Third industrial Revolution: What are drivers?- Palak Chandra
In simple terms, a definite and complete change in the livelihood and the organization of an area in a short period of time which brings about the betterment of the social, political, economic, and cultural lives of people is said to be a revolution.
It was the revolutionary period from 1775 – 1850 when the first industrial revolution began in Britain with the mechanization of textile industries and gave birth to factory productions and setting up of textile mills. It was the period of initiation of modern industry system of production based on machines and factories. During this period many changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a great effect on social, economic and cultural conditions at that time. It was a major turning point in the history affecting the daily life of people.
It was the first industrial revolution period when the steam powered technology was introduced into the printing industry and thus greatly increased the speed of printing and a great reduction in cost was seen. Use of coal in steam powered engines enhanced and trade expansion was enabled by introduction of canals, roads and railways.
Second industrial revolution began in early 20th century giving rise to the oil powered internal combustion engines and communication system is also refined. Communication channels like telephone lines, radio and television were introduced and helped people to make their social lives more easy and comfortable and giving them the opportunity to think for their better future. The period of second industrial revolution ushered into an era of mass production.
In present century, science and technology, information technology, changes in the energy production and the use of available resources for the betterment of lives brings about the third revolutionary period termed as “Third Industrial Revolution” as these changes brings about the changes in the working of industries and changed the social and economic lives.
The third industrial revolution, began in mid 1980’s, brings about a transition and changed basic technology into a high-tech age characterized by the computer controlled production facilities in the industries. This helps in improving the business, market oriented strategies to respond to customers and to expand the regional powers socially as well as politically.
A revolution always takes place against a backdrop of the happening circumstances. This way the third industrial revolution is against some socio-political aspects including demographic explosion, ethical value changes, financial and economic output, climate change, food and water scarcity, and etc. each of these factors are involved in the transformation of business patterns.
With the demographic expansion reaching to millions and billions of numbers, new and quicker approach is required to have the satisfied customers. This can be achieved by introducing the computer applicable approach in the industries. This way companies will be benefited and thus affecting the growth of the area also helping in the economic growth of the country completely.
Increasing population leads to the scarcity of food and water and thus increased demand especially for the grains and other food crops. The use of computer technology and the use of renewable resources for agricultural purposes made an easy way for completing the demands of the consumers. The per capita production of the food grains has also increased increasing the per capita yield of the region.
Science has also advanced in the technologies which identify the climate change at the earliest possible time so that the farmers and other workers should get an alert for securing their production either in the field or in the industries. To keep a track on the effects of climate change, industries need to develop more sophisticated machines and computer generated programs to fight with the consequences of the change in climate.
Mainly, there are some prime factors on which the third industrial revolution depends and are working as the driving force. These are the use of renewable sources for energy production, building up of power plants for energy consumption, energy storage technology including hydrogen as one of them, grid technology, transportation based on fuel cell, or electricity etc.
Use of renewable resources will affect on the economic development of the country. Use of solar panels instead of more of electric instruments, hydro generated power supply, use of wind mills etc. made the social life easy and lowering the cost of living. Power plants’ building is enhanced in all regions to have more and more power supply. These plants are based on the renewable energy resources creating commercial and economic benefits to bigger industries and real estates. Millions of technology parks, shopping malls, offices are benefited by this technology.
Use of internet technology in power grids will be beneficial in future. This will allow the business and home owners to produce their own power supply and share that in small regions along the internet lines. It was tested in Europe and will bring revolution in the power industry by providing the new way of generating and sharing of the electricity.
Revolution in the transport and communication industry is also benefited by the use of the information technology. Vehicles based on electricity and fuel cell are increasingly being utilized by many people. These plug in vehicles will also serve as the portable power plants that can deliver small amounts of energy from one point to other in less time and also can generate hydrogen as fuel to be utilized in many power grid systems.
Simply it can be said that the new techniques, new materials, are lighter, stronger and more efficient as per the present day situation. Science and technology has made its way deeper and deeper in the developmental strategies and proving the revolutions the best of the modifying devices.
Carbon fiber had replaced steel and aluminum and is being used in airplanes and bikes. Engineers using the new techniques able to shape objects at a tiny scale. Present day technology, that is, nanotechnology is giving products enhanced features, such as bandages that help heal cuts, engines that run more efficiently and crockery that cleans more easily. Genetically engineered products are being developed to make items such as batteries and also improving the agricultural techniques. With the use of internet, more and more designers are able to collaborate on new products, and thus, giving new strength to the information technology systems.
Robotics is another area which is also a part of this high-tech revolution using the phenomenon of artificial intelligence. This will bring the revolution at the highest peak in the history of revolutions as it will promote the working of the industries based on micro electronics technology at a faster rate and will be beneficial in rapid working of the machines.
This high-tech revolution will surely help in improving the lives of people and provides advancement in the industrial generation. It gave rise to new and more powerful computer generations, including the production of super-computer with a performance capacity of one billion computer operations per second. The developments in micro-electronics will surely help in the rocket science to be more powerful.
Use of micro-electronics and the renewable energy resources also help in the traffic jam controls by controlling the traffic lights and small devices introduced in the vehicle facilitate speed guidelines and the distance warnings proving to be intelligent traffic management with individual traffic control systems.
Third industrial revolution brings about many changes in the livelihood and especially in the economic aspects of the country. The economy of a country has greatly been influenced by this ongoing industrial revolution. The per capita production and consumption has increased with an increase in the growth pattern of the country. Economic output of the country has shown a steady increase in the growth rate. This will greatly influence the economic position of a country at international level to get at the highest position and becoming the major economic power internationally.
Though this industrial revolution has very profound effects on the day to day needs, but it also has some dangerous effects on our lives. Computer based techniques and the use of many micro arrayed techniques affects the health of people either making them lazy and totally dependable on the computer technology or by showing hazardous effects on their biological mechanisms. Everyone at home or in industries are relied upon the so called new computer techniques for their work to finish but in case of any discrepancy or due to any wrong programming and false coding, the ongoing work will come to an halt at its mid way and thus hampering the final progress of the industry by delay in the production process.
New and innovative production methods and technologies will surely affect the living conditions of the generation that was slowly changing from the history and now taking rapid actions. Due to these revolutionary changes in the industries, they are making national as well as international alliances in order to secure a top most position in the race of science and technological aspects for the future.
As we are living in a computer-controlled age, it is changing the face of our livelihood radically within a few decades, producing new political, economic and social structures and thus requires new security changes throughout the country.
Virtually everything we are using at home or inside industries or offices are made up of technologically advanced materials and all introduced with computer automated technology. Communication, travel, production, energy consumption etc. every field is equipped with the new era techniques and thus providing the best solutions for day to day working needs. This third industrial revolution has made lives easy and helps in improving the quality of lives socially, politically, culturally and economically the best using the new scientific and technological advancements. (Essay Contributed by Target 2012 Member – Palak Chandra)
Month: Current Affairs - June, 2012
Topics: Economic growth • Energy development • Energy economics • Energy industry • Energy policy • Industrial Revolution • Industries • Renewable energy • Renewable energy commercialization • Technological change • World energy consumption