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India to benefit more if it jumps into fourth Industrial Revolution

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Economy of India

BY Anil K Rajvanshi

World Economic Forum concluded in Davos last month had Fourth Industrial Revolution as the major talking point. With FIR, already in action in many advanced economies, there are fears that it will create huge unemployment.

The Davos meeting was meant to discuss and allay these fears. I feel FIR for developing countries can, in fact, produce more employment and benefits.

What is FIR?

Our societies are characterised by various industrial revolutions. The first revolution started in the late 1700s when muscle power was replaced by steam – mostly produced by coal.

The second one, which can be traced to the early 1900s, was driven by electricity and characterised by big machines and assembly line manufacturing. The third, which began in the early 1960s was based on computers, information technology (IT), electronics and automated production.

The present revolution is characterised by the internet of things (IOT) — 24/7 connectivity, rapid communication, miniaturisation of design and 3D printing which allows for manufacturing and production of goods wherever they are needed. I feel that IOT and 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) have the capability of allowing countries like India to leapfrog into the FIR.

India is already a decentralised society where more than 60 percent of its population lives in rural areas and lacks the basic amenities of life. They live in one-room huts with nearly non-existent electricity; cook on primitive biomass stoves that produce tremendous indoor pollution, and lack potable water and toilet facilities.

Their lives can be improved drastically by providing livelihood opportunities and amenities for households powered by FIR.

Around 80 percent of the rural population is involved in the farming sector. At present, farming is non-remunerative and needs to be completely overhauled to make it attractive.

Thus, for increasing income for rural households, I foresee the use of high-tech precision farming which could either be land-based or container-based. In container farming, all the inputs of farming are applied in an efficient way in enclosed shipping containers.

This container-based farming, as opposed to land-based farming, can grow any food (grain, vegetables or fruits) or fodder with the use of precise levels of light, temperature, humidity and nutrients. All these inputs are controlled by smart sensors and computers. This type of farming requires very few labourers, very little soil and water and is based on the principle of hydroponics or aeroponics.

There are claims by the practitioners of container agriculture that it uses 90 percent less water than conventional agriculture and produces several times the yields that would have been obtained from land-based agriculture. Such high-tech farms are coming up in urban areas in western countries and provide a model to be emulated in developing countries like India.

Today the biggest crisis in farming in India is the lack of labour, low prices of produce, shortage of water and very poor soils. With precision land-based or container agriculture, powered by solar energy and other renewable energy systems, farming can become very efficient, high yielding and hence remunerative. To my mind, this is the future of farming.

Land-based agriculture can be used for planting mostly perennial crops like grasses for fodder and trees for fruits, timber and the like. Grasses and trees can bind the soil and stop its erosion.

Agricultural containers would eventually be owned by restaurant owners. Hence, the A-Z of food production and utilisation would be run and owned by the restaurants and may give rise to a large number of rural and urban restaurants. This will also generate huge employment opportunities.

Further, FIR based on 3D or additive manufacturing will also usher in a revolution in its own right. In 3D printing, parts or the product is built layer by layer at any place. The designing can be done anywhere in the world and it can be sent by the internet to a 3D printer.

Thus the raw material — metal powders in the case of production of metal parts, or plastic wires for plastic products — together with a suitable glue or solidification of raw material, forms the end product. 3D printing is being used to produce parts of rockets, whole machines and even body parts.

The technology of 3D manufacturing is rapidly progressing and is already becoming a mainstream technology for small, specialised manufacturing facilities.

Use of 3D manufacturing will also reduce the energy consumption in transportation of goods since they will be manufactured and made available wherever they are needed.

In most cases, prices would come down. We might, therefore, see a proliferation of high-tech small scale manufacturing facilities in rural areas. For rural mobility electric vehicles can form the backbone and could be charged with locally produced renewable electricity. And 3D manufacturing may help in the production of such vehicles in rural areas.

The FIR can usher in a decentralised and democratic society since the control of the means of production and usage will be in the hands of locals.(IANS)

(24.02.2016 – Anil K. Rajvanshi is director of Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute in Phaltan, Maharashtra. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at anilrajvanshi@gmail.com)

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Top 5 Compelling Benefits of Implementing Employee Management Software in your Business Workplace

The software provides a simple and efficient platform where you can keep track and record all the data and information to enhance the working experience of your employees in the workplace

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employee management
Implementing the management software provides the employees with a platform to produce or show their contribution to their respective projects. Pixabay

Most business organizations have this absurd concept that employees demand too much from the company. As a result, the organization takes measures to curb down the demands or the opinions of its employees in the workplace. This eventually leads to the development of detachment between the higher officials and the general employees. This, in turn, reflects the poor output from the employees, and that directly affects the productivity/ revenue of the company.

All that, however, are primarily due to the existence of an ineffective employee management system in the workplace and not due to anything else. All the other aspects of your workplace environment go out the window if you have a poor management system. After all, the management system is what binds the entire system and all the resources that your business organization utilizes. This is clearly evident from the fact that almost 80% of all the employees quitting their job blame the poor management system in their respective workplace, making it the most valued component in any business organization.

However, implementing an effective and employee-friendly management system in the workplace is no ordinary feat. You have to invest a lot of your company’s resources into it in order to harness a successful outcome. However, there is an easier and simpler approach to implementing the system in the form of employee management software. The software provides a simple and efficient platform where you can keep track and record all the data and information to enhance the working experience of your employees in the workplace.

employee management
The employee management software, aka the HR Core software, is a single platform where the employees and the managers can interact and share their ideas. Pixabay
  • A single, yet multitasking platform

The employee management software, aka the HR Core software, is a single platform where the employees and the managers can interact and share their ideas. The employees can use the software platform to post/ share their leave requests, and likewise, the manager can make the approval using the software as well. Other than that, the employees can update their personal information, and the managers can produce their project analytics and reports as well.

  • Enhance workplace productivity

Relying on the traditional and ineffective manual management system can become chaotic and add unnecessary workload for your employees and managers as well. On top of all that, you are just investing your company’s resource in keeping the management in check instead of investing it on other productive aspects. Implementing the management software simplifies everything and provides a generous free-time to your employees to focus on other resourceful projects.

employee management
Implementing the management software simplifies everything and provides a generous free-time to your employees to focus on other resourceful projects. Pixabay
  • Keeps the employee engaged

An engaged employee can produce a massive and significant productive outcome for the company. Whereas, a disengaged employee can produce the exact contradictory outcome. Implementing the management software provides the employees with a platform to produce or show their contribution to their respective projects. It also acts as a platform to keep the managers and the employees engaged with one another, share and even express their opinions. As per several studies, approximately 70% of all the employees in any business establishments are disengaged; and that directly affects the poor performance of those companies. Hence, keeping the employees engaged through management software is an indispensable requirement.

ALSO READ: Madagascar Court Upholds Prison Terms for Endangered Tortoise Traffickers

  • Secures the employee’s data

In the present generation of internet marketing, no business organization is entirely safe from the dreadful phenomenon that is hacking. Over the past few years, hacking has become a nightmare for every business establishment. Even the world leading business companies such as Adobe, Sony, and Yahoo have fallen victim to the hackers, compromising all their employee data. On top of all threat, if your company is relying on spreadsheet and paper files to store and record all your employee information, you are just making the work of hackers even easier and uncomplicated. The employee management software instead offers various security measures to protect all your employee data that they enter on the software; hence making their private information more secure and resistant from external manipulation.