The World Economic Forum on Thursday announced its new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India, which would aim to bring together the government and business leaders to pilot emerging technology policies.
The centre, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function would be based in Maharashtra and it has selected drones, artificial intelligence and blockchain as the first three project areas, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said.
Geneva-based WEF, which describes itself as an international organisation for public-private cooperation, said the new centre will work in collaboration with the government on a national level to co-design new policy frameworks and protocols for emerging technology alongside leaders from business, academia, start-ups and international organizations.
NITI Aayog will coordinate the partnership on behalf of the government and the work of the centre among multiple ministries. The WEF has also entered into partnerships with the Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh governments for the new initiative and more states would be roped in going forward.
"The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change how we produce, how we consume, how we communicate and even how we live," WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said.
"To make the technological progress human centred, we must pro-actively work together and create the necessary essential principles and policy standards to ensure that we use the full potential for better lives. India is becoming a big technological global force and that is why I am especially proud to announce the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution India," he said.
The WEF said initial efforts at the national level are focused on two emerging technology areas -- artificial intelligence and machine learning; and blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
The first project will focus on expanding access to data to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence in socio-economic areas like education, healthcare and agriculture. The second will focus on the application of smart contracts to boost productivity and transparency while reducing inefficiency, the WEF said.
At state level, the Government of Maharashtra in collaboration with the Centre is planning to undertake a drone mapping operation in the agriculture sector.
The WEF said projects will be scaled across India and globally. As part of the WEF's global network, the new centre in India will work closely with project teams in San Francisco, Tokyo and Beijing, where such Centres are already present