How India can be strategic in its use of technology
How India can be strategic in its use of technology
The information age has made technology ubiquitous in every country. State economies are transitioning to the digital space, and technological development has often outpaced regulation and governance due to improved civic access to technologies.
We live in a time when technology is becoming a tool to drive growth and protect the interests of the state. As a nascent and rising technological power, India can use technology for the greater good. Technology has simplified political decisions over the past two decades and improved the quality of governance.
Technology has helped bridge questions about accessibility, inclusion and equal opportunity. India should now start looking at technology and its adoption from a strategic perspective. How can India use technology to solve existing problems and deploy it as a potential solution in crucial governance areas?
India’s technological strengths
There are certain areas of technology where India can have a significant global impact, and we should focus on these. It can help expand its international digital footprint and support its technology exports. Soft power tools include low-cost telecommunications, renewable energy systems, and digital payment frameworks.
A strong workforce in specific technology fields can prove crucial as India utilizes its abundant domestic human capital. In some labor-intensive supply chains, technologically advanced states must consider Indian labor as a contributor.
Despite its size, India’s workforce has proven proficient in semiconductor design and computer services. A rising technological power, India has become essential in vital high-tech fields.
India’s comparative advantage and expertise in specific technologies make it an important supplier to other states. India should use this strategically to remain a strong player in international technology trade.
Research and development
Investing scientific and financial resources is essential to identify critical technologies. India should explore broad collaborations with the private sector to enhance research and respond to global developments in specific science and technology fields. In turn, a dominant national technology sector can increase its influence.
Priority should be given to developing solutions specific to India and unlikely to be encountered in developed countries. Using open source technology to promote innovation without state involvement, oligopolies or international politics can contribute to India’s technological growth.
Therefore, the technology would have a greater impact on development and would be more accessible. In an uncertain geopolitical climate, open source technologies are also counterbalancing the dominance of Big Tech. The issue of privacy and surveillance can also allow the state and citizens to establish a relationship of greater trust.
Despite the problem of gaining a foothold in the development of technological products, science itself is not a zero-sum game. A priority for the Indian state should be to improve the dissemination of technical expertise.
The Indian state should not isolate technological development. A sector’s priority should be collaboration in high-tech areas to overcome supply chain bottlenecks. To become one of the world’s leading technological powers, India must defend the principle of plurilaterality, which must become necessary.
Dialogue with multilateral groups to forge technological partnerships is possible. It should also engage in technology-related trade-related activities, facilitate technology transfer agreements among participating states, and establish reasonable technology standards.
The development of a strong technology business infrastructure can be a great example of progress in the Indo-European Trade and Technology Council. Import duties should be reduced on high-tech products and export controls on critical components should be removed.
Additionally, the Department of Foreign Affairs should use technology diplomacy to integrate science and technology into diplomatic conversations in the field through appointed officials. State-to-state data sharing that does not interfere with India’s national security can enable India to become a global digital player.
Suppose India is not required to share critical data threatening its internal security. In this case, it can participate in multilateral technology data sharing agreements to ensure the country’s access to similar data from other countries.
A State can therefore lead global efforts to establish legally binding and universally acceptable instruments on technologies that threaten the safety and security of States. As an Indian-led diplomatic alliance, it can prevent the control of specific technologies by selective groups, especially those that could impact war and conflict.
The technology has benefited international relations, foreign policy, military and defense. India should use its technological assets to advance its strategic interests. As a result, Indians and society would benefit.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma