Every major advancement in technology has its own set of opportunities and challenges, same is true with robotics. Discuss this in context of India.

Robotics has ushered in umpteen possibilities using which the world is embarking on industrial revolution 4.0.

Opportunities for India:

  • Agriculture – Precision agriculture, irrigation and water use efficiency.
  • Mineral prospecting (oil) and exploitation to avoid rat hole mining.
  • Cleaning oil spills through nano-bots.
  • Advancing healthcare services, especially during time of pandemics like Covid.
  • Industry 4.0 – new age supply chains automated through robots especially in semiconductor.
  • Disaster management – Cleaning nuclear waste and handling leakage.
  • Automation of border security to check terrorism and infiltration.

Challenges:

  • Lack of R&D compared to west – low government spending and low private sector participation.
  • Risk to job security and job loss – demographic dividend can become demographic disaster.
  • Lack of infrastructure in terms of forward and backward linkages for industry.
  • Lack of ancillary ecosystem & demand.

Way forward:

  • Create incentives for private participation – PLI scheme.
  • Supportive government policy for growth – Atmanirbhar.
  • Need to average current lacuna in law to address potential future roadblocks.

Thus, while robotics presents tremendous opportunities, they need to be harmonized in the light of challenges to be an agent of good.

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