Fourth Industrial Revolution


    In News,

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) has chosen Hyderabad for establishing its Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution focused on healthcare and life sciences.

    • C4IR Telangana will be the 18th center to join WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) network that spans four continents.

    Do you Know?

    • The first industrial revolution used water and steam power to mechanise production (the 1800s). 
    • The second used electric power to create mass production (the early 1900s).
    • The third used electronics and information technology to automate production (the late 1900s). 

    About the Fourth industrial revolution

    • The  Fourth is building on the third revolution and has data at its core.
    • The term 4IR was coined by Klaus Schwab, executive chairperson of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in 2016 
    • The term “fourth industrial revolution” refers to technical advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G technology, the internet of things, robotics, biotechnology, quantum computing, and so on. 
      • these technologies have opened up new possibilities for organisations, allowing them to dream large and expand into previously unthinkable regions.


    • It has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world. 
    • It will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. 
    • Transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective, and the cost of trade will diminish, all of which will open new markets and drive economic growth.
    • Governments will gain new technological powers to increase their control over populations, based on pervasive surveillance systems and the ability to control digital infrastructure. .
    •  Advances in technology will create the potential to reduce the scale or impact of violence, through the development of new modes of protection, for example, or greater precision in targeting.


    • The immediate fear is that of job loss, particularly in the informal sector. 
    • It could yield greater inequality, particularly in its potential to disrupt labor markets. 
    • Besides joblessness, there are several other critical concerns surrounding safety, ethics, and the short- and long-term socio-economic impact that remain unanswered. 
    • The adoption of 4IR technologies is also going to be skewed as developing and least developed countries lack the data framework and infrastructure. 
    • There is a growing concern that the existing fallacies in humans might only get more accentuated after 4IR. 
      • There are several studies that show how facial recognition technologies have a higher chance of misidentifying African and Asian people compared to their Western counterparts. 
    • It will also profoundly impact the nature of national and international security, affecting both the probability and the nature of the conflict. 
      • This will lead to new fears.
    • One of the greatest individual challenges posed by new information technologies is privacy. 

    Global Progress

    • In 2022, US researchers unveiled a pacemaker that dissolves in the human body after completing its job.
      • The pacemaker is a near-perfect example of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution (4IR), which, simply put, is the use of different technologies to blur the boundaries between the digital, physical and biological worlds.
    • Germany is giving incentives to companies that are embracing 4IR technologies in production.
    • Kenya is using blockchain to verify property records and transactions.
    •  the UN has adopted the same policy under its Industrial Development Organization.
    • There is great evidence from Australian studies recently that automation normally takes away the work you do not want to do and Australian workers in the last 15 years have gained more than two hours a week, a substantial amount of time in interpersonal work, in creative work, in information synthesis work, which is all highly correlated with increased job satisfaction.

    Status in India 

    • India and most countries are investing in 4IR technologies
    • India is moving towards becoming a hub of global manufacturing… 3D printing, machine learning, data analytics, and IoT are key to promoting industrial growth,
      • In November 2020, the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) at Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, rolled out smart railway coaches that are fitted with a battery of sensors to provide a comfortable experience to passengers.
      • In May 2020, the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries launched the Smart Advanced Manufacturing and Rapid Transformation Hub (SAMARTH) scheme, which brings together manufacturers, vendors, and customers to make them aware of 4IR technologies.
      • In 2022’s budget speech, the Union finance minister announced a slew of new 4IR-driven projects, including Drone Shakti, to encourage start-ups that will facilitate the use of drone services.
      • India even has a 4IR centre in Mumbai run by WEF, which is closely working with several state governments. 
      • The Centre has recently come up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Cancer Care model in which 4IR technologies would be used to provide better healthcare for cancer patients
      • In February 2022, Government launched the pan-India 3D maps programme by Genesys International for the 100 smart cities.
        • The company plans to map an entire city in intricate detail so that many 4IR revolution technology-based projects, such as driverless cars, will become easier to implement. 

    Conclusion and Way Forward 

    • The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about more than just technology-driven change, it is an opportunity to help everyone, including leaders, policy-makers, and people from all income groups and nations, to harness converging technologies in order to create an inclusive, human-centered future. 
    • The real opportunity is to look beyond technology and find ways to give the greatest number of people the ability to positively impact their families, organisations, and communities.
    • We should grasp the opportunity and power we have to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution and direct it toward a future that reflects our common objectives and values.
      • To do this, we must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural, and human environments.
    •  the Fourth Industrial Revolution can also lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. 
      • Technologies need to be more inclusive and acceptable to all and They also need to make political, social and not just economic sense.
    • The rapidly changing technology landscape offers India a good opportunity to industrialise. 
      • To secure India’s active involvement in the fourth industrial revolution, it will be necessary to restructure some vital domestic industries and strengthen institutional capability.