With the space sector being divided into astro-political blocs, India can't afford to stay non-aligned. A recent treaty between China and Russia makes it plain for India that leaving space exploration to a few science aficionados can be dangerous. India needs a national space exploration strategy with tangible economic and meta-strategic goals in sight.
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As new technological advances take place every day, India must keep up. While the U.S. is still a front-runner in defence technologies, China and Russia are catching up quickly. In order to counter this, India can insert itself into the pre-existing bilateral co-operation between the U.S. and Israel. Sameer Patil, Fellow, International Security Studies Programme tells us how.
On 27th April, the President of the UN General Assembly convened a one-day High-Level Thematic Debate on Digital Cooperation and Connectivity, bringing together the international community to commit to a common digital future for all and leave no one offline – especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director of Gateway House, was invited to deliver the Keynote Address in the Opening Plenary session, held virtually in the UN Assembly Hall. Her speech on digitalization as a public good, is below.
The 50-year-old Siemens facility in Kalwa adopted the Internet of Things, cloud and digital twin technologies to transform itself digitally and optimise manufacturing processes. It led to a 20% increase in productivity, and has made its product competitive with its German counterpart.
Israel and the U.S. have become India's top arms suppliers, with companies from these countries participating in the 'Make in India' initiative. These robust defence partnerships can be elevated, by inserting India into the U.S.-Israel defence technology cooperation corridor. What are the geopolitical and domestic limitations that India must tackle in this effort? What benefit will the U.S. and Israel gain from a partnership with India? This paper studies the U.S.-Israel defence technology corridor, and suggests potential collaborations for India. It recommends the three innovation hubs, Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Bengaluru, coming together to maximise their respective strengths and declared national technology priorities.
In Dec 2020, U.S. private equity firm Blackstone acquired a controlling stake in Piramal Glass, in recognition of its inherent business value and accelerated digital journey. The plant in Kosamba, Gujarat, is an export powerhouse which has adopted digital technologies like IoT and cloud, and is a lodestar for brownfield facilities looking to become globally competitive, data-driven, and Industry-4.0 enabled. Early digital innovation helped restore plant-wide operations within a week of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst adhering to stringent regulatory norms and workforce restrictions.
Following the lead set by the U.S. and Israel, India is now tapping its domestic start-up ecosystem for technological innovation and self-reliance in defence. Indian entrepreneurs are developing niche technologies which will boost the Indian military’s combat capabilities. They are also enabling the much-needed commercial synergy with Silicon Valley venture firms.
In March 2021, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced the addition of 15 manufacturing facilities to the prestigious Global Lighthouse Network. Two Indian companies were on the list – the Tata Steel facility in Jamshedpur, and the ReNew Power facility in Hubli. This is twice the number of Indian companies on the list last year. Many more facilities will likely be added to the WEF list, as several prepare to graduate their manufacturing businesses to keep up with Industry 4.0.
Individuals now generate copious amounts of personal data everyday – both online and offline. Devices and infrastructure extract data, which can be shared instantly across borders with diverse entities - without consent. It is imperative that countries come together to create regulations to protect individuals who are unable to control how their data is shared and processed. A model already exists in the Paris Climate Agreement.
As the density of satellites increases in Earth's orbit, extreme space weather events like solar storms and radiation whiplashes threaten satellite constellations. A ‘whole-of-government’ approach is needed to address the challenges of space weather on India’s converging space and digital economies.