Information Technology express

Information Technology express
Padmabhushan award winner Dr. P.A Paulraj and one of the key drivers of the WiFi and 4G technology in the digital economy, was one of the keynote speakers at the..

Padmabhushan award winner Dr. P.A Paulraj and one of the key drivers of the WiFi and 4G technology in the digital economy, was one of the keynote speakers at the Synergia Conclave – Security 360.

The conference, organized by the Synergia Foundation, was conducted from 17th to 19th November, 2017.

Background

Information technology (IT) is the application of computers to store, study, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data, or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. IT is considered a subset of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Technological progress is a driving force behind economic growth, citizen engagement, and job creation. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), in particular, are responsible for reshaping many aspects of the world’s economies, governments, and societies. Thus, access to the Internet has become a vital development tool. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution is a digital revolution that requires universal and reliable Internet access. Developing nations now have the ability to overcome challenges and post growth through investments in ICTs.

Padmabhushan Dr. P.A Paulraj is the primary reason the world today has Wifi and 4G technology. It would be quite apt to say that he has singlehandedly revolutionized the evolution of human communications. The Indian born scientist is known as the Father of MIMO and WIMAX, the 4G Cellular Technologies.  Dr. Paulraj has been successful on repeated occasions in bringing Academic Innovations to the center-stage of the Industry.

Dr. Paulraj has won the highest accolade awarded to technology pioneers – the Marconi Prize - in 2014. This is awarded to breakthrough in communication and technology that are used for the benefit of mankind – and is the Nobel prize equivalent in the world of technology. He has previously been awarded another of the most esteemed global technology award – The IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 2011.

 

Analysis

The Synergia Conclave – Security 360 was conducted from November 17th to November 19th, 2017 in Bangalore, Karnataka. It was based on the theme ‘Reimagining Security – 360’, where experts from security, intelligence, army, academia, media and other domains from across the world shared their views.

Dr. Paulraj was one of the esteemed speakers who attended the event. He remarked that it was important for India to begin concentrating and investing on ICT. He noted that after China invested in this industry and that’s the reason the nation has been able to pull ahead economically in front of nations like India. He said that India already has two key advantages when it comes to the ICT industry. He noted, “We too can do it. We have two leverages – one of course is market power. We are a huge market for ICTs and we are capable of innovation.”  He however warned that any investment in the field will not be cheap and the nation will face huge obstacles but can be done.

He spoke in detail about the 5 key areas that are impacting the future. Bio, Robotics, Information technology, Nano and Energy. Robotics was getting big in the field of Defense, but would throw up the challenge of jobs being lost – but since the advent of robotics cannot be prevented, this will have profound implications that needs to be given much attention. He noted that robotics is a big part of manufacturing, agriculture, in drones and other sectors. He said, “It’s going to go everywhere.” He predicted that it has the ability to “kill jobs”, it will do considerable damage to the US economy.

Answering a question from the audience, Dr. Paulraj siad that advancing cellular technology is quite a possibility, but practically it would boil down to the question of ‘how much are we willing to invest.’ The discussion also touched upon how the marketing engine, which takes all technological advancements forward to public spaces, is completely misinformed and disengaged with the question of ethics – and is looking at this topic of ethics in tech development only in ‘hindsight rather than with foresight’.

Assessment

Our assessment is that as Dr Paulraj has opined, the Indian government should begin seriously investing in ICT industry. The industry has the power to transform the economy and boost the nation’s growth. Governments across the world should also prepare for the inevitable job loss that will be triggered by robotics and automation.

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