Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR)
Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR)
Published 19th Jan, 2023
Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has chosen Hyderabad, Telangana for establishing its Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR).
About the Centre of Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR):
C4IR Telangana is the 18th centre to join the World Economic Forum’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) Network, which is spread in four continents.
It will be an autonomous non-profit organization that will focus on healthcare and life sciences.
The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India (C4IR) was established in October 2018 to focus on the role of emerging technologies across different sectors and to plug the challenges that will emanate from Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The three pillars on which C4IR work are:
4IR technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain and others.
Public-private cooperation. For example India recently announced drone services, an area where C4IR work with the Centre and several state governments.
Multi-stakeholder partnership. C4IR collaborates with various sectors —government, industries, start-ups, civil society, and consumers — for inclusiveness. The overall focus is to bring in greater social good by leveraging technologies.
Some prominent works of C4IR:
C4IR have monitored vaccination programmes and built up the digital healthcare ecosystem.
The Centre has developed a data ecosystem through a platform approach such as UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and Aadhaar. There are upcoming platforms as well, such as the one on logistics announced in the budget.
What is the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'?
The fourth industrial revolution is conceptualized as an upgrade on the third revolution and is marked by a fusion of technologies straddling the physical, digital and biological worlds.
It will mark out as a new phase rather than a prolongation of the current revolution - velocity, scope, and systems impact and lead to the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.
In simple words, the new revolution can be said to be the advent of cyber-physical systems which, while being "reliant on the technologies and infrastructure of the third industrial revolution represent entirely new ways in which technology becomes embedded within societies and even our human bodies".
How will it be different from the 3rd revolution?
There are 3 reasons why today's transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the 3rd Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a 4th and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the 4th is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.
Pros and cons of the Fourth Industrial revolution:
World Economic Forum report on FIR concludes that it will have an undeniable impact on job scenarios across the world disrupting erstwhile, well-established businesses, bringing sweeping changes to labour markets, and changing business models on the foundation of emerging economic theories.
Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world.
In the future, technological innovation will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity.
Transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective, and the cost of trade will diminish, all of which will open new markets and drive economic growth.
Revolution is likely to increase inequality in the world as the spread of machines increases markets and disrupts labour markets.
Inequality represents the greatest societal concern associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The largest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital the innovators, shareholders, and investors which explains the rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labour.
As automation substitutes for labour across the entire economy, the net displacement of workers by machines might exacerbate the gap between returns to capital and returns to labour.
With this revolution, it is also possible that in the future, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production. This will give rise to a job market increasingly segregated into low-skill/low-pay and high-skill/high-pay segments, which in turn will lead to an increase in social tensions.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships.