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MAY 2023 YOJANA COMPILATION
INNOVATION IN SPACE TECHNOLOGY

Introduction

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been at the forefront of space technology and exploration since its inception. 

Over the years, leveraging its key resources, the organization has made several strides in space technologies, making India a major player in the global space arena. 

The evolution of space technology and innovation had taken place in various technological frontiers.

Space transportation system

The 1970s marked the beginning of the space transportation system with the development of solid-propulsion-based Sounding Rockets, which are capable of putting 30 kg of payload at 120 km of altitude.

It was followed by the subsequent development of first-generation launch vehicles, i.e., Satellite Launch Vehicles (SLV) and Augmented SLV (ASLV) with the induction of liquid-propulsion technology. 

The integration of solid and liquid propulsion and the development of various key technologies have resulted in the development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), with the capability of placing a 1700 kg payload into polar orbit.

The indigenous development of a Cryogenic propulsive engine was the major technological leap in the development of third-generation rockets i.e., GSLV launch vehicles, which have the capability of placing a 2000 kg payload in Geo-Synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

Launching of high-throughput communication satellites necessitated the development of a further advanced launch vehicle, i.e. Launch Vehicle MK3 (LVM3). 

Powered by the world’s 3rd largest solid boosters, and high-capacity liquid and cryogenic engines, LVM3 has the capability of putting a 4000 kg payload in GTO.

ISRO recently introduced the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

Space Infrastructure

In the early years, ISRO focused on developing satellite launch vehicles like SLV-3 and ASLV, which were used to launch small satellites into low earth orbit.

In the late 1990s, ISRO began work on the GSLV, a more powerful rocket capable of launching heavier payloads into geosynchronous transfer orbit. 

The first successful launch of the GSLV took place in 2001, and since then, it has been used to launch several important satellites.

In the 2000s, ISRO began focusing on deep space exploration with the launch of Chandrayaan-1 India’s first lunar mission, in 2008. 

This was followed by the Mars Orbiter Mission in 2013, which made India the first country to successfully launch a spacecraft to Mars on its first attempt.

In 2016, ISRO launched the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), a satellite-based navigation system similar to GPS. 

This system, now known as NavIC provides accurate position information to users in India and surrounding regions.

In recent years, ISRO has been working on developing the infrastructure for human spaceflight. 

This includes the development of a crew module for carrying astronauts and the testing of a crew escape system. ISRO also plans to launch its first crewed mission, Gaganyaan in 2024.

Space Applications

Earth Observation (EO) applications by ISRO are institutionalized across many user Ministries/Departments, towards National security, Agriculture, Agroforestry, Disaster management, Fishery, Land Use Land Cover (LULC), Resource Mapping, Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, and decision support for major flagship programs of the government.

To meet the above requirements for remote sensing/PO applications, a great deal of development had taken place in ground infrastructure and imaging technologies.

Ground technologies for tracking multiple objects in space, including the establishment of multi-object tracking radar, an integrated multi-mission ground segment for earth observation satellites, Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radar, a state-of-the-art advanced ground station for Earth Observation satellites at Bharti station, Antarctica have facilitated the uninterrupted usage of satellite services.

Projects

Strides in space technology innovation continue in the thrust areas of Reusable Launch Vehicles, Stage Recovery and Reuse, Vertical Take-off Vertical landing (VTVL), LOX­-Methane engine, Air-breathing/ Hybrid Propulsion, Space Robotics, Humanoid robots, Advanced Inertial systems, Low-Cost Spacecraft’s, Quantum Communication, advanced Scientific Payloads, Space-Based Surveillance, and Atomic Clock.

To develop technologies for low-cost access to space and space travel, ISRO is working on a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program.

ISRO is also working on Air breathing propulsion with reusable capability for a cost-effective futuristic space transportation system. 

The ISRO’s current focus is on the development of critical technologies towards the realization of a vehicle-integrated scramjet engine called the Hypersonic Air Breathing Vehicle with Airframe integrated system (HAVA). 

For the first time in India, ISRO achieved a breakthrough demonstration of free-space Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 m using the Prepare & Measure Protocol and Quantum Entanglement protocols. 

ISRO has been actively pursuing several R&D programs related to Space Robotics Vyom Mitra (Humanoid robot), Lander and Rover for Chandrayaan-3 mission, On-orbit Satellite refueling, Planetary Rock Sampler, Space-based robotic manipulator, Robotic arm-based umbilical systems, 3D printing in Space among others.

For Mains

  1. What is space innovation? Discuss the various applications of Space technology and explain India’s achievements in Space innovation. (250 Words)

 

Startup’s India’s Revolutionizing Growth Story

 Introduction

Today, entrepreneurship in India is an inevitable pillar of Atmanirbhar Bharat. It is embedded in India’s ecosystem in a way that traces its roots in history and is heading towards building a brighter future. As we progress, India is becoming a hub for startups, especially over the last few years, due to phenomenal disruptions in innovation, technological advancements, and supportive government policies. At this pivotal stage, it is crucial to study how the Indian startup ecosystem has evolved and accomplished its current position on both the national and international levels, leaving its footprints globally.

Start-Ups

In recent years, start-ups have emerged as a key driver of economic growth in India. With the government’s focus on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, the start-up ecosystem in India has been growing at a rapid pace. 

According to a report by NASSCOM, India is the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with over 50,000 start-ups. 

The country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has also seen an exponential spurt in funding activities over the past few years. Indian start-ups raised over $25 billion in 2022 alone. 

Amrit Kaal

As India completed its 75 years of Independence on 15 August 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the goal of Amrit Kaal, i.e., the next 25 years, is to ascend to new heights of prosperity for India and Indians.

The rise of the Indian start-up ecosystem is unarguably igniting innovation among the entrepreneurs of the nation, leading it to fulfill Vision@2047 for the country.

To facilitate this growing, promising, yet scattered ecosystem, the Government of India realized the need for a platform for inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship in India.

Therefore, in 2016, the government launched the Start-up India initiative to promote, transform, and nurture the ecosystem and empower start-ups, along with budding and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Spike in Funding

The spike in funding for start-ups was majorly led by the increased adoption of digitization and the easy availability of capital at the early stages of growth for start-ups. Start-up India has introduced various schemes to simplify and facilitate the process of raising funds at both early and mature stages. 

One such scheme, supporting early-stage funding from angel investors and venture capital firms, is the Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme (SIFSS) with an outlay of Rs 945 crore, which provides financial assistance to early-stage start-ups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market-entry, and commercialization.

Another government scheme committed to assisting start-ups financially is the Fund of Funds scheme launched in 2016. Apart from the several managerial and regulatory challenges, one of the biggest problems faced by start-ups is easy access to early-stage debt to finance their capital requirements.

Traditional lending institutions, such as commercial banks, rely on the same old mandate. 

The Government has established the Credit Guarantee Scheme for start-ups for providing credit guarantees to loans extended to DPIIT-recognised start-ups by Scheduled Commercial Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), and Venture Debt Funds (VDFs) under SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds.

Mains Question

  1. Discuss some challenges that start-ups face in India, and how can they be overcome? (150 Words)
 
The potential of India’s Edtech sector

Introduction

The emergence and rapid adoption of Edtech can be attributed to the fast-paced digitalization of India, the expansion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, and the accessibility of gadgets and data over the last two decades. India’s Edtech sector is one of the largest in the world with about 400 startups operating across its various sub-sectors. These startups have cumulatively raised more than US$10 billion over the last decade. Edtech will continue to play a complementary role to enhance the teaching-learning experience for students and equip them with knowledge and future skills that are vital for success in the 21% century.

What is Ed-Tech?

Edtech or Education Technology is the usage of technology – software and/or hardware, to enhance teaching and learning. 

Smartphones loaded with Edtech apps have now become synonymous with education. The potential for Edtech to reach underprivileged students in areas far and wide has played and will continue to play a big role in the sector’s growth in the coming years. 

The needs of each student are different, as are the pace and style with which they learn. Edtech enables everyone to get a consistent quality of education, no matter their age or learning abilities.

India’s ICT Revolution

For Edtech to flourish there is a need for the availability of and access to a robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem. The Indian ICT industry has been growing rapidly over the last quarter century. In FY 2022, the industry crossed US$200 billion in total revenue and 5 million in total workforce. By the end of 2023, it is predicted to spend U55144 billion on ICT. 

The services segment is expected to make up about 52% of this spending. Edtech is an important sector in the industry’s transition from enterprise servicing to enterprise solution provision. The emergence and rapid adoption of Edtech can also be attributed to the fast-paced digitalization of India, the expansion of ICT infrastructure, and the accessibility of gadgets and data over the last two decades. 

Between 2010 and 2022, the number of internet users in India increased by 10x, from 92.5 million to 932.2 million. This is expected to rise to 1.53 billion by 2040. This could also be attributed to the fact that India has one of the cheapest mobile data rates globally, with 1 GB costing only Rs 14, a 90% reduction from 2013.

There has been a 27X increase in the number of smartphone users in India, from 34 million in 2010 to 931 million in 2022. This is expected to rise to 1.53 billion by 2040. The development of these factors and the tangible benefits that Edtech provides in the teaching-learning process has presented a significant opportunity for the Edtech sector and its diverse players to expand their presence and adaptability.

How does Edtech help students and Teachers?

Technology has made education inclusive and affordable for all strata of students and learners. Catalyzed by India’s digital revolution, Edtech has enabled accessibility by reaching the remotest parts of India.

Three major benefits of Edtech for students include:

Learning while playing

Gamified techniques used in Edtech, especially K-6, make concepts easier for students to understand and make learning a fun activity.

Classes anywhere and anytime

 Edtech makes learning inclusive by reaching the remotest parts of India. Students can access these classes at their convenience and pace. Working professionals can devote their free time to learning a new skill.

Access to quality teachers

Edtech facilities access to quality teachers in every town and village in India.

Edtech not only benefits students but also teachers by providing engaging pedagogical practices to complement their teaching.

This can include interactive whiteboards, educational videos, VR/AR simulations, and other digital resources that can help engage students and enhance their learning experience. Edtech can also help in the process of academic administration through automated grading, classroom management tools, paperless classrooms, and eliminating guesswork.

Classroom management tools help create a less chaotic, more collaborative environment. Paperless classrooms reduce printing budgets and promote greener policies. Edtech can assess student skills and needs in real-time, leading to proactive plans to help struggling students, thereby eliminating guesswork.

Key Growth Drivers

The growth of Edtech in India has been driven by five key factors that are essential for its expansion and success. These include:

Demographic Dividend

There is a huge room for Edtech to grow in India. There are about 300 million kids in K-12, out of whom 85-90 million have internet access. The current penetration of Edtech among kids with internet access stands at just 5%. The population aged between 15 and 34 years in India is around 463 million, which is almost 35% of the country’s total population. Currently, nearly 40 million students are part of the Indian higher education system.

Technology Infrastructure

The government initiatives to expand digital infrastructure, such as the National Broadband Mission, Digital India, and BharatNet, along with the telco-led digital revolution, have made it easier for EdTech to reach out to remote areas.

Government Initiatives

The government has launched various programs and initiatives to promote digital education, such as SWAYAM, DIKSHA, and ePathshala. The latest announcement by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2022 is of the National Digital University (NDU), a virtual university that will offer a wide range of courses across disciplines using digital technology. NDU will offer regular degrees and mid-career certificate courses that will be recognized by employers and other universities.

Pandemic-led Behavioral Changes

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of online education in India and across the world. With schools and colleges shut down for several months, students and teachers turned to online platforms. This led to a massive surge in demand for EdTech.

Increased Funding

The sector has attracted significant investments from venture capitalists and private equity firms, which have enabled EdTech companies to expand their offerings and reach a larger user base. With the government's focus on promoting digital education, it is expected that this sector will continue to attract significant investments in the years ahead.

Financial Potential

Edtech in India can be classified into six categories based on the target user it serves. Most users fall within the student demographic, ranging from preschoolers to college graduates and professionals. However, teachers, schools, and universities also make up a significant user segment for Edtech B2B Platforms.

The Indian Edtech sector was valued at US$750 million in 2020 and has grown to reach US$5.8 billion by early 2023, at a CAGR of 43%.

Furthermore, the market size is estimated to grow 3.7X over the next five years, from the current levels to $10.4 billion. By 2027, the sector is expected to grow to US$10.1 billion.

This growth is driven by rising demand for non-academic courses from Tier II and III cities and the need for personalization in the Edtech space. Out of the projected market value of US$4 Billion, US$1.5 billion will focus on K-12, after-school foundational, and pre-preparation courses.

The EdTech sector witnessed unprecedented growth and funding during the Covid-induced lockdown when online education became a necessity instead of a luxury.

Challenges

Psychological and Social Effects of Online Digital Education

Online digital education can have psychological and social effects on students. Lack of face-to-face interaction and socialization opportunities can affect their mental health and social skills. It is important to consider these effects when designing online education programs and providing students with opportunities for social interaction and emotional support.

Perception of Parents

Parents may have reservations about the effectiveness of Edtech and may prefer traditional classroom-based education for their wards. It is important to address the concerns of parents and provide them with information about the benefits and effectiveness of online education to increase acceptance.

Pupil-teacher Ratio

It is important to maintain a low pupil-teacher ratio in online education programs to ensure that students receive personalized attention, support, and mentorship from teachers.

Way Forward

To ensure the holistic impact of Edtech, it is important to strike a balance between technology and traditional education methods. The use of technology should not compromise the quality of education but rather enhance it. Three critical success factors that can enhance this impact of Ed-tech include:

Integrate Practical Work

EdTech programs must integrate internships/apprenticeships as part of the curriculum design. This will help students develop group dynamics, team building, and interpersonal skills that are vital in the workplace. This will also enable them to test the knowledge and technical skills gained online on the field and thereby enhance their confidence and self-esteem when they enter the workforce.

Create Multilingual Content

According to the last census, only 10 % of the Indian population speaks English and 45% speaks Hindi. Hence, Edtech platforms need to focus on content creation in regional languages to ensure wider reach, usage, and relevance.

Focus on Holistic Education

Edtech programmes must ensure that the core elements of holistic education that include environmental responsibility and sustainable development and the planet level, self-reliance at the national level, community wellbeing at the societal level, and cultivation of human values along with empathy at the individual level, are integrated into the curriculum and overall design of the Programmes.

Mains Question

  1. What is Ed-tech? Explain How Ed-tech help students and teachers and discuss the key growth drivers that included in Edtech.

 

Leveraging Technology for transforming healthcare

Introduction

Digital health is a broad multidisciplinary framework which encompasses software, hardware, and services in an integrated platform. 

Digital health refers to the use of technology interventions for providing healthcare solutions and empowering healthcare seekers and providers (including individuals, the community or professional caregivers, doctors, the paramedical workforce, and the pharmaceutical and medical device industries), with a focus on better quality, higher efficiency, and easy access to healthcare services.

Various terms being used are e-health, telehealth, telemedicine, teleconsultation, health apps, etc. 

Digitisation of data

Digitisation of data (including patient data), data stacks, e-registries, electronic medical records (ENO, health informatics and analytics platforms, self-health trackers, and wearable health devices with sensors are all included in the large ambit of what comprises digital health.

Newer realms of biotechnology, genomics, and AI-assisted healthcare are also being discussed in the same breath. 

Additionally, in recent times, the Internet of Medical Things (loMT) has combined medical devices and applications connecting to health IT systems that use diverse networking technologies. 

The Internet of Things (loT) uses a range of telemedicine technology to improve communication between doctors and patients, to decrease the potential for exposure to contagious diseases, along various smart sensor technologies that can collect data at the user level.

Growth of digital health interventions

The global market size of digital health was estimated at USD 332.53 billion in 2022, it is anticipated to peak at around USD 1,694.21 billion by 2032.

While the use of mobile-aided health interventions has been around for some time now, it is widely believed that the global pandemic gave a major push to the quick adoption of digital health innovations and mainstreamed them. 

At a time when healthcare received the highest priority and attention both from the healthcare seekers and providers, technology-facilitated solutions to scale up services and also broadened them to cover a large number of beneficiaries who could access quality services often from the confines of their homes. 

The use of telemedicine platforms and remote monitoring solutions increased significantly, thereby enabling healthcare providers to remotely monitor patient health and provide care.

It is noted that increasing smartphone penetration along with several applications related to health and fitness across the globe are expected to be key factors driving the digital health market’s presence and growth. 

Furthermore, rapid investments in the healthcare IT infrastructure, particularly in developing and developed nations, are also estimated to be conducive to scaling up market growth.

Advantages of telemedicine

One of the major advantages of telemedicine is that it can save time and effort, especially for rural patients, who need not travel long distances for obtaining consultation and treatment. 

This is also accompanied by reduced financial costs associated with travel as travel for seeking healthcare by marginalised and disadvantaged communities is often accompanied by loss of work hours, loss of wages, and lower productivity.

As per a recent impact study by an NGO, each tele-consultation at an Ayushman Bharat Health &Wellness Centre saves an average of the journey of up to 21.58 km, and more than Rs 941 as Out-of-Pocket- Expenditure (OOPE) on healthcare. 

Women caregivers in families, especially expecting and feeding mothers, have been known to be burdened with travel related to health services. 

Digital health could contribute to achieving targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 by providing assured access to quality healthcare services to a wider cohort of the population. 

Digital health solutions can help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer more effectively by providing personalised care plans, monitoring patient health remotely, and improving patient engagement. 

Health apps have helped in the monitoring of health parameters, thereby aiding in preventive and curative health.

This would eventually help to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure for treatment and also reduce the burden on the country’s health care infrastructure.

Digital healthcare services have added to the level of standardisation and uniformity of care, by minimising ambiguity in protocols and reducing the gaps between expected and actual services provided. 

Digital health records and health stacks are gaining fast recognition and implementation as they are helpful in a useful repository of data. 

Digital Health Solutions in India

Digital health solutions are proving to be fundamental building blocks of a more sturdy and resilient healthcare infrastructure of the country. 

Increased use of digital tools is seen to result in the transformation of India’s healthcare sector, adding to enhanced citizen servicing, health seeker satisfaction, better levels of quality and efficiency, and higher transparency and accountability. 

Some of the key features of the digital interventions launched by the Government of India are inclusiveness, multilingual platforms, scalability, and interoperability. These have helped serve a population of over a billion people. 

Initiatives

The following are some of the initiatives that have seen vast acceptance among people, accompanied by innumerable advantages.

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

CoWIN

Cowin stands for Covid Vaccine Intelligent Network. The platform was unveiled by the union government in January 2021 to launch a vaccine drive across the country.

Tele-MANAS

Nikshay 2.0

President Draupadi Murmu launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ and the Nikshay 2.0 portal to eliminate TB by 2025.

Nikshay 2.0 is a digital platform for community support for persons diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The purpose of this portal is to provide technical backup for the Ni-Akshay Scheme, which aims to mobilise communities, stakeholders, elected representatives, corporates, NGOs, and individuals to come forward as donors to help the patients through additional diagnostic, nutritional, and vocational support. 

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

The Government of India has created an institutional arrangement called the Health Technology Assessment in India (HTAIn) under the Department of Health Research (DHR) to facilitate the process of transparent and evidence-informed decision-making in the field of health. 

It provides an evaluation of the appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of available and new health technologies in the country.
HTA aims to inform the formulation of safe and cost-effective health policies that are patient-focused and seek to ensure the most optimum value for money.

For Mains:

  1. What is telemedicine? Discuss the advantages of Telemedicine in India. (250 Words)
 
 
QUANTUM COMPUTING

Introduction

Quantum computing differs from  traditional computing, which uses ‘bits'—binary digits of 0s and 1s — to represent information. However, quantum computing uses quantum bits, or' qubits;  which can exist in multiple states simultaneously, instead of just two states (i.e, 0 and 1).

This property of qubits, known as ‘superposition’allows quantum computers to perform many computational calculations orders of magnitude faster than classical computing. Further, quantum computing also borrows inspiration from another property of quantum mechanics called entanglement, wherein two qubits could be connected in such a way that the state of one qubit intrinsically affects the state of the other qubit.

As quantum computing moves steadily towards real-world applications, it continues to be a thriving area for interdisciplinary research and booming scholarly outputs, as well as new fundamental discoveries in physics. In 2012, Serge Haroche and David Wineland were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their ground-breaking experimental methods that enable the measurement and manipulation of individual quantum systems. Their work has profound implications for quantum information and quantum computing.

Nations and industries are slowly and steadily gearing up to leverage the quantum computing wave through strategic collaborations and investments in research and innovation. This wave may transform the entire technology ecosystem; indeed, one that may fundamentally transform society, culture, and the economy.

Quantum computing is an advanced area where research and development are still at a nascent stage. However, this presents an opportunity for India to establish well-funded research Centres of Excellence in the leading technological institutions. Long-term schemes of the Department of Science and Technology could possibly be introduced whereby strategic infrastructure and manpower training projects can be funded in the established technology

engineering institutions. This would need to cover both hardware and software to further develop a homegrown quantum technology industry.

Quantum computing is still a relatively young domain, and while practical quantum computers are now commercially available, they  are currently limited to performing very specific types of calculations. However, researchers believe that quantum computers have the potential to

revolutionise fields such as data sciences, artificial intelligence, and decision sciences. We attempt to deliberate on the following important elements of quantum computing evolution:

The subsequent sections would attempt to address these questions stage-wise. First, we discuss the impact of quantum computing; then, we discuss the implications for policymakers, and finally, we conclude the article.

Impact of Quantum Computing

Given India’s growing capabilities in the space of information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services, including technology consulting capabilities, we foresee that the future of quantum computing is going to drastically revolutionise the skill needs and capabilities of the emerging skill force, which is gradually gearing up in the space of data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decision sciences. Here are a few areas where the impact of quantum computing is likely to be felt:

Faster data analysis in industrial data science applications: Quantum computers can perform certain types of calculations significantly faster than classical computing logic. As these types of computations increase in scope and scale, this could enable faster data analysis for business problems in the era of big data, particularly for large datasets created with high velocity.

Improved machine learning outcomes: Machine learning algorithms are increasingly being used for predictive capabilities and enhanced data-driven decision-making. In the era of cognitive computing, these algorithms may focus on complex data types like images and videos for solving business and social problems through areas like computer vision. Quantum computers could potentially improve machine learning by enabling more efficient optimization of these algorithms so that computer vision capabilities become more efficient, accurate, and fast. Further, in applications of generative artificial | intelligence, quantum computing could potentially Hae better recommendations since it would be possible to create architectures that analyze real-time additions to the web of knowledge in the digital world to create advice. The outcome of these capabilities would translate to the development of areas like driverless cars, automated management of smart city infrastructure, and digital public services.

Improved optimization for complex problems: Many analytics problems involve finding the optimal solution to a complex problem. Quantum computers can potentially solve these problems much faster than classical computers, enabling more efficient optimization of complex systems. This may create faster optimization of very large-scale problems involving complex network structures, computational biological sciences, and physical sciences. Local optimization can be avoided, and quantum computing may enable the achievement of globally optimal solutions in problems that typically demonstrate high multi-dimensional computational complexity, or indeed NP-hard problems.

Improved industrialization: Realisation of industrial maturity levels such as Industry 4.0 and beyond, through platforms like digital twins would be enabled through quantum computing.

Distributed computing networks, federated learning, ‘The Internet of Everything, blockchain, and related technologies can be envisioned to become more efficient in terms of achieving their desired objectives computationally as well as in terms of the quality of the outcome.

Improved process efficiencies in digital transformation: Quantum computing may result in faster process automation by analyzing real-time data generated in the organization processes. This may make the organizations nimbler to change in the information ecosystems within which they operate.

Further, these platforms may enable organizations to connect with multiple stakeholders through open network architectures to make information flow and processing seamless and real-time.

Implications for Practice and Policy

The possibilities that quantum computing can open up are immense, and there are serious deliberations that are needed from a public policy viewpoint.

We list some of these deliberations below:

Quantum computing is an advanced area where research and development are still at a nascent stage.

However, this presents an opportunity for India to establish well-funded Research Centres of Excellence in the leading technological institutions.

Long-term schemes of the Department of Science and Technology could possibly be introduced whereby strategic infrastructure and manpower training projects can be funded in the established technology engineering institutions. This would need to cover both hardware and software to further develop a homegrown quantum technology industry.

Furthermore, quantum computing also needs clear and sustained policy and governance since it deals with new levels of data and computation. The legal frameworks surrounding data management, data sharing, data privacy, information assurance, algorithmic governance, and transparency need to evolve. This is where sponsored projects need to be created to form a knowledge repository surrounding how data governance and policy frameworks should evolve. Similarly, frameworks surrounding security, transparency, accountability, fairness, and ethical use of quantum computing systems also need to evolve. This is where social scientists would be needed to explore and develop inputs for policy making, and co-creating these outcomes from the start of the interventions and projects. Frameworks surrounding information governance, information access, and information dissemination may need to be revisited given these emerging computational capabilities.

Skill areas of data science, decision science, and machine learning are going to be intensely impacted shortly by quantum computing. This is where policymaking at the national level needs to create consolidated efforts towards the future talent and skill development of the large young population that India boasts of, to make them future-ready. So, the skills of the existing workforce need to be geared towards better understanding data science and decision science, so that they can take advantage of the wider quantum computing domain over the coming years. Manpower skilling is an important component for the employability of the future workforce of India, and this may require policy intervention since most private organizations focus on exploiting immediate skill availability and project needs by compromising future skilling needs. However, these employees who do not develop future skills suddenly become irrelevant when the technology ecosystems evolve, resulting in job losses.

The realization of digital healthcare and biomedical research would be strongly facilitated using quantum computing. Quantum computing is a global field, and collaboration is crucial for making progress.

International funding agencies could develop joint project funding schemes whereby collaborations can be fostered to enable faster development in this space. Mobility grants need to be augmented by infrastructure and manpower hiring grants for these projects to be impactful.

Startups can generate huge opportunities that disperse the burden of economic welfare and employment from metro cities. Startups focusing on quantum computing can be encouraged using government support through organizations like the Technology Development Board, where grants can be given to startup ventures in non-metropolitan cities in the space of quantum computing product development. These initiatives can also facilitate the full realization of national missions such as Make in India over the coming years.

Conclusion

The quantum computing domain is an area that the government must focus on because it will be heavily dependent on exploiting information assets within and outside the organizations in the long term. There is a significant opportunity for India; for moving in that direction as it is envisioned that strategic investments in research, development, and training mechanisms should be created. This may enable the improved capability for leveraging and exploiting this domain for the benefit of citizens and the nation going forward.

For Mains:

  1. How would the evolution of quantum computing impact the nation and society?
  2. How can policy interventions be planned now to ride the wave of quantum computing as the field matures?

For Prelims:

  1. Which one of the following is the context in which the term “qubit” is mentioned (UPSC 2022)
  2. Cloud Services
  3. Quantum Computing
  4. Visible light Communication technologies
  5. Wireless Communication technologies

 

AI Chabot’s-Future and Challenges

Introduction

Chatbots are computer programs that use artificial intelligence (AI) to simulate human-like conversations with users via text or voice. They can be used in a wide variety of applications, such as customer support, sales, and personal assistants. Chabot uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand and interpret user input and generate appropriate responses. 

They can be designed to operate autonomously or in conjunction with human operators, depending on the specific use case and level of complexity required. They have progressed into more sophisticated, context-aware, and self-learning programs that rely on machine learning and deep learning to create a detailed knowledge base of questions and responses. 

Future of Work

The way we work and create content is being revolutionized by Chabot. Recently, a tech giant announced the integration of a powerful generative Al technology into its various applications.

This Chabot can automate a range of tasks across multiple Apps. For instance, it can generate a first draft for a user to edit and iterate on, saving considerable time in the writing, sourcing, and editing processes.

It can also summarise chat conversations, extract key highlights and talking points, and add recent contacts to emails. It can also assist in creating presentations by incorporating relevant content from a user's past documents, analyzing trends, and generating professional-looking data visualizations in seconds.

This demonstrates the potential of a future where digital and human intelligence works together to achieve outcomes that are currently beyond our imagination.

One area that is facing huge change thanks to generative Al is Internet search. New capabilities are being introduced to search applications, including those handling queries in natural language.

We have used keyword-based Internet search so far, but an era of conversational Internet search has started where we can just talk to the search using queries like, ‘Name the most popular tourist spot around Delhi and suggest a fast, convenient, and cost-effective way to explore it!

Use cases of Chabot’s

AI Chabot can transform the healthcare sector by offering numerous services to both healthcare providers and patients.

They can function as virtual aides, offering assistance to patients with their healthcare inquiries.

Their 24×7 availability makes basic healthcare accessible to people at all times and all places and reduces the workload faced by the healthcare system.

Chatbots can be used to provide healthcare assistance, such as diagnosing symptoms and recommending treatments. For example, the chatbot on the Ada website can ask users a series of questions about their symptoms and provide a potential diagnosis and treatment plan.

Chatbots can act as personal assistants, helping users manage their schedules, set reminders, and even order food. For example, the chatbot on Domino’s website can help users place orders and track their delivery status.

Chatbots can help automate HR processes, such as onboarding new employees and answering HR-related questions. For example, the chatbot on the Unilever website can provide information about benefits, and payroll, and even help employees find nearby daycare facilities.

E-commerce companies are using Al Chabot’s to help their customers locate products that match their needs by asking questions about preferences and showing relevant products. They can also help them navigate through processes such as placing orders and making payments. 

In the post-sales scenario, they can manage automated tasks such as collecting customer feedback and processing product returns, replacements, or refunds. All of this can lead to an improved customer experience and increased sales for the companies.

Challenges

The biggest concern about Al chatbots is that their increasing use can result in a considerable number of people losing their jobs since Al is gaining capabilities to match human output and intelligence. Chatbots must be able to interpret and understand the nuances of human language, including slang, regional dialects, and context. This is an ongoing challenge, as human language is constantly evolving and changing.

Chatbots can inherit the biases and discriminatory practices of their developers and data sources. For example, a chatbot trained on biased data may generate discriminatory responses to certain users. Developers must take steps to mitigate bias and ensure that their chatbots are fair and inclusive.

Chatbots must be transparent and trustworthy, especially when dealing with sensitive or personal information. Users need to know that their data is being handled responsibly and that chatbots are not misusing their information. Chatbots can be vulnerable to security threats, such as hacking or phishing attacks. 


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