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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Selfish Babas in India not Selfless.


baba ram rahim

As a precursor to this heading, let me tell you what propelled me to write this piece, The yesterday’s arson and attacks in Panchkula, Haryana throws us a grim reminder how law and order situations have been taken over by a large group of followers of Messanger of God (Baba ram Rahim). The self-styled godman’s, spiritual gurus in our country have been able to influence the mind’s of people a lot. India has been considered as a land of spirituality, So this self-styled Baba’s and gurus, know how to make best out of it by influencing people in the name of religion and faith. We, also shouldn’t forget that, we, need to be proud that the likes of Vivekananda, Sree Ramakrishna and many other spiritually enlightened souls walked, enriched us with their profound teachings in this great country, But, what we were witnessing today is a ,complete shift from true spirituality to an organized business where spiritual gurus were busy creating millions of followers, establishing their contact points in different parts of the country .

Spirituality and politics is a right mix

A country like India with sufferings, downtrodden people, casteism and much more social malice which even prevails after our 70th independence day, The self-styled God man and modern spiritual leaders knew that their nation is fertile ground for them to prosper in the name of being “spiritual”. We should think with a lot of seriousness, how can people in this modern century worship them equivalent to god, They listen to their speeches, obey their commands, prostrating in front of spiritual leaders who they see as a beacon of hope for their suffering. When politicians pay lip service to these babas at their abodes, the general public believes that his even more powerful than the govt. Even the comments from the top leadership of the ruling govt show, how dilly dally they seem to be.

Today’s spirituality means business.

A genuine spiritual leader or enlightened souls are not driven by any motive to institutionalise their teachings by setting up big ashrams or establishing centres across the world. But today’s spiritual leaders are similar to the likes of many business men setting up shops in many countries and wowing the consumers in that market to buy their products, similarly when a spiritual leader wants to reach to millions of people across the length and breadth of this country or even outside of this country they are in fact eyeing the business opportunity by creating more followers for him, More followers and believers means more money comes to their kitty. The valid example is yoga Guru Baba Ramdev , who has successfully created a business group called Patanjali, with in a short span of time the turn over of his entity has risen to more than 5000 Crores, another Guru, the proponent of Art of living has been planning to foray into manufacturing and selling ayurvedic products. We have seen spiritual gurus using expensive motor bikes, cars, enjoying the patronage of powerful politicians, getting fat checks from taxpayers money. Real spirituality, means living beyond the material pleasure with selfless dedication to mankind’s progress.
Time has come to educate the people to become more sensible and responsible citizens and they should be able to identify what is right and what is wrong with out the blind following, Supporting a rapist baba means our people’s moral ineptitude levels has touched its lowest level. I think already we are paying a huge price in the name of cultural past. Every wrong deed cannot be painted with the same brush if some one has committed a crime, instead of blindly supporting the act, people should come forward and support the law enforcing agencies to nail the culprit. I feel ashamed to say that in spite of having centuries old culture, teachings and other values, still, the act of going on a rampage to defend a culprit shows that how morally degrading society are we becoming.

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.

Is marriage a passport to future?


Passport-to-Future-logo1

Marriage is normally considered as passport which ushers a good future for the women community ,There is a brewing tensions and anxiety among the parents of the female child that , sooner she turns 20 years parents of the female child starts their mission to look out for the ideal groom to get her married as early possible. If she remains unmarried even after the legally permitted age the society and the people puts insurmountable pressure to get her married to a person whom they sees fit & matching. This notions, thinking & practices really keeps the girl child under pressure to agree on the idea of getting married. Parents thinks if they could give her to better man her future is taken care of , here we are directly or indirectly giving message to her that first you have to be wife , mother and home maker . So the society itself categorizes her to become secondary to man , make her feel and think that her views , interests & preferences are given least importance by reiterating that male is going to dominate you , As a individual her choices has to be buried under the ground before getting married. Especially when it comes to my part of the country Ie, is Kerala among grooms family the system called dowry still persists which assumes a very important role in considering the suitability of the bride ,But certainly there are some improvements or change in attitude among the educated middle class , but majority of the male’s family consider the quantum of wealth their son’s could garner from the bride’s family and they are least hesitant in demanding for jewelry, land , House & Automobile.

The choices of the women to decide their future are very limited, but on rare occasions even after getting married her spouse might extend their support to pursue her interest, but in most of the cases women’s life would get limited to four walls of the house, her predicament post marriage is almost similar . The patriarchal system prevailing in the society is acting as major hurdle in bringing in any respite to this existing situation.

So I don’t think marriage is not always the right passport to good future. Like men chases their dreams. Let the society gives her the space, support to pursue her choices in life. In the last 60 years we have seen only one women president & one women prime minister in world’s biggest democracy. Time to change all this preconceived notions, empowering the women folks is also very important if as a nations we need to really progress.