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Emerging Technologies-Global Challenges (13 March 2021)

Emerging Technologies-Global Challenges (13 March 2021)

Context:

  • While recognising that a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific requires that critical and emerging technology is governed and operates according to shared interests and values, the leaders of Quad countries have decided to convene a Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group.

Background:

  • The first Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework, held virtually on 12 March 2021.

  • PM Narendra Modi participated, along with Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga and President of U.S.A. Joseph R. Biden.

Summary of the Debate

Objectives of the planned working group on critical and emerging technologies:

  • Facilitate coordination on technology standards development between our national technology standards bodies and with a broad range of partners.

  • Facilitate cooperation to monitor trends and opportunities related to developments in critical and emerging technology, including biotechnology.

  • Develop a statement of principles on technology design, development, and use.

  • Encourage cooperation on 

    • Telecommunications deployment

    • Diversification of equipment suppliers

    • Future telecommunications

  • Close cooperation between private sectors and industry.

  • Convene dialogues on critical technology supply chains.

Global challenges on emerging technology domain:

  • The origin of Quad lies in the security of Indo-Pacific and the threat posed China.

  • The emergence of technology in last decade has come in a way that all big militaries across the world are going towards ‘Network Centric Warfare’. They are looking for thin but more sharper and more techno savvy army.   

  • The rising dominance of China in critical and emerging technologies is a severe threat in the long run.

  • There is underwater sea mission run by China. Chinese automated submarine was caught by Indonesia.

  • The recent attack India has faced in the power sector by the Chinese malware.

  • The kind of investment made by China in AI outcaste the total investment made by the entire rest of the world.

  • On the economic front, the kind of challenge and dominance, the American big techs are throwing to the world today like Facebook and Twitter literally define law of the land in India, spreading anarchy in the name of the free speech, openly challenging democratic government and Parliament like what happened in Australia.

  • Disruption in supply chain can create more problems in the future.

Way Forward:

  • India has transferred from agrarian economy to service economy now and the time has come that we must not be service centre of the world, we must be the innovation and development power house.

  • It is very important for India to look at the entire aspect of the development of the country both from social as well as economic point of view and it is also important to embrace and leverage technology to drive this because technology has become an integral part of the solution.

  • It is also very important for India to empower its youth for problem solving.

  • Technology is changing the shape of the world, it’s becoming affordable, accessible, available and advance, and with all these emerging technology like AI or blockchain or Internet of Things robotics or automation have very positive aspects on economic development. At the same time, we have to make sure that they can be leverage for the good of the people.

Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue)

  • It is the informal strategic dialogue between India, USA, Japan and Australia.

  • Objective: To ensure and support a “Free, Open and Prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.

  • 2007: The idea of Quad was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007, but due to Chinese pressure, Australia pulled out of it and the idea couldn’t move ahead.

  • December 2012: Shinzo Abe again floated the concept of Asia’s “Democratic Security Diamond” involving Australia, India, Japan and the US to safeguard the maritime commons from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific.

  • November 2017: India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.

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