Topic : Robotics creating jobs?
Topic in Syllabus: General Studies Paper 3: Science & Technology
Robotics and automation can be India’s next big industry boom in a scale that can match the famous boom in information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) services in 2000s.
- The All India Council for robotics and automation has announced the launch of a new initiative AICRA Tech Startup Programme.
- The programme will act as an incubation environment for startups and other early-stage adopters working on robotics and robotic process automation (RPA) in India.
- The robotic process automation is a technological capability that allows the streamlining of operations in the enterprises. It also allows enterprises to automate their tedious processes thereby enabling users to enhance their productivity through higher value adding tasks.
About the AICRA Tech Startup Programme
The concept of AICRA Tech Startup Programme is to give mileage to all new companies who wish to venture in technology.
When somebody wish to start new company, there are various requirement such as requirement of technology support, funds, reaching to the right customer segment, documentation support etc. The AICRA have members from industries as well as the education sector, in order to help these startups to fulfill such requirements.
How does AICRA fund the start-ups?
- AICRA Tech Startup is also tying up with venture capitalists, and sourcing funds from CSR activities as per the Indian finance minister’s recent announcement of using CSR funds to set up incubation centres.
- Apart from using CSR, huge stocks of products, lying down ideally in warehouses, can be used. For instance, a university willing to establish a lab can buy lab instruments from a company and pay them in installments Hence, such product based financing rather than taking loan with heavy interest is much more efficient.
- Such low cost financing methods can help in establishing more Global Innovation centers (GICs).
Will Automation take away the jobs?
- Whenever there is a change in the manufacturing cycle, there will be huge resistance from the employees as they always that automations can reduce the number of employment. However, automation also creates new opportunities by creating new types of jobs.
- The automation also helps in improving the productivity, optimizing the process and also help in safe working conditions.
- When automation comes into the system, it gives a diversified understanding of a technology and shed light on overall improvement of the process requirements. For example, by introducing automation, people working in packing line will also have a technologically enhanced knowledge instead of having a basic knowledge of packing process.
- Hence, automation does not reduce the manpower as that manpower are required to manage the automation.
How AICRA is introducing RPA in education sector?
- AICRA offer technology support in the RPA space in collaboration with partners, such as UiPath to introduce RPA in educations sector.
- Delivering a technology driven education and understanding the RPA are two major requirements of automation in educations sector.
- AICRA is giving support to the University and colleges especially the engineering colleges and they are getting associated with International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).
- AICRA is also establishing labs wherein students and faculty can innovate new product and process.
- AICRA has collaborated with other partners to make Global Innovation Centers (GICs). This Innovation Center will comprise of Innovation Lab, Incubation Center and Accelerator to commercialized newly invented products in innovation Labs. GICs also lay down special emphasis on ethical business management practices for the students and entrepreneurs. Initially, 5 GIC will be set up across India.
Growth prospects of RPA in India
Globally, RPA industry is pegged at around $100 billion.
- In India, people hardly know about Robotic Process Automation. Moreover, India does not have that much experts who can deliver RPA technology.
- In Indian education, this technology is not available as professor doesn’t know about it. In Indian industry, we do not find out any industry which is actually using the RPA.
- However, some of the continuous manufacturing industries, part of the automotive industry and pharmaceutical industries had adopted robotics.
- Automation is coming up very largely into the consumers manufacturing as consumers manufacturing needs high level of automation to increase the efficiency and productivity by 30 to 40 %. As the margins in consumer items are low, even 10% improvisation in process is lot for major consumer companies.
- Since the most of the manufacturing machines are running at 500/1000 units per minute or thousands, it is extremely challenging to manage those machines manually. That is where the automation plays a very important role. This reduce the process time and achieve production targets to meet the market requirement.
- Due to the slow electrical charging system in India, it is difficult to adopt electric vehicles in Indian market. Currently, the fastest charging time available in India is two and a half to three hours for any four-wheeler! Unless, it is under 40 or 30 minutes, nobody will buy those electric cars. In Chhattisgarh, there is a pilot project going on in which the electric charging of all the electric cars are automated.
How RPA is different from traditional automation?
The traditional automation is not dynamic as they are not interactive. The traditional robot will do a static job and will not adapt according to the changing environment.
On the other hand, RPA can adapt to the changing dynamics of manufacturing process and are very efficient as well.
Before introducing any automation into the manufacturing sector, there should be an in-house educational program to educate technical teams. This team can, in turn, educate other employees as well as workers.
This education awareness will help them to understand that this is for their betterment and for the improvement of the manufacturing cycle.
Lots of companies are watching India’s project progress in RPA technologies and wish to invest in India and collaborate with automation companies.
If the India can get support, in terms of technology and funding, of the major worldwide companies in the RPA, then India can seek decent future in RPA.
“The fear of AI and autonomous machines as a threat to humanity is misguided.” Critically analyse the statement with respect to the Indian Scenario.(250 words)