Fourth Industrial revolution, Advantages &Perils


Our future according to Yuval Noah Harari, a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in his new book “Homo Deus” says ” more of us will be pushed out of employment by intelligent robots and on to the economic scrap heap”. Yes, we are on the cusp of imminent change with the advent of fourth industrial revolution catching momentum in the most advanced economies. Preceding to this we as human beings had traversed three successive revolutions each one was better than the later, because of our quest to better our lives by increasing the production commensurates with the ever increase in demand. The First industrial revolution took place between 18th and 19th century which marked the beginning of agrarian society becoming industrial and Urban along with invention of steam engine, The second industrial revolution between (1870 and 1940) characterised by steel, oil, electricity & internal combustion engine had helped in mass production and followed by Third industrial revolution started in 1980’s which was significant in many ways using the power of technology, internet and achievements in the sphere of  information technology space.

Fourth Industrial revolution

In the fourth industrial revolution is going to surpass everything that we could ever think of. It represents a fundamental change in the way we live, works and relates to one another. The beginning of new chapter enabled by extraordinary advances in technology. These advances merge the capabilities of the physical, digital and biological world. The immense potential throws out the huge promise and its potential peril. Perhaps in future, we can look beyond it as not just technology per se but an opportunity to improve the conditions of everyone with an inclusive approach.

Disruption to jobs and Skills.

The disruptions to existing models will create a huge impact on jobs ie means opportunity for new kind of jobs as well as the displacement of existing jobs. It could create a positive impact on gender parity, use of AI and Robotics and also has the potential to make the mobility more robust.

Innovation and productivity

The traditional models failed in measuring the capabilities hence cannot be actually measured. At present more than two billion remains disconnected from the global economy, But once the Fourth Industrial starts running in its full steam these disparities and gaps could be narrowed by increasing the productivity in an equitable manner.

Inequality

As per the Global Wealth Report published by Swiss bank Credit Suisse in 2015, Richest 1% of the global population controls half of all of the assets in the world. while the bottom half of the population held less than 1% of all wealth. Even those regions in the world were economic growth picked up has seen increased stress and inequality. So it remains to be seen how far fourth industrial revolution could usher rapid change in the society.

Agile Governance

The power of fourth Industrial revolution can be harnessed by governance for delivering better governance which is more accessible and helps in increasing transparency and trust. On the flipside, it can also threaten the social contract between the government and citizens.

Security and conflict

The Fourth Industrial Revolution can affect the scale and nature of conflicts. Meanwhile, new technologies are making the battlefield increasingly local and as well as global. Terrorist groups use the social media to recruit fighters to fight against the state. The combination of traditional battlefield techniques with technology is making modern conflicts more hybrid in nature. So future wars can disrupt the communication systems and narrow the line between war and peace.

Business disruption

Future disruptions in the existing business models will be a shift towards new kind of relationship between customer and business models. The new kind relationship is going to be nothing but all time connected model leveraging the power of mobile communications.WhatsApp mobile messaging service reported that its users were sending 42 billion messages every day. The Alibaba Chinese internet commerce giant Alibaba completed $14 billion online transactions on a single day through Mobile device.

Fusing Technologies

The Fourth Industrial Revolution marks the beginning of the fusion of technologies and growing harmonisation of different disciplines, The technologies like Virtual Augmented reality, 3d Printing, sensors, Biotechnology, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and robotics etc.

Ethics and Identity

Fouth industrial revolution triggered new changes in disciplines like biotechnology and AI, also redefining the limits of lifespan, health, cognition and other capabilities which were once considered as a fiction. In 2010 University of Michigan Institute for Social Research identified that nearly 40% decline in empathy among college students compared with their counterparts 20 or 30 years before.

 

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Unabated exploitation for water


water-crisis

When we are going through severe drought crisis and farmers suicide across India,  to impose a ban on the US-basedbeverage manufactures  Coco cola and Pepsi in Tamil Nadu is nothing but a decision in the right direction to signal an end to the exploitatation  done to natural resources by these  Global manufacturers.  But certainly these big corporate has the wherewithal to fight a legal battle against the ban, probably they might win the battle to continue their operation of exploiting the groundwater,  commodifying & selling at a higher price and make the profit out of their operation. The long-term threat posed by these companies is unimaginable and might seriously lead to a severe water crisis. Although it is well-known fact due to over-exploitation of water resources, deforestation and global warming the climatic conditions across the world has seen serious changes, which resulted in the severe shortage of fresh water. The move to ban coca cola and Pepsi in Tamil Nadu is in the larger interest of the society, traders across the state of TN has decided not to the promote the products manufactured by these companies .Both these companies earn more than 1400 crore yearly from southern state alone, they have four manufacturing units across the state of Tamil Nadu.

Over the past two decades the sale of bottled water consumption  has seen significant increase and in the coming years it would double its consumption , such is the opportunity these major brands see in a developing country like India, Our economy is vastly acquiring the status of consumption driven nation  with huge scope of growth and development in the next two decade or so, But we as a nation is also  facing   serious shortage of clean drinking water because of various reasons  post-globalization induced chase for  materialistic pleasure . Adding insult to the injury these companies are using every opportunity to drive home a point that it is always safe to drink bottled water which is full of minerals on another hand river water is contaminated and unfit for drinking. The growing middle-class population in India has started to spend more, they understands the importance of clean drinking water, so since they have disposable money to spare, they started depending on these bottled mineral water manufactured marketed by these companies under the brand name Aquafina and Kinley , they also seriously bought the culture of drinking carbonated drinks from their nation and tacitly placed those brands  in our society as aspirational   one , but on the other hand less privileged who can’t afford  ends up consuming  unsafe water.

These bottlers increasingly tap on the aquifers that feed rivers and lakes across the country, the cost of their operations has seriously lowered the water tables in the region. A liter of bottled water requires 1.6 liter of water to produce which makes the industry a serious consumer of water. They also want to  create the shortage of water making the people’s life more miserable, naturally when the demand for drinking water goes up they see an opportunity to manufacture and sell more, The post  world war 11 saw the industrialization gaining momentum , proliferation of industry had seen more usage of water resources and its subsequent increase in polluting the river and streams which were once used as a source of drinking water, More industrial and chemical waste degraded the water both surface & ground water sources.  Water is inevitable right of all  living creatures on this blue planet, But due to increased exploitation of ground water and other water bodies , the basic right of clean drinking water is taken away from them, Only source  as claimed by these MNC’s is  to depend more on them for  drinking water . They make most  lion share of their profit by selling these packed drinking water. Marketing of packaged drinking as mass produced commodity leads to plastic  bottle waste .  we have seen instances globally on the reported ruptured relationship between countries sharing common water resources, and several countries which are economically powerful are taking the fight to next well by building huge dams to restrict the flow of water to neighboring countries , So fight for water is becoming interstate & intrastate in nature. The era on fight for oil is over  as global community slowly moving towards a war on accessing water, which is fastly becoming a reality .

The Book by Brahma Chellany “Water peace, And water is good to read on the water crisis.

The Rise of water as a Precious commodity


We often ignore or would like to overlook the fact that how much water as resource becoming  scarce and precious one , due to the increasing global demand from developed and developing nations. The consumption of water  is set to increase from 4500 cubic kilometers in 2010 to 6350 cubic kilometers in 2030. The significant increase in projected consumption is due to sudden demand from developing nations like China& India. The increase in the trend gives us more reasons to worry than to cheer .The reasons are very evident, developed nations or rich nations are considered as the biggest consumers of water , because of their extravagant lifestyle , food consumption  and growing   Demand from industries . In the case of developing nations witnessing economic growth for last couple years, the middle class section of the population is widening  with increasing propensity  to consume more than ever before. Yes water is a renewable resource , but what if the nature’s water supply  falls well short of the   increasing  demand driven situation. I think this situation is going to come in large way across the Globe, the repercussions are many like more heightened tensions  between the borders  , diversion of  big rivers , construction of big dams to store water ,These  reasons could throw up nearly more   sort of a  war like situation between countries sharing boundaries.  US is perhaps the largest consumer of water among  the  select countries.statistic_id263156_water-consumption_-per-capita-in-selected-countries-2011

Projected Increase in demand of water globally

As per the projected annual water demand The two biggest populated and growing economies among the developing countries ie, is India and china would see increasing demand for water .The statics clearly shows ,sectors like  domestic consumption, Industry & Agriculture are the major consumers . The economic power like china is going to consume 300 billion cubic meters for Industry alone and  For  India the major chunk of  338 cubic meters would be  from individuals .

statistic_id278066_global-water-demand-by-region-and-sector_-projections-through-2030

Access to Drinking water is a perennial problem :

The statics below shows despite of the progress globally, we have 750 million people still struggles with out drinking water. Since water being a basic requirement for human beings survival , this shows water is very much a precious commodity , in the future it is going more precious than ever before . So in nutshell we are creators of the problem  on the same hand we suffer a lot and going to suffer more in the coming years.

chartoftheday_2226_World_population_with_access_to_drinking_water_n

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