education, healthcare, and commerce—almost every aspect of life. In the future, it can also change the things we value and the way we value them. It can change our relationships, our opportunities, and our identities as it changes the physical and virtual worlds we inhabit. However we must be aware that the technologies can also have negative results if we don’t think before using it blindly.

The impact on business

An underlying theme in my conversations with global CEOs and senior business executives is that the acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are hard to comprehend or anticipate and that these drivers constitute a source of constant surprise, even for the best connected and most well informed. Indeed, across all industries, there is clear evidence that the technologies that underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution are having a major impact on businesses. In 21st Century even a small change can affect the business adversely or vice-versa, impact of “Demonetization” on small and medium enterprise can be seen as they were hit by Cash crunch and they were unable to run their business for almost next 6-8 months as dependence on cash is very high for small and medium business.

The impact on government

Government should be aware about the conflict between the promotion of tech improvements and assuming every consequence for the development of any public policy. Every change in policies that affects the mass will increase the conflict between citizen and government if proper information’s are not being circulated by government , example of “GST” can be seen where all the trade unions went on for the indefinite closure only to stop the implementation of Goods and services tax. As the physical, digital, and biological worlds continue to converge, new technologies and platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with governments, voice their opinions, coordinate their efforts, and even circumvent the supervision of public authorities. Simultaneously, governments will gain new technological powers to increase their control over populations, based on pervasive surveillance systems and the ability to control digital infrastructure. On the whole, however, governments will increasingly face pressure to change their current approach to public engagement and policymaking, as their central role of conducting policy diminishes owing to new sources of competition and the redistribution and decentralization of power that new technologies make possible. 

The impact on Society

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, finally, will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships. It is already changing our health and leading to a “quantified” self, and sooner than we think it may lead to human augmentation. The list is endless because it is bound only by our imagination.

Indian Role in 4th Industrial Revolution

India can play decisive role in shaping the global industrial revolution as the major economy like China is on the path of decline due to various reasons including the bitterness with United States of America. India has half of its population below the age of 30; India can play a decisive role in shaping the future of the globe. With one of the youngest labor forces in the world, a sizeable technical aptitude, the second largest number of internet users on mobile devices and the second largest English speaking population, India is well positioned to enhance its global leadership in a post fourth industrial revolution era .PM Narendra Modi during on the sidelines of BRICS submit also acknowlged the importance of 4th industrial revolution and role of India as a global partner he said ““India wants to work collectively along with BRICS nations in the area of Fourth Industrial Revolution and all nations must share the best practices and policies on this, Compliance with laws, the example of better delivery by direct payment technology to beneficiaries of social security and government schemes, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have more importance than the capital. High-skill but temporary work will be the new face of employment. There will be radical changes in industrial production, design, and manufacturing,” India understands its responsibility towards the changing atmosphere therefore government of India also started various schemes for the enhancement of small and medium industries.

Industry 4.0 means education system 4.0

We are in the need of global leaders who will cope according to the rapidly changing environment; he needs to be proactive rather than a combination of proactive and reactive. In the era for digital classroom, online exams, artificial intelligence requires highly innovative minds to cater a rapid advancement of technology. Creativity is the cornerstone of industry revolution 4.0 which needs education model which is aligned with future trends, in order to develop and enhance individualised education that will eventually go on define in the manner in which youngsters of the future will work & live. Various Universities and top ranked Institutes in India have started to cater the need of Industry based education model to generate the leaders and technical personals for the future. If we are not able to generate technical manpower as per the need and requirement of time then it will lead to the of loss of jobs. We have the example of various E-commerce giants that are working with only hundreds of employees and with the help of artificial intelligence spreading their work to across the globe. Current generation needs to be educated for their exponential change in knowledge, skills and abilities that will be required in next 10-15 years.

Shaping the future

Neither technology nor the disruption that comes with it is an exogenous force over which humans have no control. All of us are responsible for guiding its evolution, in the decisions we make on a daily basis as citizens, consumers, and investors. We should thus grasp the opportunity and power we have to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution and direct it toward a future that reflects our common objectives and values.

In the end, it all comes down to people and values. We need to shape a future that works for all of us by putting people first and empowering them. In its most pessimistic, dehumanized form, the Fourth Industrial Revolution may indeed have the potential to “robotize” humanity and thus to deprive us of our heart and soul. But as a complement to the best parts of human nature—creativity, empathy, stewardship—it can also lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. It is incumbent on us all to make sure the latter prevails.

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June 2021