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Hyderabad: Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

  • 18 Jan 2023
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: World Economic Forum (WEF), Fourth Industrial Revolution, Big data, Cybersecurity, Internet of things (IoT), Xenobots, Pacemaker, Microplastics, Energy Transition Index, Global Competitiveness Report, Global Gender Gap Report.

For Mains: Applications of Fourth Industrial Revolution(4IR), Challenges Associated with 4IR.

Why in News?

Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has chosen Hyderabad, Telangana for establishing its Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR).

  • The C4IR Telangana will be an autonomous, non-profit organisation with a thematic focus on healthcare and life sciences.

What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

  • About:
    • It is characterised by the use of technology to blur the boundaries between the digital, physical, and biological worlds, and is driven by data.
    • Key technologies include cloud computing, big data, autonomous robots, cybersecurity, simulation, additive manufacturing, and the internet of things (IoT).
    • The term 4IR was coined by Klaus Schwab, executive chairperson of the WEF, in 2016.
  • Major Examples of its Application:
    • Pacemaker: The pacemaker is a near-perfect example of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
      • The four wireless sensors of the pacemaker monitor vitals such as temperature, oxygen levels and the heart’s electrical activity.
      • The device then analyses the vitals and decides when to pace the heart and at what rate. Doctors can wirelessly access the information on a tablet or smartphone.
    • Xenobots: Xenobots, which are less than a millimetre long, are known to be the first living robot, were created in 2020 from the stem cells of the African clawed frog and can be programmed using artificial intelligence.
      • It has a reproductive ability demonstrated in October 2021 by a team of US scientists.
      • When the researchers put the xenobots into a petri dish, they were able to gather hundreds of tiny stem cells inside their mouths and create new xenobots a few days later.
        • Once perfected, xenobots could be useful for tasks like cleaning up microplastics and regrowing or replacing dead cells and tissues inside human bodies.
    • Smart Railway Coaches: In November 2020, the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) at Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, rolled out smart railway coaches that are fitted with a battery of sensors to provide a comfortable experience to passengers.
      • The sensors monitor odour levels in toilets, check if the doors are safely closed, avoid fire outbreaks and stop unauthorised travel using CCTV cameras with face recognition capabilities, among other technologies.
  • Challenges Associated with 4IR:
    • Job Displacement: As automation and artificial intelligence become more prevalent, there is a concern that many jobs will be replaced by machines, leading to widespread job loss and unemployment.
    • Privacy Concern: The increasing connectivity of devices and systems in Industry 4.0 increases the risk of cyber-attacks, which can have significant consequences for both businesses and individuals.
    • Ethical Concerns: As artificial intelligence and automation become more advanced, there are also concerns about ethical issues such as accountability, bias, and transparency.
    • Lack of Digital Infrastructure: Not all countries have the digital infrastructures for Industry 4.0, leading to digital divide and uneven economic growth.

What are the Other Industrial Revolutions?

  • First Industrial Revolution (1800s): It used water and steam power to mechanise production. Example: Steam engine.
  • Second Industrial Revolution (early 1900s): It used electric power to create mass production. Example: Electricity.
  • Third Industrial Revolution (late 1900s): It used electronics and information technology to automate production. Example: Computer and Internet.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question

Q. “The emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Digital Revolution) has initiated e-Governance as an integral part of government”. Discuss. (2020)

Source: DTE

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