Day to day, there is a growing tilt towards technology by every nation in the world to solve problems and find solutions relating to various aspects of public life. This is all the more true for India, which under the BJP-led central government has shown a greater recourse to technology as a medium, both, for promoting its agendas and presenting itself as the modernizing face to the world. Its variegated initiatives such as digital India, Make in India, etc. are a testimony to such assertions.
However, there is a flip-side to the story as well and if reports of the World bank are to be believed, then the move towards automation is not going to augur too well for the job prospects in India. According to a report released by the World Bank, automation is bound to swallow 69 percent jobs in India.
According to World Bank President Jim Kim, “As we continue to encourage more investment in infrastructure to promote growth, we also have to think about the kinds of infrastructure that countries will need in the economy of the future. We all know that technology has and will continue to fundamentally reshape the world.”
This statement was delivered as a part of response to a question at the Brookings Institute during a discussion on extreme poverty on Tuesday in which he had further added, “But the traditional economic path from increasing productivity of agriculture to light manufacturing and then to full-scale industrialization may not be possible for all developing countries,”
“In large parts of Africa, it is likely that technology could fundamentally disrupt this pattern. Research based on World Bank data has predicted that the proportion of jobs threatened in India by automation is 69 per cent, in China it is 77 per cent and in Ethiopia, the percentage of jobs threatened by automation is 85 per cent,” he further said.
“Now, if this is true, and if these countries are going to lose these many jobs, we then have to understand what paths to economic growth will be available for these countries and then adapt our approach to infrastructure accordingly,” Mr. Kim said.
This is not the first time that a report has indicated the threat to jobs automation and robotics have. Earlier this year, United States based HfS Research firm had said that India’s IT sector is set to lose 6.4 lakh low skilled jobs to automation.
But the gloomy forecast predicted by the World Bank is not just reserved for India but extends even to its neighbor and super power China as well. In fact, according to same report, the Chinese Dragon may loose up to 77 percent jobs due to advent of automation. This is predicted to cause major disruption in the path of economic development for both the nations.