Editorial Analysis for 17th November 2020

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Needed, a policy framework in step with technology


Mains: G.S.II & III Polity and Governance, Science and Technology


  • With the rapid pace of technology blurring boundaries, a holistic view of schemes is a must.
  • As technology has evolved in the latter part of the 20th century and the early part of 21st century, the traditional boundaries between goods and services have blurred.
  • Information based technologies have been widely adopted across a broad range of industries and products that traditionally have not been perceived as software based.
  • Data is the new currency for the future. It is the new oil if you are in oil and gas. The new superfood if you are in the food and beverage industry. The new gold, whatever you want to call it, data is what is driving everything.


  • Information is the new currency powering economies.
  • The expansion of computing power has driven the pace of information gathering and analysis.
  • The new currency drives processes and decision making across a wide variety of goods and services, making them more efficient and value enriched.
  • There is increasing digitisation and electronification of industrial activities, products and services, influencing the evolving skill sets in industry.
  • Information availability drives efficiency and creates value for customers by providing greater control over the product and it’s surrounding environment.
  • To address the needs of various stakeholders, governments have tended to build specialised departments and designed policies that govern those areas.
  • However, over time, as each of these departments grew, they have tended to operate in silos.
  • This has for most of the 20th century been reasonably successful in driving economic development in countries.
  • The recent developments in technology have, however, blurred standard boundaries that dictate policy framework in most governments.
  • If we look at the automobile industry, policies are governed by the Heavy Industries and the Surface Transport Ministries, respectively. However, increasing electronification and digitisation of the automobile are not covered by industrial policies that govern the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry.
  • Another example involves drones that could serve different sectors, including agriculture, and would require a lot of inter – departmental clearances outside of the Department of Agriculture.
  • There is an increasing need for inter departmental cooperation and synergy not only in policy formulation but also in its execution.
  • There is a need to have a holistic view of policies for economic development as technology is becoming a significant enabler in most industries.
  • A sufficiently empowered policy clearing cell could ensure a holistic view on policy across departments at the centre and the states.
  • More significantly, a nourishing ecosystem for industry, including the hard infrastructure and softer areas such as education, skilling, technical institutions, laboratories, testing centres, etc., has to be cultivated.
  • The creation of clusters of companies in adjacent but complementary areas could constitute such an ecosystem that encourages multi and cross- disciplinary learning and spur innovation and economic development.
  • In this evolving policy framework, it is important that there shall be close cooperation and alignment between the centre and the states to ensure effective implementation on the ground.

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