Fourth Industrial Revolution

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Context:

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) announced its new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India, which would aim to bring together the government and business leaders to pilot emerging technology policies.

Industry 4.0 & India:

  • The components of “Industry 4.0” actually have the ability to transform the present and future of human life. He said the launch of this Centre, the fourth in the world after San Francisco, Tokyo and Beijing, opens the door to immense possibilities in the future.
  • 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. He said that for India, this is not just an industrial transformation, but a social transformation.
  • Industry 4.0 has the strength to drive irreversible positive change in India. He added that it will help bring the required speed and scale to work being done in India. 
  • The Prime Minister mentioned how the Digital India movement has brought data to villages of India. He explained how tele-density, internet coverage, and mobile internet subscriptions have increased in the recent past.
  • The rapid growth in number of Common Service Centres in India. He said that India has the highest mobile data consumption in the world, and is also the country where data is available at the lowest price. In this context he spoke of India’s digital infrastructure, and its interfaces including Aadhaar, UPI, e-NAM, and GeM.
  • A national strategy for creating a robust infrastructure for research in Artificial Intelligence has been prepared a few months ago.
  • This new Centre will strengthen this process.
  • Industry 4.0, and the expansion of Artificial Intelligence, would lead to better healthcare, and reduce expenditure on health.
  • It would also help farmers, and be of immense help in the agriculture sector. He mentioned other areas such as transportation and smart mobility, where it could play a key role.
  • As work progresses in India, in these areas, one of the targets is “Solve for India, Solve for the World.
  • The Prime Minister expressed confidence that India would be able to take advantage of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • India would also make an immense contribution to it.
  • Government initiatives including Skill India Mission, Start Up India, and Atal Innovation Mission are preparing our youth for new and emerging technologies.

Other Industrial Revolutions:

  • 1st industrial revolution: The first Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the last quarter of the 18th century with the mechanisation of the textile industry, harnessing of steam power, and birth of the modern factory.
  • 2nd industrial revolution: The Second Industrial Revolution, from the last third of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of World War I, was powered by developments in electricity, transportation, chemicals, steel, and mass production and consumption. Industrialization spread even further – to Japan after the Meiji Restoration and deep into Russia, which was booming at the outset of World War I. During this era, factories could produce countless numbers of identical products quickly and cheaply.
  • 3rd industrial revolution: The third industrial revolution, beginning c. 1970, was digital — and applied electronics and information technology to processes of production. Mass customisation and additive manufacturing — the so-called ‘3D printing’ — are its key concepts, and its applications, yet to be imagined fully, are quite mind-boggling.