India's Digitalisation: Development for All?

With a series of analysis, FES in India has been addressing the effects of digitalisation on the Indian economy and society since 2018. With our overview "AI for All - 10 Social Conundrum for India" we are now opening a new series of publications that takes up this.

Image: Cover Design by Rabiul Islam / FES India

As an emerging nation, India faces the twin challenges of keeping pace with global technology developments while creating sustainable employment and development opportunities for millions of people. The Future of Work is discussed in India above all as a question of the "Future of Jobs", because every month millions of new Indians flock to the labor market. The right to "skills for the future" will be crucial in deciding whether India can maintain an internationally competitive position in the world market.

With Bangalore, India has risen to become the world's call center, and remains a leader in the country's most ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) exports. But the leaps in development in automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence are putting massive pressure on Indian innovation and competitiveness. At the same time, the critical voices for dealing with data protection and online platforms in India are becoming louder and louder.

India, with its nearly 1.4 billion inhabitants, has a labor market that is heavily influenced by micro and small enterprises and is organised almost exclusively informally, i.e. without any social security. The new digital-based forms of work create many new job opportunities, some are eliminated by automation and in other fields of work but the digital surveillance is already a reality. Can there really be an "artificial intelligence for the good of all"?

Since 2018, FES has been researching digital developments and scenarios in selected areas together with various experts. Even if in many cases of Indian working life, the technological application is still in its infancy, regarding developments in other countries and its own development model, people in India are also asking themselves fundamental questions about the future scenarios. There are increasing critical voices warning against data misuse, dependencies on technology companies or unfair trade agreements.

With our overview "AI for All - 10 Social Conundrums for India" we open a new publication series. Further analysis for the automotive, IT, logistics, healthcare, education, governance, digital human rights and other areas will be published in coming months.

 

Publication: 10 social conundrums for India

Author:  Aneja, Urvashi; Mathur, Vikrom; Reddy K., Abishek

 

Publication: Feminist perspectives on the future of work in India

Author:  Mawii, Zothan

 

Publication: The wicked problem of AI governance

Author:  Gurumurthy, Anita; Chami, Nandini

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