Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday allayed fears of job loss due to technological development, saying artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other technologies will change the nature of employment and provide more opportunities.
Speaking at the launch of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, PM Modi said his government is open to policy changes to help reap benefits of the fourth industrial revolution. He said 'Industry 4.0' and the expansion of artificial intelligence (AI) would lead to better healthcare and reduce costs. It would also help farmers and benefit the agriculture sector, he said.
PM Modi said that as work progresses in the country, one of the targets is 'Solve for India, Solve for the World'. "Some people are worried that the advancement of technology will have negative impact on jobs but the reality is otherwise. The Industry 4.0 will touch those aspects which still remain untouched so far. It will change the nature of job and create new opportunities," PM Modi said.
Recognising this aspect, PM Modi said the government has launched several initiatives like Start Up India, Stand Up India, Digital India and Atal Innovation Mission. Noting that India is going to play a major role in the fourth industrial revolution, the Prime Minister said diversity, demographic potential, fast growing market and digital infrastructure have the potential to make India a global hub of research and innovation.
While the previous industrial revolutions eluded the country, India's contribution to the fourth industrial revolution would be astonishing, PM Modi said. "India was not independent when the first and second industrial revolution happened. When third industrial revolution happened, India was struggling with challenges of just attained independence," he said.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, blockchain and big data hold potential to take India to new heights, the Prime Minister said. Launching the centre, Modi said it opens the door to immense possibilities in the future. The centre at Mumbai is the fourth in the world after San Francisco, Tokyo, and Beijing.
"Emerging fields, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, blockchain, and big data can take India to new heights of development, and improve the quality of life of its citizens," PM Modi said, adding for India, this is not just an industrial transformation, but a social transformation.
Listing the achievements of his government, PM Modi said teledensity has increased to 93 percent and nearly 50 crore Indians now have mobiles. India is the largest mobile data consuming country in the world and also the one with the cheapest data rates, he said, adding mobile data consumption has increased 30 times in four years.
Over 120 crore Indians have Aadhaar, he said, adding that work to connect all the 2.5 lakh village panchayats with optic fibre would be completed soon. On blockchain technology, the Prime Minister said it would help in promoting the vision of minimum government and maximum governance. It will help in fast-tracking government services such as management of natural resources and property registration, he said.
The government is working on a national strategy for blockchain technology and will also announce a drone policy, the Prime Minister added. Speaking at the event, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said the future India will be propelled by three powers - next generation digital infrastructure, power of youth and power of the largest pool of next generation entrepreneurs.
"Each one of these three pillars supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious Digital India programme... I think this will create plethora of opportunities," the Prime Minister said. The new technologies, including Internet of Things and blockchain, will help India to address challenges in education, healthcare, agriculture, job creation and environmental stainability, PM Modi said.
"I strongly believe that government, private sector and civil society have to form a coalition to tackle these most complex challenges," PM Modi said, adding that the results can double the income of 115 million farmers. The Prime Minister added that India is a country that will make this whole industrial revolution a people-centric revolution.