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Shaw: India needs to up its game in Science and Technology

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Bengaluru: Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw stated on Tuesday that India continues to be a sub-optimal country when it comes to investing in the science and technology sector.

Biocon Limited is an Indian bio-pharmaceutical company based in Bangalore, India headed by Indian entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Shaw was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal for her outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry in 2014.

“Amongst all the countries who invest in science and technology, we are at a sub-optimal level,” said Shaw at Bangalore India Bio.

Referring to South Korea, which is leading investments in science and technology, she said: “I think India needs to basically up its game in science and technology through greater investments.”

She requested the government to increase science and technology investments as it is the future of India.

According to the Biocon chairperson, India needs to invest $5 billion in biotechnology to achieve the target of growing the sector to $100 billion by 2025.

“Today biotechnology is a $11 billion sector, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 20 percent. We also are aspiring to be a $100 billion sector by 2025,” she said.

Addressing the 16th edition of Bangalore India Bio, Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said: “A lot has been achieved in this field in the last 30 years. Bangalore is not only the hub of bio-tech, it is also the destination of all scientists in India. It is the science hub for India.”

He said the government allotted Rs 10,000 to support entrepreneurs and startups in biotechnology.

Scheduled from February 9-11, Bangalore India Bio will cover a spectrum of activities which include an international trade show, keynote talks and multi-track conferences among others.

As many as 25 sessions featuring 110 speakers will deliberate on topics like making tomorrow’s medicine, oncology and precision medicine, rare diseases and orphan drugs, agribiotechnology, synthetic bio-fuels and others. (IANS)

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Most of 2030’s Jobs Haven’t Been Invented Yet

In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

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JOBS
In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

More than two-thirds of jobs that today’s college students will have in 11 years haven’t been invented yet.

“Those who plan to work for the next 50 years, they have to have a mindset of like, ‘I’m going to be working and learning and working and learning, and working and learning,’ in order to make a career,” says Rachel Maguire, a research director with the Institute for the Future, which forecasts that 85 percent of the jobs that today’s young people will hold in 2030 don’t exist right now.

The Institute for the Future, a nonprofit that identities emerging trends and their impacts on global society, envisions that by 2030, we’ll be living in a world where artificial assistants help us with almost every task, not unlike the way email tries to finish spelling a word for users today.

Maguire says it will be like having an assistant working alongside you, taking on tasks at which the human brain does not excel.

“For the human, for the people who are digitally literate who are able to take advantage, they’ll be well-positioned to elevate their position, elevate the kind of work they can do, because they’ve got essentially an orchestra of digital technologies that they’re conducting,” she says. “They’re just playing the role of a conductor, but the work’s being done, at least in partnership, with these machines.”

New technology in the next decade is expected to lead to new human-machine partnerships that will make the most of each partner's respective strengths.
New technology in the next decade is expected to lead to new human-machine partnerships that will make the most of each partner’s respective strengths. VOA

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says today’s students will have eight to 10 jobs by the time they are 38.

And they won’t necessarily have to take time away from any one of those jobs for workforce training or to gain additional certifications related to their fields. Instead, they’ll partner with machines for on-the-job learning, wearing an augmented reality headset that will give them the information they need in real-time to get the work done.

“It eliminates the need for people to step away from income generating opportunities to recertify in order to learn a new skill so they can level up and earn more money,” Maguire says. “It gives the opportunity for people to be able to learn those kinds of new skills and demonstrate proficiency in-the-moment at the job.”

Students use virtual reality for an immersive educational experience. VR blocks out the physical world and transports the user to a simulated world. (Courtesy Dell.com)
Students use virtual reality for an immersive educational experience. VR blocks out the physical world and transports the user to a simulated world. (Courtesy Dell.com) VOA

And forget about traditional human resources departments or the daunting task of looking for a job on your own. In the future, the job might come to you.

Potential employers will draw from different data sources, including online business profiles and social media streams, to get a sense of a person and their skill set.

Maquire says there’s already a lot of activity around turning employment into a matchmaking endeavor, using artificial intelligence and deep learning to help the right person and the right job find each other.

In theory, this kind of online job matching could lead to less bias and discrimination in hiring practices. However, there are potential pitfalls.

“We have to be cognizant that the people who are building these tools aren’t informing these tools with their own biases, whether they’re intentional or not,” Maguire says. “These systems will only be as good as the data that feeds them.”

Also Read: Migrant Caravan Still Stuck in Mexico Shelter, Frustration Grows By Every Passing Day

Which leads Maguire to another point. While she doesn’t want to sound melodramatic or evangelical about emerging technologies, she believes it is critical for the public to get engaged now, rather than sitting back and letting technology happen to them.

“What do we want from these new technological capabilities, and how do we make sure we put in place the social policies and the social systems that will result in what it is we all want?” she says. “I have a deep concern that we’re just kind of sitting back and letting technology tell us what jobs we’ll have and what jobs we won’t have, rather than us figuring out how to apply these technologies to improve the human condition.” (VOA)