Embrace Technology Much Faster Before India @75
| Dr. Jyotsna Pandit, Thought Leader, Writer, Noida, UP - 01 May 2021

Next year in 2022, when India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence, just after this devastating pandemic, our major challenge will be employment generation and bringing the economy back on track. After experiencing this most crucial phase of our time, we must learn a lesson. And that is, if we want better governance, healthcare system, and better delivery of civic services to our people, then India must embrace the Technology at much faster level. Emphasis should be on 5G touching the lives of rural and weaker economic segments and generate employment to make it a truly inclusive technology.

By Dr. Jyotsna PANDIT

As India is passing through the ugliest phase of utter chaos, confusion and complete collapse of our healthcare system, during this unprecedented time of cruel Covid pandemic, the only ray of hope remains for the future is the maximum and faster use of technology.

Since over the last one year we all are facing lockdowns sometimes nationwide or now area wise, and have already adopted the culture of WFH (work from home) and even the men of our society have also largely compelled to join BJP (Bartan Jhadu Pochha) replacing our lovely Kaamwaalis, the technology has also altered and infiltrated every walk of our lives, thankfully, becoming our partner and saviours in many ways. 

Now the question is how long these technological changes will last in our lives? Technology firms are already betting on a permanent trend. They are rapidly adjusting to a post-COVID world where people will do more from home—buying, learning, working, and socializing—and avoid interacting with the physical world whenever possible, with so-called touchless technologies.

A new virtual world is emerging. And this will be accelerated after the full implementation of 5G technology in our country, which has the potential of ushering a major societal transformation in India by enabling rapid expansion of the role of information technology across manufacturing, educational, healthcare, agricultural, financial & social sectors.

The next industrial revolution is already extremely active. Artificial intelligence (AI) is accompanying an era of technologies that are quicker, more adaptable, more productive, and making one and all more digitally connected across the globe. Artificial Intelligence has evolved since the late 1950s, but recently it has gained too much popularity. The credit of all this goes to- the vast amounts of data being collected by the sensors, satellites and internet. Also the development of more powerful and faster computers, availability of open source software and data and increase in abundant, nominal and cheap storage have added to its credit its popularity.

AI is capable of quickly perceiving the patterns which human beings cannot, make prognosis more efficiently and endorse better policies and solutions to a variety of problems which are being faced by the human race in their day to day activities. The holy grail of artificial intelligence research is artificial general intelligence, through which computers will be able to reason, summarise, understand, implement and communicate like human beings such as predicting solutions to various genuine problems, recognizing speech or images and forecasting weather. As AI becomes one of society’s greatest assets, it’s especially helpful for tackling the problems that seems larger than life — like protecting our natural environment,

Sustainable growth of the entire world depends on various factors such as economy, quality education, medical assistance, agriculture, industries and many others, but it is observed that eventually the environment is one of the most sought out factors that plays the most significant role amongst them. Safety, Health and Hygiene are the key constituents of the sustainability of mankind and progress of any community or the country, which comes from a clean, pollution free and hazardous free environment.

Thus, the monitoring of the environment becomes an unavoidable aspect so as to ensure that the citizens of any nation can lead a healthy and happy life. Environment monitoring or what we call EM in short, consists of proper planning and management of innumerable disasters, controlling different types of pollution and effectively addressing the provocations that arise due to unhealthy external factors. EM deals with different types of calamities such as water pollution, air pollution, hazardous radiation, weather changes, earthquakes, cyclones, landslides etc. It is seen that the sources of pollution are contributed by several factors, some of which are human-made and others due to the natural causes, and the role of EM is exactly to address the challenges so that the environment is protected for a healthy society across the world.

With the more updated advances in the field of science and technology, especially in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), EM has become a smart environment monitoring (SEM) system, because the technology has enabled EM methods to observe and monitor the various factors influencing our environment more precisely, with an optimal and best control of pollution and other undesirable effects. Now-a-days the design of smart cities is taking the place of old and traditional methods to formulate and plan urban environments. Smart cities are planned using wireless networks that help in monitoring of the pollution level produced by the vehicles in any city.

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are made up of modern sensors which basically operate on AI based monitoring and controlling methods. Internet of things (IoT) refers to a system of internet-connected and interrelated objects which are capable of gathering and transferring data over a wireless network without any human intervention. So these IoT devices are employed in WSNs for effective waste management, vehicle marking, temperature control, and pollution control and many other tasks. Therefore, modern methods of environment monitoring are popularly called SEM systems, due to use of IoT, AI and wireless sensors.

An efficient protection of our environment is largely based on the quality of the available information used to make an adequate and appropriate decision. It’s observed that the actual problems arise when the quantities of available information are tremendous and are non-uniform, which comes from many different sources and their quality could not be stated well in advance. Another related issue regarding this is the dynamical nature of the problem. Computers are placed centrally in contemporary environmental protection in tasks such as monitoring, data collection & analysis, communication, information storage and retrieval, so it has been quite natural to try to integrate and escalate all these tasks with Artificial Intelligence knowledge-based techniques.

Hence it is seen that AI techniques offer an extreme advantage in environmental work, because they are able to process huge amounts of data in a very little time, and draw conclusions from that information that humans might not have the capability to do generally. The explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) data, which might include sensors ranging from simple cameras in a field to the complex and sophisticated satellites in the space, has helped scientists use AI techniques to extract more & more data to work on like- Making cities more livable and sustainable, Smart agriculture, Protecting the oceans, More sustainable transport on land, Better climate predictions etc.

“As the nation prepares for the launch of 5G, favourable regulatory policies to develop digital infrastructure are expected to drive investments to fuel the growth of the 5G ecosystem. 5G will be a game changer for India with the potential to create significant social and economic impact. As the 5G ecosystem develops in the country, Telcos are expected to focus beyond connectivity towards collaboration across the telecom value chain and cross-sector, leading to the creation of new business models and innovation. India is making giant strides towards cross-sector convergence, spearheading digital transformation across industries. With basic connectivity solutions already in store, more advanced capabilities with cloud, mobile edge computing, complex-converged automation, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented and virtual reality, are expected to enable industries to drive efficiencies and unlock the full economic potential of 5G. The adoption of these above-mentioned capabilities, along with next-generation hyper-scale solutions, will not only cause a paradigm shift from traditional services to Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) but also challenge the existing boundaries of Quality Of-Service (QoS), and personalisation and overall customer experience,’ Sathish Gopalaiah, Partner Leader, Telecommunications, Deloitte India had rightly said in his report “5G Ecosystem The digital haven of opportunities” released by CII in September 2019.

Last year in 2020, the global digital transformation market was valued at USD 998.99 billion and is expected to reach a value of USD 2744.68 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 18.5% over 2021-2026. For millions, technology has become a lifeline, changing the way we work, learn, and shop. Now, accelerated by the pandemic, it has spurred game-changing digital shifts. The digital future is coming at us faster than ever before, and maybe faster than we can imagine.

So, after experiencing this crucial phase of our time, we must learn a lesson. And the lesson is, if we want better governance, better healthcare system, better delivery of civic services to our people, then India must embrace this opportunity by deploying 5G networks as early as possible, efficiently, and pervasively, as well as emerge as a significant innovator and technology supplier at the global level. Reliance Industries' chairman Mukesh Ambani has already announced his telecom venture Jio's plans to launch 5G technology in India in the second half of 2021. 5G service will be a testimony to the inspiring vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Emphasis should be on 5G touching the lives of rural and weaker economic segments to make it a truly inclusive technology. Also, the government should be careful of its hazards on our lives, as being warned by a section of experts globally.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Jyotsna Pandit, a Doctorate in Chemistry is highly versatile, diligent academician and researcherand currently working as HOD-Applied Science atMangalmay Institute of Engineering & Technology, Greater Noida, U.P., India.


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