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.


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.



What Social progress index can reveal?


Social Progress Index scores by tiers_map

In 1931 Simon Smith Kuznets an American national, Economist introduced the empirical methodology
Called ” Gross Domestic Product “ The same GDP has dominated the world economy for the last 80years, it measures how much a nation produces in terms of goods and services within a country’s geographical boundaries. GDP over a period of time has stimulated many economies worldwide from worst to better and vice versa, heavily influenced the movements of markets both domestically and globally, precipitated the flow of trillions and trillions of money across the boundaries, Suitable beeline for the Govt’s of the day by citing ” GDP”, claims the credit for managing the economy well . But what does a GDP growth really means to a common man. Even the person who invented this methodology remarked that It is a tool which can scarcely measure the real progress of a nation, But govt, policy makers cautiously would like to forget this reality.

I think time has come to shift the focus on much more inclusive, meaningful index for the well-being of the society at large, there are many instances where country’s with higher GDP, real social progress heading south. Or a country with higher GDP growth doing badly in several social indicators. But today neo-liberal mindset with underlying principle capitalist economic model considers the performance of capital markets and GDP are the real measures or indicators for economic progress, Globally govt’s across the world The present govt across the GDP as measuring isn’t it got transferred to real progress which a society really looks forward to. So the time has come to design a new index called social progress index which really tracks and monitors real social progress achieved in a country and also helps to identify areas which need specific support, focus. Govt of the day also can quickly ascertain where the country stands in those parameters which touch the life of every ordinary person. Social progress Index should the most rudimentary aspects like. So GDP is becoming less and less and useful, More focus on investments in social sector spending can really infuse real growth by improving the real quality and conditions in people’s life.
Basic Human Needs:
Food, water, shelter, security
Foundations of well-being:
Access to basic knowledge
Access to information and communication
Health & wellness
Ecosystem for sustainability
Individual rights
Individual freedom and choice
Tolerance and inclusion
Access to advanced education .

where India stands among it peers on Social Progress index

SPI_Infographic_India-JB_JS_HK Source: