Needed, a policy framework in step with technology

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- Policy framework for adaptation of technology

The changing realm of technology requires a change in the policy framework. The article discusses the issue of the impact of technology and the required changes in the policy framework.

Adoption of information-based technologies

  • The expansion of computing power has driven the pace of information gathering and analysis.
  • The new currency drives processes and decision-making across a wide array of products and services, making them more efficient and value accretive for consumers.
  • These information-based technologies have been widely adopted across a broad range of industries and products that traditionally have not been perceived as electronic or software based.
  •  A modern automobile has 40% of its component value from electronic-based products.
  • This is a paradigm shift as the amount of “value add” from intangible technology services as opposed to physical objects, even in traditional goods, is being transformed by information.
  • Information and electronics are becoming all-pervasive, ensuring that we set boundaries to control quality or the uptime of the equipment.
  • Information availability drives efficiency and creates value for customers by providing greater control over the product
  • There is increasing digitisation and electronification of industrial activities, products and services, influencing the evolving skill sets in industry.

Need for holistic views in policies

  • To address the needs of various stakeholders, governments have tended to build specialised departments and designed policies that govern those areas.
  • Over time, as each of these departments grew, they have tended to operate in silos.
  • The recent developments in technology have, however, blurred standard boundaries that dictate policy framework in most governments.
  • As technology is driving an increasing share of the value add coming from digitisation and data analytics, there needs to be a way of encouraging capital formation by way of intangibles in traditionally tangible industries.
  • There is a need to have a holistic view of policies for economic development as technology is becoming a significant enabler in most industries.
  • A change in policy framework regarding economic development that enables various ministries to work together is essential.

Way forward

  • A nourishing ecosystem for industry, including the hard infrastructure and softer areas such as education, skilling, technical institutions, laboratories, testing centres, etc., has to be cultivated.
  • The creation of clusters of companies in adjacent but complementary areas could constitute such an ecosystem that encourages multi and cross-disciplinary learning and spur innovation and economic development.
  • Moreover, this type of ecosphere could also attract investment and capital formation.
  • There is also the larger issue of a shift of value between manufacturing and services as technology changes.
  • The policy, by and large, promotes and gives incentives for manufacturing, whereas the share of intangibles are not adequately covered in industrial policies.
  • It is important to include these to encourage innovation and technological development.
  • It is important that there is close cooperation and alignment between the Centre and State to ensure effective implementation on the ground.

Conclusion

Some of these thoughts could help us navigate through an ecosystem that is changing with technology.

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