The Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on India

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on India

What is Important?

UPSC perspective:

Prelims: About 4IR

Mains paper 3: Background & Impact

Non-UPSC perspective:Not Much

Why in News?

A recent study published by the World Economic Forum states that the world is on the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution “that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.
Fourth Industrial Revolution

What is Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres, collectively referred to as cyber-physical systems


1st industrial revolution: The first Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the last quarter of the 18th century and from there spread to other parts of the world with the mechanisation of the textile industry, harnessing of steam power, and birth of the modern factory.

2nd industrial revolution:The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of rapid industrialization in the final third of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th to the outbreak of World War I, was powered by developments in electricity, transportation, chemicals, steel, and mass production and consumption.

3rd Industrial Revolution; How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World is a book by Jeremy Rifkin published in 2011.Mass customisation and additive manufacturing — the so-called ‘3D printing’ — are its key concepts, and its applications, yet to be imagined fully, are quite mind-boggling.


*The World Economic Forum report on FIR concludes that it will have an undeniable impact on job scenarios across the world – disrupting erstwhile, well-established businesses, bringing sweeping changes to labor markets, and changing business models on the foundation of emerging economic theories. It states that casualties in administration, office, manufacturing, production and construction activities will be of significance.

*The Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect most industries. Some will cease to exist; many will transform, riding the wave and reinventing suit market dynamics. And that’s the only way for companies to stay relevant.

*However, for companies to stay ahead of the curve, they have to do a few things right – as rightly pointed out by a leading consultant of Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

* A company has to be nimble footed and not become a victim of its own success; it cannot continue exploiting existing businesses, but has to explore opportunities that keep it relevant in the future. Companies also need to drive business with confidence.

*Due to the large-scale churn and change in well-established models, many companies may choose not to make long-term exploratory decisions, and that will not bode well.

*Finally, as the BCG consultant highlights, companies have to focus on diversity – as, dipping into vast, untapped potential will keep companies relevant.


*India is a population of 1.2 billion people and its resources are stretched to say the least. It is still left wanting for basic amenities like clean drinking water, 24-hour electricity, means of livelihood, education and food for all, and quality primary and secondary healthcare.

*In such a challenging atmosphere, driving growth and managing expectations of the populace mean central and state government certainly has their work cut out for them.

*Parity between rich and poor with considerable focus on income creation will be the order of the day.

*However, India has to rework the way it has historically dealt with issues.

* The world around it is changing; businesses are undergoing transformations, the fundamentals of most industries are changing, consumption patterns are being reinvented… Amid this, what Indians must change immediately is their mindset and be open new ideas. What worked may not work anymore, so there is prudence in reinventing – and those who govern and those who are governed have to, together, be the change while driving that transformation.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on India The Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on India Reviewed by The Hindu Current Affairs on October 13, 2018 Rating: 5

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