10*12 feet wall
‘‘Data! Data! Data!’ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.”
-Arthur Conan Doyle
His point? You can’t draw solid conclusions without data the same way you can’t build solid bricks without clay.
Needless to say, each one of us is directly related to the world above, “DATA”. In clearer terms data is any fact or figure in audio, visual or textual form conveying information about a thing, a place, a person!
So, from starting your day and reading the newspaper, to checking the weather report, to booking a cab or following the directions for your drive, to looking for articles to read, food to eat, places to go and then finally returning back to some laziness and sleeping over news feed from your social media accounts , all you are surrounded with is “Data”. Oh yes ! how can I forget, the smart devices nowadays , like fit-bit etc, even won’t leave you aloof from data while sleeping, collecting your pulse rate etc. So, practically 24X7 round the day, you are one nano-being in this mammoth amount of data, ingesting it, processing it or collecting it.
Moving on from this importance of data to figuring out why actually did it get such hype.
Do we really need miners ? excavators? archaeologists? Yes, we do! Out of the whole useless looking environment, these masterminds bring us something that might just impact our survival, or prosperity or anything for that matter.
Same is the story with data. Data scientists, analysts, engineers are nowadays mastermind miners of the tech-world. They deep dive into this herculean useless looking information and convert it to profit streaks in the business world, or steep drops for the risk-mitigation sectors.
Data sources may include: social media, smart devices, data in physical or digital form as audio, video, visual or textual format. That goes through analytically and creatively driven routes to create Value.
Globalization refers to the flow of ideas, economy and cultures across borders. It is a complex economic process of interpolation and integration having social and political consequences. It includes goods and services, technology, capital and data. With the advent of transport, telecommunications and technology, accessibility and approach-ability to resources is like never before.
Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization came into form during the 1990s. It encouraged investments from different economies if the world. It also raised the barrier over the private sectors from entering businesses and services or transfer of ownership from the public sectors. All this lead to and still paves the way to advancement in information and communication technology, transport, goods and services.
We can now be swiftly connected offshore. Sitting in Mumbai, one knows about everything and can reach to everyone in Madrid. This led to the influx of offshore projects, accessibility to good education from anywhere to anywhere in the world and as mentioned before integration of new ideas. Most of us have at least one relative/friend working or living abroad. This is the social impact of Globalization.
A student, belonging to any strata of the society in his/her nation can avail education abroad via distance learning through edX, Udemy of going for offshore for studies. Thereby moving from one strata of society to another. But, on the other hand, as we can quote the example of Donald Trump getting to Presidential Power and cancelling educational or working visas for certain nationalities, can speak of political consequences of globalization.
As remarked by the Infosys CEO, data today is our biggest asset and liability. It not just makes information available but makes it vulnerable to piracy, tempering and formulation too. Each country is well aware of the conditions and statistics of other countries both officially and unofficially through data shared by commoners. On a positive note, this wedged relief plans for conditions during the Syrian Crisis, Peurto Rico or Mexico, to quote a few. But, the grey side, is that this data can be used for criminal and unethical means too for malicious activities. Strengths and weaknesses are exposed like never before.
Globalization has led to a number of deals between nations. Talking about India, the recent Bullet Train Deal with Japan has bridged gaps between different technologies. We can now learn from different nations. It is much of a controversial topic; as on one side India is falling prey to derailments, heavy rains disrupting transport in Mumbai, stampede at stations to investing funds on establishment of Bullet train from Mumbai to Ahemdabad, on the other side.
The make in India began with mission of bringing foreign investments to India and empowering its manufacturing sectors, but India till now lays as a major service sector provider for the world. Globalization has helped in enhancing knowledge but on the same pace has led to knowledge being used in the benefit of other countries. Need of the hour is to learn from different economies but ultimately use the know-how to build our own economy. It is for the same reason that big shots like Satya Nadela, Sundar Pichai serve on key positions for major tech-giants of the world. It has helped talent meet the right opportunity.
In the health care sector of society Globalization used IT to prevent and combat fatal infectious diseases, share major path-breathing researches and discoveries across the globe and improved responses to outbreak situations. For eg, during the outbreak of Ebola Virus, doctors working in northern regions of Uganda rapidly transmitted their findings to WHO in Geneva and US Centres for Disease control in Atlanta.
Globalization helped to observe and implement and discuss problems with different forms of government, bringing socialist, capitalists, democratic, autocratic, communalist, republic to discuss issues on one forum through UN, BRICS etc. Learning from digitalization of different countries, India implemented m-governance or mobile governance. Thereby making the government penetrable.
Above discussed are some of the many aspects of Globalization. To maximize profit from globalization, India still needs to make majority of its population technically up-to-date with the world else globalization can breed increased inequality. Only then can we expect GDP growth going hand in hand with globalization.
India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, despite all its development is still clocked at the growth rate of 7.6% in terms of poverty. Poverty being a relative term, not just decreases our competencies with other nations, but also impedes our progress by averting us to take new steps in the direction of scientific, cultural or social advancement. More than 22% of our population still lies below poverty line and in no time we might just cross the line and be marked as one of the poorest nations of the world. Technology, as we see it today is a major weapon that could be harnessed to eradicate poverty.
Imagine a tailor sewing a dress by hand for three hours and getting 150 rupees for it. What is the output and value of money here? 50 rupees an hour! Including the amount of effort involved, compromising on the accuracy and the tiredness that comes complementary with it, thereby decreasing efficiency for work that lies ahead. Now, I purchase a sewing machine for this tailor with the training to use it. The output for the same input of material goes to three dresses in three hours getting the tailor paid 450 rupees for it. Not just this, the accuracy of the product increases and so does the efficiency of the tailor for future works. Also, now the tailor can train new people in the same skill and get the sewing machine used in rounds, thereby increasing productivity and finance. And this is what the Skills India Mission talks about. Endeavours like MGREGA, NREGA, NITI AAYOG, Skills India Mission, e-commerce as platform to production by poor, are designed to provide below poverty line population with the employment and skill-set for self-sustainability.
The above is just one illustration of how technology could be beneficially used to combat poverty. The introduction of AADHAR cards, PAN cards to crystallize the economic status and digital identity of a citizen has helped us withhold realistic facts and data over the archaic fabricated data that happened by manual collection. It has eased the monitoring of distribution of benefits from pre-existing schemes to the target population and paved the way for framing new policies as well. All the benefits can now reach the rightful owner of it, instead of passing through the bureaucratic system of organizations or officials.
Moving from efficient implementation of pre-existing schemes we move to embracing new technological solutions. The root causes for poverty are inter-linked, be it illiteracy, unemployment, overpopulation or disasters. These could be eliminated in the following manner.
India has majority of its poverty-stricken population involved in the agriculture. A sector deeply affected by climatic changes, overpopulation and inflation. Indian agriculture has been in struggle since the 1990s. Where stagnant or no productivity has culminated to famines, poverty and loss of life. Genetically improvised crops, use of machinery instead of manual labour, artificial rains, monitoring of weather conditions over apps and preparing accordingly can boost production. The key challenge of technology diffusion can be solved with adequate agricultural extension services through mobile phones. Farmers can be made aware of the market rates and relevant information through schemes like Kisan Call Centers and also help their supplies reach areas of high demands.
There are two more areas where efforts can swiftly deliver long-term reforms in ending poverty: financial inclusion and education. As, previously discussed Prime Minister’s efforts to push bank accounts through Jan Dhan Yogna are a good start but to make it effective the gap for mobile banking yet needs to be bridged. To quote an example, Bangladesh’s bKash is one of the fastest growing financial services company in a span of four years, processing roughly 2 million transactions per day with a total value of nearly $1 billion each month. The lesson can be derived from this is that yes, mobile banking can profitably serve the poor even in the rural areas just like brick-and-mortar banks do for the wealthy.
Lastly, the education sector could bolster all other sectors. With the knowledge to understand and implement reforms, not just apt profitability can be achieved but it will also kindle ideas and innovations. With the introduction of electricity, good transport facilities and internet anyone can take advantage of e-learning portals like SWAYAM. The disadvantage of non-reach ability at places can be curbed by e-learning. We all have seen this ad from SAMSUNG where a girl is trained in their institute and goes on to develop her own village. This isn’t fictitious. This is how proper education and training can help destroy the root causes of poverty like illiteracy and unemployment.
Definitely, government is taking measures in combating poverty but more stress needs to be laid on proper implementation of these schemes. These development interventions need to be accompanied by behavioral changes in society, which at present is reluctant to adapt. The question is who will take these technologies to the poor. Demonetization could be a success if this was kept in mind. Young Entrepreneurs need to be promoted by the government to take up this task of introduction and implementations of innovations. MyGov portal to boost smart city concepts, campaigning, hearing to innovative minds and providing them opportunity is on its way to give shape to an improved statistics of poverty.
“Great advantage for India is that there is no country in the world that has a billion mobiles, a billion bio-metrics, which is spearheading a big change through bank accounts which will actually reduce the cost of transaction so radically that will enable us to uplift about 100 million people above the poverty line” – Words of Amitabh Kant ( IAS Officer nad CEO of NITI AAYOG,2015)