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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 2 January 2020


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


 

1.  Art and culture are reflected to a far greater extent than political history in the epigraphic sources. Discuss.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

In a significant find, the Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult. It is also the earliest Sanskrit inscription to have been discovered in South India as on date. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the significance of epigraphy in bringing out the value of art and culture of a region; explain in what way they reflect far greater depths of art and culture.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

 Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain briefly what epigraphy implies.

Body:

Discuss that Epigraphy implies the study of inscriptions. Beginning from the age of Harappan civilization a number of inscriptions have been discovered belonging to different periods of early Indian history. These inscriptions throw light on the politico-administrative, socio-cultural and religious life of the people.

Explain then the history reflected by the epigraphic sources; political history, art and culture etc.

Justify its significance.

Conclusion:

Thus art and culture as well as political life are reflected well in the epigraphic sources. At the same time, they must be complemented and supplemented by literary sources and other evidence to create a better picture of the early Indian Historical Tradition.

Introduction:

Epigraphy, the study of written matter recorded on hard or durable material. Beginning from the age of Harappan civilization a number of inscriptions have been discovered belonging to different periods of early Indian history. These inscriptions throw light on the politico-administrative, socio-cultural and religious life of the people.  Generally, any historical information is acknowledged as true blue when it is substantiated by an epigraphical record. So too in the  study  of  the  history  of  literature  and  language, epigraphy  has   a  vital  role  to  play.

Body:

In a significant find, the Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult. It is also the earliest Sanskrit inscription to have been discovered in South India as on date.

Political History as reflected in Epigraphic sources:

  • The edicts of great sovereign king Ashoka Maurya, have played a very important role in the construction of Indian history. The gist of Ashoka’s edicts is what he calls dharma which refers to a code of morals which he believed to be the teachings of Buddha.
  • The Prayaga prashasti inscription gives us  an  exhaustive  account  of  political  career  of Samudragupta  and  the  kingdoms  conquered  by  him .
  • Inscriptions throw light on politico-administrative institutions and practices. Ex. Ashokan inscriptions contain the designations and the responsibilities of various officers.
  • In an inscription of the Vijayanagara king Bukka, we are told that the emperor settled the disputes between a Vaishnava seer and a Jain teacher by making them agree to be friends and raise no points of dispute.
  • Inscriptions also throw light on other social customs. For example, the Brahmadeyam inscription refers to the sati committed  by  the  queen  of  Rajendra Chola.
  • The inscriptions also contain the details of wars and battles- ex. Aihole inscription of Ravikirti indicates the defeat of Harsha by Pulakesi II.

Art and Culture as reflected in Epigraphic Sources: 

  • The earliest reference to dance is found in an  inscription from Jogimara cave (Second century B.C .) It mentions a Sutanuka,  a  temple  dancer  and  her  lover  Devadatta,  a sculptor from
  • The inscriptions help in understanding the language and the script of the age. For instance, the Ashokan inscriptions inform that Prakrit was the common language and Brahmi the most common script.
  • The objects used for writing inscriptions help in understanding the material culture of the age. Ex. Harappan people used steatite. Mauryans used stone and copper plate inscriptions.
  • Inscriptions also help in understanding the social and cultural life of the ancient age. Ex. Eran inscription (510A.D) provides the first written record of Sati. Many inscriptions contain details of the donations and land grants to temples, monasteries and men of education and learning.
  • Inscriptions throw light on the religious life as well. Ex. Mora inscription throws light on Bhagvatism.
  • Ancient Indians developed cultural and trades contacts with south-east Asian countries like Java, Sumatra, Cambodia and Borneo. A large number of inscriptions found in these places which are very much akin to Indian epigraphs in respect of their language and script reflect the expansion of Indian culture in these countries.9Introduction to Indian Epigraphy

Conclusion:

Epigraphy  is  a sine  qua  non  for  constructing  the political and cultural history of ancient India. At the same time, they must be complemented and supplemented by literary sources and other evidence to create a better picture of the early Indian Historical Tradition.

 

2.  Examine the role of small towns in the regional development process. (250 words)

Research Gate

Why this question:

Question aims to evaluate the role of small towns in the regional development process.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain that the regional development process is crucial for development of underdeveloped regions. This can be aided by the presence of small towns.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what constitute small towns.

Body:

Discuss the functions that the small towns play with regards to the regional development process; They act as the link between larger urban centres in the urban hierarchy with the villages in the region. They provide socio-economic opportunities to the emerging middle class working age population; act as centres for counter-migration etc.

Then explain the limitations they face, discuss policies aimed to address  these limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Small and intermediate size towns play a significant role in the socio-economic transformation of regional spaces through diffusion of innovations. It, however, has been hypothesized here that in this diffusion process the villages having better infrastructural facilities and services, play central role

Body:

‘small town’ is some place where urbanity has not yet reached in its full vigour. It may also sound relatively smaller in size by area and also by population residing within it. But the concept is not fully clear simply by its demographic status or by its areal occupancy.

Importance of role of small towns in regional development process:

  • By acting as centres of demand/markets for agricultural produce from the rural region, either for local consumers or as links to national and export markets. Access to markets is a prerequisite to increase rural agricultural incomes, and the proximity of local small and intermediate centres to production areas is assumed to be a key factor.
  • By acting as centres for the production and distribution of goods and services to their rural region. Such concentration is assumed to reduce costs and improve access to a variety of services, both public and private and for both rural households and enterprises. Hence, services include agricultural extension, health and education (and access to other government services), as well as banking, post, services of professionals such as lawyers and accountants, lower-order services such as bars and restaurants, and wholesale and retail sales of manufactured goods from within and outside the region.
  • By becoming centres for the growth and consolidation of rural non-farm activities and employment, through the development of small and medium-sized enterprises or through the relocation of branches of large private or parastatal enterprises.
  • By attracting rural migrants from the surrounding region through demand for non-farm labour, and thereby decreasing pressure on larger urban centres.
  • By managing natural resources in ways that respond to the needs of growing rural and urban populations with special attention to protecting resources in the face of local and global environmental change.
  • Small-towns occupy an important position in the urban-rural continuum of India.
  • Small towns possess a unique binomial status of acting as a bridge between villages and cities.
  • They provide to villages ‘a sort of resort’ activity during their off-period from agricultural operations.
  • In the developing world, small towns are neither tradi­tional in their structure, nor do they represent modern settlement milieu. But they are empowered functionally by both the city and the country.
  • Small towns have a unique way of life governed by their size, site, demography, social ecology and economy.
  • Unlike villages, small towns are bigger, have better links with their surrounding countryside but are having weaker community affairs and social set-up.
  • Small towns are instruments of stabilizing the balance of the urban process by their being reagents in symbiotic relationship between the lowest and uppermost settlement system.

However, there are challenges related to small towns:

  • Unfortunately, despite the significant contribution of these small towns, they remain invisible in the policy discourse.
  • The fact that they continue to be administered as rural villages also means that they are not on the priority of state and central governments as far as urban infrastructure is concerned.
  • In any case, it is well known that an overwhelming amount of our total expenditure in urban infrastructure is cornered by large projects of urban transportation and infrastructure in metropolitan areas.
  • But they also receive lower priority in provision of electricity, communication and financial services such as banking and credit.
  • The invisibility of small towns in the political discourse is partly a result of the size of these towns but also the approach of the government.
  • Rural areas continue to remain important politically because of the sheer size of rural areas as vote banks but also the nature of vulnerability that rural populations face.
  • The absence of an administrative structure suited to urban governance eludes them since they are counted as rural in the administrative scheme of the government.
  • The ‘neither here, nor there’ status of these census towns and small towns raises important questions of sustainability of these as drivers of growth.

Measures needed:

  • The solution is not just changing our understanding of urbanization based on statistical measures but an economic classification.
  • But more important is to recognize the importance of changing economic geography which is centred on these small towns and census towns.
  • This will require not just planning ahead in terms of public provisioning of essential services and infrastructure to these areas but also making sure they continue to remain important for future growth.

Conclusion:

Thus, small towns are not just important for employment creation for the new entrants to the labour force but also a majority of those who will move out of agriculture in the future.

Case study:

A recent study by Urmila Chatterjee, Rinku Murgai and Martin Rama from the World Bank suggests that small towns have contributed significantly more in generating non-farm employment as compared to large cities. Another study by John Gibson, Gaurav Datt, Rinku Murgai and Martin Ravallion also highlights the importance of small towns in rural poverty alleviation compared to large cities.

 

3. In the context of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, and the detention of minors in some instances, what does the law say about such detentions by the police? What role do commissions play? Explain. (250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

As protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 rocked the country over the last two weeks there have been several instances of police clashing with and detaining protesters. In several cases, those detained were minors under 18 years.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the context in detail and the role played by different responsible commissions to ensure the rights of the citizens are protected and are unharmed.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain first the context of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 across the country.

Body:

Discuss the role of commissions that are indirectly responsible to ensure safety of the involved protestors; in this case the minors, the juveniles.

Explain the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has specific procedures and rules in relation to children found to be in conflict with the law.

Discuss the statutory bodies responsible for protecting the rights of children in India.

Elucidate upon the powers of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

As protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 rocked the country over the last two weeks there have been several instances of police clashing with and detaining protesters. In several cases, those detained were minors under 18 years. Two notable instances have been reported.

Body:

Laws regarding the detention of minors:

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

  • It has specific procedures and rules in relation to children found to be in conflict with the law.
  • Under Section 10, it says that as soon as a child alleged to be in conflict with law is apprehended by the police, the child shall be placed under the charge of the special juvenile police unit or the designated child welfare police officer.
  • That officer in turn, should produce the child before the Juvenile Justice Board within a period of 24 hours excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place where the child was picked up.

Statutory bodies responsible for protecting the rights of children in India:

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

  • It is a statutory body set up in 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
  • The objective of the commission is to protect, promote and defend child rights in India including the rights adopted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 — with an accession by India in 1992.
  • The same convention defines a child as being a human being under 18.
  • It examines and reviews the safeguards provided under any law for the protection of child rights and recommends measures to the government.
  • The commission can also inquire into the violation of child rights and recommend initiation of proceedings in such cases.
  • While inquiring into such matters, the NCPCR has the powers of a civil court.
  • In addition, it has a host of other powers in terms of commissioning research and framing policy for child protection and safety.

Way forward:

  • In order to ensure that Children have a productive upbringing free of any mental torture imposed due to structural reasons (poverty, insensitivity of bureaucracy)- government should bring in long term reforms.
  • This includes enhanced spending on education and health, proper implementation of JJ Act and POSCO Act, societal awareness programmes about significance of Child’s mental health and sensitization of personnel involved in Child Welfare programmes.

 

4. India’s unsettled boundaries pose major problems in its policy towards its neighbors, especially China and Pakistan. Critically analyse.(250 words)

Economic Times

Why this question:

In a stern warning to Pakistan, new Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said India reserves the right to “preemptively strike” at sources of terror, asserting that a “new normal” in the country’s response mechanism to acts of cross-border terrorism has already been “emphatically” displayed.

Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the disputed territories of India with its neighborhood. And need to have a policy to resolve the issues.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss first the context of the question by highlighting recent turfs with neighbors.

Body:

First explain briefly the geographical extent, borders and borders in conflict with India.

Discuss then the border disputes on case by case basis; China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar etc.

It has not been possible for India to agree on the border with China since China is laying unreasonable claims on territories that have historically been India. There must be more constructive diplomatic engagement between both countries to resolve their decades-long border issues.

Regarding Pakistan, both the countries should come on the table sooner or later to discuss their contentious issues. Meanwhile, Pakistan must end any kind of support to Terrorism and its “Proxy War” on India to bring India on table to talk border issues.

Discuss the policy measures from past to present taken to resolve the problems posed in this sector.

Conclusion:

Conclude that India should engage constructively and generously with its smaller neighbors like Nepal to deal the border issues.

Introduction:

India has one of the longest and most varied of international borders. Historical and political reasons have left India with an artificial unnatural border. The challenge of coping with long-standing territorial and boundary disputes with China and Pakistan, combined with porous borders along some of the most difficult terrain in the world, has made effective and efficient border management a national priority.

Body:

Unsettled boundaries issues with China and Pakistan:

  • India’s borders with China and Pakistan are one of the most dangerous borders because local war with China could be one standoff away and potential of limited war with Pakistan is one terror strike away.
  • The threat India faces ranges from regular to irregular, state to non-state actors and conventional to nuclear war.
  • The nature of borders with Pakistan and China are such that some part are designated as international borders and some parts continue to remain unresolved designated as Line of Control (LoC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL referring to Siachen) with Pakistan and Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
  • LoC is active and cross border firing and infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan has become a routine in spite of the cease fire agreement.
  • Whereas no bullet has been fired across LAC since 1967 but transgression by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into Indian Territory has become a routine that is leading to frequent standoffs between PLA Border Defence Regiments and the Indian Army.
  • Under such circumstances border defence is a military operation and cannot be confused by defining it as policing or management of borders where loss of territory could take place if not resolutely defended.

Unsettled boundaries and major problems posed:

  • increased cross-border terrorism
  • infiltration and ex-filtration of armed militants
  • emergence of non-state actors
  • nexus between narcotics traffickers and arms smugglers
  • left-wing extremism
  • separatist movements aided and abetted by external powers
  • The establishment of madrasas, some of which are potential security hazards

Structural measures needed:

  • Infrastructure along with border has to be improved – rail connectivity along with road connectivity has to be provided for quick mobilization.
  • Building of additional checkpoints and Border posts along major and minor trade routes connected with borders
  • Building of floating bridges, walls & electrical fences where there is high probability of infiltration.
  • Taking up of joint Border management with Countries like Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • Improving healthcare, physical infrastructure and digital connectivity in villages around borders thus making them stakeholder in Border Management.
  • Madhav Godbole task force recommendations on border management need to be implemented.
  • It had recommended that the CRPF should be designated as the primary national level counter-insurgency force. This would enable the other central paramilitary forces like the BSF and Indo-Tibetan Border Police to return to their primary role of better border management.
  • It had also recommended that all paramilitary forces managing unsettled borders should operate directly under the control of the army and that there should be lateral induction from the army to the paramilitary forces so as to enhance their operational effectiveness.
  • The principle of ‘single point control’ must be followed if the borders are to be effectively managed.
  • The advances in surveillance technology, particularly satellite and aerial imagery, can help to maintain a constant vigil along the LAC and make it possible to reduce physical deployment.

Policy measures:

  • Need for a renewed effort to resolve the boundary dispute to maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas.
  • India and China should “reinforce communication and coordination in international affairs and make the international order more just and equitable”.
  • Maintain regular contact and advance the development of bilateral relations in all areas.
  • Seeking mutually acceptable resolutions on the differences with due respect for each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations
  • Need to respect each other’s Sovereignty and sincere adherence to Panchsheel (Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence).

Conclusion:

Keeping a strong vigil on its border is very important for any nation to check any kind of illegal activities or intrusion through them. For India, the task becomes difficult where terrain and climate is very complex across some of its border areas. Focussing on improved technology will help in making the task easier for the security forces and make its borders more secure.

 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. Discuss in detail reasons for India to embrace Inclusive Growth.(250 words)

Indian economy by Dutta and Sundaram

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is from the static portions of GS paper III.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the causes for which Indian setup necessitates inclusive growth.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what you understand by Inclusive growth.

Body:

Discuss briefly the basic elements of Inclusive growth.

Move on to discuss the reasons for India to embrace inclusive growth.

The recognition of the significance of inclusive growth in developing Asia has been generated by a rising concern that the benefits of remarkable economic growth have not been equitably shared.

Inclusive growth is required for sustainable development and impartial distribution of wealth.

Discuss the challenges involved.

Conclusion:

Conclude with ways and means to achieve inclusive growth.

Introduction:

The concept of inclusive growth focuses on equitable growth for all sections of society. This involves ensuring that fruits of growth and development reach the poor and marginalized sections as well. Inclusiveness is a multi-dimensional concept. Inequalities that include, social exclusion, discrimination, restrictions on migration, constraints on human development, lack of access to finance and insurance, corruption – are sources of inequality and limit the prospect for economic advancement among certain segments of the population, thereby perpetuating poverty.

Body:

Reasons for India to embrace Inclusive Growth:

  • India is the 7th major country by area and 2nd by population. It is the 12th largest economy at market exchange rate. Yet, development is not visible in India and it’s the neighbourhood nation, i.e., China is progressing at speedy rate.
  • The agenda for inclusive growth was envisaged in the Eleventh Plan document which intended to achieve not only faster growth but a growth process which ensures broad-based improvement in the quality of life of the people, especially the poor, SCs/STs, other backward castes (OBCs), minorities and women and which seeks to provide equality of opportunity to all.
  • The exclusion in terms of low agriculture growth, low quality employment growth, low human development, rural-urban divides, gender and social qualities, and regional disparities etc. are the problems for the nation.
  • Decreasing of poverty and other disparities and raising of economic growth are major objectives of the nation through inclusive growth.
  • Political leadership in the country plays a vital role in the overall development of the country. But, the study has found that politicians in India have a very low level of scientific literacy.
  • Studies assessed that the cost of corruption in India amounts to over 10% of GDP. Corruption is one of the ills that prevent inclusive growth.
  • Though child labour has been banned by the law in India and there are stringent provisions to deter this inhuman practice. Still, many children in India are unaware of education as their lives are spoiled to labour work.
  • Literacy levels have to rise to provide the skilled workforce required for higher growth.
  • Economic improvements in the country are overwhelmed by out dated philosophies and allegations by the politicians and opposition parties in India.
  • Achievement of 9% of GDP growth for country as a whole is one of the boosting factor which gives the importance to the Inclusive growth in India.
  • Inclusiveness benchmarked against achievement of monitor-able targets related to
    • Income & Poverty
    • Education
    • Health
    • Women & children,
    • Infrastructure
    • Environment
  • At global scale, there is a concern about dissimilarities and exclusion and now they are also taking about inclusive approach for development.
  • It is estimated that about 80% of India’s labour force works in the informal economy.
  • Jobs in the informal economy are typically insecure, with neither employment contracts nor regular pay, and very often workers are engaged on a day-to-day basis.
  • The working conditions in the informal economy therefore resemble a low-productivity trap.
  • At the most basic level, economic growth results from labour force growth and productivity growth of workers.

Way forward:

  • In a democratic country India, majority of population living in rural India and to bringing them into the mainstream is main concern.
  • The best way to realise inclusive growth is through developing people’s talents. It is said by government authorities that a multidimensional approach towards education and skills development is essential to achieve growth.
  • To address this challenge, inclusive growth with its focus on creating economic opportunities and ensuring equal access to them will play a key role.
  • The challenge of skills shortage can be addressed through public private partnership.
  • Special efforts to increase employment opportunities are essential as it is a necessary condition for bringing about an improvement in the standard of living of the people

Conclusion:

More and more countries are accepting it as the goal of development policy. Inclusive growth as a development notion is also being comprised by many development partners of developing countries including bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, international organizations, nongovernment organizations, and civil society.

 

6. Analyse the probable impact of frontier technologies on developing countries.(250 words)

Live Mint

Why this question:

The article explains the fact that Frontier technologies are set to transform people’s lives, and developing nations must harness this revolution. But there is a danger that the gains will not reach the world’s poorest.

Key demand of the question:

One must provide for a detailed analysis of the probable impact of frontier technologies on developing countries.

Directive:

Analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The rapid technological transformations that started from the Industrial Revolution to the digital revolution, have boosted economic performance, improved efficiency, accelerated the pace of globalization, and transformed human society in the process.

Body:

Explain that Frontier Technology or Industrial Revolution 4.0, the latest wave of disruptive technological change is fundamentally altering how goods, services and ideas are exchanged. However, the disruptive nature of technology is nothing new, and it offers promising new opportunities, while at the same time posing a challenge to policymaking.

Discuss in detail what are frontier technologies and their applications.

Explain the associated challenges in detail.

Specifically discuss the case with developing countries; The Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development has shown that developing countries can still harness the new wave of frontier technologies for the benefit of all.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Frontier technologies are defined as potentially disruptive technologies that can address large-scale challenges or opportunities. Frontier technology is the next phase in the evolution of modern technology. It is the intersection where radical forward-thinking and real-world implementation meet. For example AI, robotics, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things, etc. Frontier Technology or Industrial Revolution 4.0, the latest wave of disruptive technological change is fundamentally altering how goods, services and ideas are exchanged.

Body:

Impact of frontier technologies on developing countries:

Positives:

  • Frontier technologies have unlocked new routes to prosperity through agriculture, manufacturing, trade in services, the linking of informal and formal sectors, and domestic interconnectivity.
  • They have enormous potential to improve government administration and the delivery of public services.
  • They can help anticipate and respond to the effects of climate hazards and air pollution through the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies to address environmental impacts.
  • In the Republic of Korea, the smart city of Songdo is built around the Internet of Things to reduce traffic pollution, save energy and water, and create a cleaner environment.
  • It will be critical that these technologies work for society and the environment as well as the economy if the world is to achieve the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Challenges posed by frontier technologies:

  • Digital Exclusion:
    • As Information and Communication Technology infrastructure is the backbone of many frontier technologies, there is a risk of its triggering a new frontier technology divide, compounding an already existing digital divide.
    • An estimated three billion people could still lack internet access by 2023, and many more will have little or no opportunity to reap the benefits of digital technologies.
    • There is a danger that gains associated with frontier technologies will not reach the world’s poorest people.
  • Uncertain Future of Work:
    • In the coming decades, the jobs of 785 million workers, that’s equivalent to over 50 % of total employment in the Asia-Pacific region could be automated.
  • Trust and Ethical Questions:
    • Frontier Technology per se is not the problem, but there are ethical issues surrounding privacy, ownership and transparency.
    • With the world’s population projected to reach ten billion by mid-century, global governance will become even more complex than it is today.
  • Developing countries, in particular, are starting from a difficult position, because they are already grappling with the challenges of low human capital, ineffective institutions, and a difficult business environment.

Conclusion:

The Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development has shown that developing countries can still harness the new wave of frontier technologies for the benefit of all.

Way forward:

  • An inclusive ICT infrastructure.
  • A workforce fit for the emerging scale and speed of the technological revolution.
  • In this context, there is a need to promote lifelong learning, reskilling and entrepreneurship development to develop a cadre of job creators.
  • A policy framework to strengthen public-private partnerships, so as to capture the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • A responsive and adaptive regulatory framework that doesn’t stifle innovation.
  • Whole-of-economy or Most-of-society approach: Technology alone will not guarantee success. Policymakers must also account for local contexts and conditions so that they can create social, political and economic ecosystems in which technology creates jobs and drives inclusive growth.
  • National governments should start planning for digital readiness in four areas: infrastructure, human capital, policy and regulation, and finance.