The depth and complexity of India’s digital citizenry and ecosystem puts it in a unique position to impact global rules on digital governance. An opportunity to assert its influence is coming up with India’s presidency of the G20 in 2022. Work on this agenda must begin now.
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As the world enters the Second Space Age, an Indo-Emirati space partnership can be a lodestar for others. However, it is only the people-to-people connect and the diversity of the innovation linkages between the Emirati and Indian diaspora, that can truly make it a success for science and citizens, and help achieve their aspirations for the 21st century.
COVID-19 has accelerated internet usage and is making digital infrastructure even more indispensable globally. India is actively laying this critical infrastructure on the ground, but is yet to work on the strategic ‘last-mile’ connectivity space-based ICT and 5G plus services. U.S. and China have fast-tracked this, and India should immediately implement the recent space reforms to be regarded as a significant player.
Facial recognition technology has emerged as an important identification tool. Big tech, social media companies and governments around the world use it and hold an unprecedented power over individuals and communities. Its use for surveillance purposes has brought it under public scrutiny. The technology has still not been perfected. Is it really ready for adoption?
The delivery of five Rafale fighter jets last month is a big boost for Indian military capacity. The government's recent ban on the import of 101 defence items is a major step forward in building domestic defence-industrial capabilities. Partnering with like-minded diplomatic partners and adopting emerging technologies will help India in this endeavour.
The delivery of five Rafale fighter jets this week demonstrates the continued upgrading of India’s military capabilities. A key part of this process has been the building of a domestic defence-industrial base by promoting participation of the private sector. Bringing certainty to defence procurement, monitoring emerging technologies and joining hands with like-minded countries, will play a critical role in taking this forward.
The world is experiencing two simultaneous transformations: a decoupling from China and the building of an alternate supply chain, and the creation of new, cutting-edge industrial process called digital manufacturing. It is part of the larger wave of Industry 4.0, an integration of industrial processes with the Internet of Things. India already has some of the key elements in place, and some successes to build on.
After the strategic digital pushback against Chinese investments and apps, India should turn its attention to the biggest Chinese domination tool – 5G. This is the mother lode that enables the efficient gathering of data, which when mined, results in product enhancement and pricing benefits to products listed in China 2025 and helps China set global standards. There is an urgency for alternate suppliers of 5G equipment and other technologies to avoid relying on China.
The government’s recent reforms in the space sector have unleashed the imagination, innovation and potential of Indian space start-ups. Strong support from the private sector and inherent Indian technological aptitude will help them fuel India’s space ambitions and economic growth in the 21st Century.
The shifting trends in trade, especially given the growth in communications capacity and reduced cost of computing have altered traditional economic development. India and Canada have a shared commercial interest in E-trade. Both countries need to align their resources to frame trade rules of the new digital economy, to mutual benefit.