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25 March 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog

INTRODUCTION

Technology vision 2035 foresees the Indians of 2035, and technologies required for fulfilling their needs. It is not a visualization of technologies that will be available in 2035, but a vision of where our country and its citizens should be in 2035 and how technology should bring this vision to fruition. The document is dedicated to late Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam,the former President of India. The role of technology in the economic progress of a nation is well recognized and appreciated, efforts are being made globally to develop technology strengths and make the industries competitive, for well-rounded development of the society. The developing countries specially have shown a marked rise in the pace of economic growth in recent years with focus on Science, Technology & Innovations.If the trends available are to be believed, there is likely to be a shift in economic power towards the third world countries in the 21st century. Changes in the global economic scenario, growing aspirations of Indian population for better living and the fact that India would be a developed nation by 2035, have challenged TIFAC (Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council) to delineate a Vision for the country. Having commended Technology Vision 2020 in the 1990s to catapult India into the league of developed countries, TIFAC has now geared-up itself to deliver Technology Vision 2035 for India.

Aim

The Aim of this 'Technology Vision Document 2035' is to ensure theSecurity, Enhancing of Prosperity, and Enhancing Identity of every Indian,which is stated in the document as "Our Aspiration"or "Vision Statement"in all languages of the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. The Vision documents also identifies twelve (12) prerogatives- (six for meeting individual needs and six for the collective needs) that should be available to each and every Indian. These are:

Individual Prerogatives:

  • Clean air and potable water
  • Food and nutritional security
  • Universal healthcare and public hygiene
  • 24x7 energy
  • Decent habitat
  • Quality education, livelihood and creative opportunities

Collective Prerogatives

  • Safe and speedy mobility
  • Public safety and national security
  • Cultural diversity and vibrancy
  • Transparent and effective governance
  • Disaster and climate resilience
  • Eco-friendly conservation of natural resources

Areas of focus

1. Education

It is salutary to note that 2035 would mark 200 years of Macaulay's Minute on Education, a document that, for better and for worse, has had a determining impact on (a) the content and methodology of what has been and is being taught in Indian educational institutions and (b) the medium of instruction through which these have been and continue to be taught. TV 2035 exercise gives us an opportunity to assess where are and would be, in terms of both education and technology. We can capitalize on this opportunity to think afresh and aloud, to draw contours of an education system befitting India of 2035."Realizing the full potential of every Indian" is their collective goal and universal aspiration and hence our vision statement for the Education Sector under TV2035.

2. Energy

India growing population and need for economic growth is intricately linked with higher energy consumption in all sectors either for domestic, transport, industry or agriculture use. Changing lifestyle, rising people's aspiration for better quality of life and need to increase the country's human development index, India is poised to increase its energy demand & consumption. Currently India is facing acute gap between supply and demand of energy and challenges are ahead to us to maintain sustainable growth and provide electricity to unreached (especially in rural areas). We citizens are decisive factor for India future energy consumption and to ponder over what kind of energy sources/technology is required in coming next few decades. Whether, we need, all together a new/alternative source and supply of energy in the wake of present energy crisis is matter of thinking. In view of above, TIFAC has taken an enormous task to build Energy Technology Vision 2035 for the country by adopting a consultative approach.

3. Environment

There is broad consensus that tackling the increasing global environmental problems will require the support of technology. Consequently, environmental technologies are regarded as one of the fastest growing global markets. India is facing numerous environmental challenges that it will be difficult to overcome without the aid of new eco-efficient technologies. The aim is for environmental, development and economic growth to go hand in hand.

4. Food and agriculture

Agriculture helps to meet the basic needs of human and their civilization by providing food, clothing, shelters, medicine and recreation. Hence, agriculture is the most important enterprise in the world. Agriculture forms the backbone of the Indian economy and despite concerted industrialization in the last 65 years since Independence, agriculture still occupies a place of pride. It provides the food grains to feed the large population of over 1.2 billion. It is also the supplier of raw material to many industries. Thus, the very economic structure of the country rests upon agriculture.

5. Global challenge issue

Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it.

6. Habitat

Housing, as one of the three basic needs of life, always remains the top priority of any person and society at large. Access to safe and healthy shelter is essential to a person's physical, psychological, social and economic wellbeing and is a fundamental part of basic livelihood. A safe home is a starting point for a family for further socio-economic development through social organization, education and employment. It gives a feeling of security. Community relationship, which is the power and strength of any society, becomes stronger when people feel ownership in their house. However, greater number of population in India live either without or very temporary shelter.

7. Information and communication

Information and Communication Technology / Electronics Technology has emerged as a major driver over the last 25 years impacting the way we educate ourselves, the way we live, the way we work and the way we entertain. 25 years back, it would have been difficult to imagine the extent to which this sector would influence our lives. India has gained immensely from this sector, there is no sector left be it is Medical sciences, education, transportation, agriculture where the ICT intervention is not felt. We have to further substantially enhance our contributions towards driving this technology.

8. Infrastructure

Infrastructure is at the very heart of economic and social development of any Nation across the world. It provides the foundations for virtually all modern-day economic activity, constitute a major economic sector in their own right, and contribute importantly to raising living standards and the quality of life. However, infrastructure also has less desirable consequences. The next decades are likely to see an accentuation of two facets of infrastructure. On the one hand, Infrastructure will prove as a vital tool in resolving some of the major challenges faced by societies - supporting economic growth, meeting basic needs, lifting millions of people out of poverty, facilitating mobility and social interaction. On the other, environmental pressures in the form of changing climatic conditions, congestion and so on are likely to increase, turning the spotlight firmly on the inherent tensions between the imperative for further infrastructure development and the quest for sustainability.

9. Materials and manufacturing

Materials play an ubiquitous role in the products used by the common man in his day to day life, ranging from ordinary wrist watches to optic fibres. Materials also contribute a major share in the development of industry, infrastructure and a wide array of consumer goods. In the area of Materials, India enjoys a comparative advantage mainly because of the significant resource endowments, excellent R&D infrastructure, Engineering and Manufacturing capabilities, large domestic market and highly qualified scientists and technologists. Globally scientists predict that unprecedented discoveries of new materials will occur in the future which will significantly affect producers and users. In materials technology, a seemingly small improvement can open up massive market opportunities. It is rather, therefore, not surprising that TIFAC has identified Materials as one the thematic areas to be covered in its Technology Vision 2035 document, being prepared for our country.

10. Medical science and health care

Aiming for becoming a developed economy in the future, we envision a Healthy India where individuals make better decisions around their nutrition, health and wellness regardless of caste, creed, gender and socioeconomic status thereby reducing the disease-burden due to the changing life-style. A holistic approach is proposed by TIFAC under Technology Vision 2035 Exercise to bring in a new health care ecosystem which will be better-equipped to fully utilize the potential of technological innovations encompassing to each bench of population.

11. Transportation

Transportation is the foundation of our entire economy and quality of life. It links us to the global economy, allowing us to import and export both goods and materials, moving people and ideas anywhere, anytime, on time at an affordable price.

12. Water

Our dream is to provide accessibility to safe water and hygienic living conditions to all and on the types of water-using economic activities that we desire-and to organize to obtain it. It is desired to manage water use to conserve the quantity and quality of freshwater and ecosystems that provide services to the people and nation. Best water management practices is the need of time to produce more food and creating more sustainable livelihoods per unit of water applied. Existing technology/practices is either inadequate or not able to solve the present day water crisis in terms of availability, accessibility and quality. Management of water resources and ecosystem for equitable and sustainable manner is in dire need for the nation.

Committee

In order to get comprehensive insights into deep future, Advisory Committees comprising of expert groups have been formed to cover the 12 thematic areas

    • Educational Technologies
    • Energy Technologies
    • Environment
    • Food and Agriculture
    • Global challenge issues
    • Habitat
    • Information & Communication Technologies
    • Infrastructure
    • Materials & Manufacturing Technologies
    • Medical science & Health Care
    • Transportation
    • Water Technologies

These Committees are mandated to oversee generation of Scenario Reports for respective sectors. An apex body comprising of the social scientists, economists, S&T leaders and Chairpersons of Advisory Committees will guide in synthesis of Technology Vision 2035 from scenarios in the Reports from all the sectors put together. The draft document is proposed to be put in public domain for inviting suggestions before it is formally released.