Technology and jobs security

 

It is true that technology has acted as curse for traditional workers but it has opened new gates too. Rise of startups in India is one good examples. A whole new generation of techies is coming up with innovative solutions to local problem and not shying to work directly on field.

At the dawn of 21st century , humanity faced a crucial moment. Although it was a chess match, yet not an ordinary one. Gary kasprov , world champion was locked against super computer DEEP BLUE. This was literally Man Vs Machine. After putting his best effort Gary kasprov lost and said “ Deep blue is so deep that it plays like God” and thus Arficial intelligence entered the world stage.

The debate of technology replacing human jobs is not a new one. Gandhiji and Nehruji differed on notion of modernity and the role of technology. Former was against any kind of innovaon that reduces human dignity and creates livelihood challenge.

Today, innovation and technological changes are increasing by leaps and bounds .By the time we understand a particular system its already outdated. Samsung’s tag line “ rethink what your phone can do” captures this essence. we are now on verge of entering Industrial revolution 4.0. Its the age of 3-D printing and cloud computing. These are going to fundamentally change how we interact with our surroundings.

Globally concerns are raised about possibility of reduction in jobs as big companies like Microsoft has started investing in cloud computing, Google already developing driver-less cars. This is just the beginning , with artificial intelligence ,robots working in sectors like entertainment , health, transportation ,education etc will soon be reality.

In India, technology has ushered IT revolution, thus increasing the size of cake (GDP) but this drastic shift from agriculture to service sector has also caused inequitable division of the cake. Our education system are not in line with technological changes, every year out of fresh graduates only 15% are reported to have employable skills.

It is no surprise that youth of the nation is under distress and recent agitation by Jats (Haryana) , Patidars (Gujrat) are mere symptoms of deeper crisis in agriculture sector . In spite of bumper crop production , farmer suicide continue to increase.

Working in Agriculture sector is no more economical viable for many, unfortunately alternative sectors like construction, textile, automobile , manufacturing are not able to absorb excess workforce. These are the sectors , which in order to remain competitive are cutting cost and adopting automation at faster rate.

To accuse only technological changes for all the problems is also over simplification. It is this technology only that has democratized information through social media. It has allowed to increase transparency and accountability through e-governance. A smart phone today is symbol of empowerment for millions.

Although its true that technology has acted as curse for traditional workers but it has opened new gates too. Rise of startups in India is one good examples. A whole new generation of techies is coming up with innovative solutions to local problem and not shying to work directly on field. Rise of NGO sector if not directly then is tangential result of technological changes. So, honestly there is nothing like job security in today’s world.

Ironically, Gandhiji becomes all the more relevant today in addressing technological challenges to job market. His idea of “Thinking hand” that enables development of not just life skills but also activity based learning ensures cognitive and generic skill development. The crux is instead of sailing against the tides of changes the wisdom lies in building own skill set and continuously upgrading it so that one can swim along with the flow.

Writer

Rajkumar Goutham

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