IGF 2022 Day 3 Town Hall #82 Sustainable Automation as SDG-18?

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> MODERATOR:  Hi, good morning, everyone.  Welcome to the session on Sustainable Automation SDG‑18.  IGF is probably one of the most impactful Forums in the world on issues of Internet and digital technologies with 193 nation added members and this session of IGF, 17 IGF hosted in Ethiopia and joined by people live, 4,000 registration from 170 plus countries so welcome to this Forum, and I give you a backdrop of the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and jobs, and that has been behind this project of Sustainable Automation and DC Jobs was founded as a result of the efforts in IGF Paris focused on fact during closing remarks I said that technology should not be just focused on productivity, profit, and proliferation, but we should be keeping people at the core, that's the center.  So, with that in mind we form DC Jobs as it's called in the IGF terminology, and our focus is on leveraging Internet for creating jobs across sectors, across job areas.  For those of you who have worked, I see my fellow panelists, this is the report that we are reviewing today, the Sustainable Automation SDG‑18 and the reason we do this and we use the term sustainable Automation is that we need to consider whether we need to indiscriminately use automation or indiscriminately use automation and that's one of the big reasons.  What we have done in the report is looked at countries large, small, and we have looked at sectors, right, from agriculture to manufacturing, retail services.  We've also looked at professions, and which professions are getting automated and what's the result.  So, we have some startling numbers, you know, and then we get into this discussion with our expert panelists today online and even in the audience, and it's that like if you can think of countries like Brazil, 58% of the jobs will be automated.  If we look at the informal sectors, 68% of the jobs will be gone.  Makenzie400 million jobs will be lost and year we look at completion of 2030 and if you look at the top five tech companies, market gap is to the GDP of 157 nation, and that tells you the divide that we are creating with technology.

And 47% of the U.S. labor force will be under threat because of automation.  If we look at agriculture essentially in America, 30‑million people work in agriculture, and now there are 300,000, so just imagine 30 million to 300,000, that's huge.  In manufacturing, 63% of all local patients and 30% of the tasks will get automated, so that's some of the numbers if we look at the household, and 90% by robots, and when it comes to retail, one of the fastest growing retail, 50% of all activities have potential to be automated, and so this report has extensively covered that and data is taken with pinch of salt worldwide for sectors, but still I would say it's representative and indicative of that.

Even if we look at health care, we mentioned that people keep questioning will technology replace doctors?  So, I just give you a small snapshot of the MRCP exam conducted in the UK, and when Chad bot took that exam, they scored 81% versus actual doctors scoring just 72%.  This gives us a sense of where the future is.

And if I look back, and this is not something new that we are seeing for the last 10 or 20 years, and in fact John Manard said in said the technology is coming faster than labor absorption, and we're knowing it for almost close to a century, but not that we're seeing impact.  And to discuss this what we have done, is today we have got a panel, and I see almost all, minus one online which happens because it's hybrid mode and still I believe that even if we look at technology, human intervention will still be needed.  So, I have with me today, Gunjan Sinha a pioneer in the Internet space and general metrics team based in San Francisco.  Mr. Pooran Pandey World Food program, from the UN, various projects as former CEO of research institute on noble prize-winning world food program board and currently the visiting fellow international fellow at the foundation for democracy.

And we have Asish Thakur and Rishi Mohan Bhatnagar and author of first book on IoT and President and member of Aeris Communication.  We have Mr. Suresh Yadav Deputy Head of the U.S. Seb commonwealth and India and World Bank in Washington TC.  We have quite a distinguished panel and so we have a panel from across the world and we're going to shoot the questions to them starting with, I don't see Gunjan so I'm going to move to Dr. Rishi.  You are the panel, will net job creation move to job creation or loss.  What is your suggestion to the policymakers and industry?  And given the massive layouts we have seen in the last month or so, we would like to hear your views on that.  If my panelists can keep the views for five or six minutes then we can go back in the next round.  Thank you.

   >> RISHI MOHAN BHATNAGAR:  I try to respond to that in five minutes.  Thank you very much for inviting me.  It's a pleasure and honor to be here.  So, in 1800s, when the Industrial Revolution started in the Western World all the people who spin the wheel in India, lost their jobs.  Okay.  So, whenever there is a technology change and whenever there is a technology advancement, there will be a transformation, there will be a disruption.  I'm sure you know many of us who have some Indian origin will remember that in 1986 when computerization of railways was initiated in India, there was a huge, huge protest throughout the country and people were saying that we should not get computerization.  So, the answer is that technology will not stop.  We'll have to change ourselves.  And today, you know, the huge export of IT that happens from India and the huge amount of jobs that get created in India because of the IT, as a result of the revolution that started at that time.

My answer is, first, we need to segregate between the current layoffs in the technology companies with the automation.  If you see the kind of layoffs that are happening that are more because of the, you know, the growth at any cost.  What was the business model, was it the cash flow, was people making money out of the kind of investments they had made?  As a result, they had to stop and layoff.  The answer to the second thing, whenever there is a transformation or disruption, there will be a change in the skills required, and there will be futuristic skills that will be required.  There can be a lull where there can be job losses and people will be not knowing what to do.  Okay.

But there will be new kind of jobs that will be created.  There will be new kind of opportunities and business models that will be created.  We should never forget that the human mind is very mature and trying to identify things for themselves, and they'll be able to do things which will be beneficial for us.

We do not want humans to go into a drain and clean the drainage.  Let the robot do it, so we will differently require different jobs to be done by the new technological things, and so first, the loss of jobs, the layoffs that are happening throughout the world in the technology area, to me are not immediate because of the automation, but lack of business model, lack of ‑‑ you know, the growth at any cost, you know, I just want to grow at any cost.  That has resulted into the bubble getting busted.

Whenever there will be new technologies, new futuristic technologies, there will be new kind of jobs that will be created, there will be new skills that will be required.  People need to be ready for unskilling and skilling themselves for the new jobs.  We have a forum where we are working towards the future of future of future jobs.  What will the future jobs, and while we're talking about automation, we're talking about how many skills will not be required, 30‑million farmers moving toward only 300K.  Okay.  Where are the 2.7 million went?  Where the jobs that got created?  What are the business modeled created?  That's something that we should also think of.

For the policymaker, the last part of the question, because the futuristic jobs, with the new technologies, how to skill people?  In one of the states in India, there are 50,000 drone operators who are getting skilled.  Okay.  These drones will be, you know, checking the farms for insects and giving reports back to the centralized location.  What I'm trying to say is how many people might have thought that in the rural area there will be 50,000 drones‑skill resources required.  Okay.  And many of them might not be very technically educated, but now they're getting trained and skilled for drone management and drone operations.

What I'm trying to say is it will be new jobs created, and the policymakers need to start thinking that they will not be able to stop the technology.  In India, we all know that the startup India, Standup India, Skill India all the policies and initiatives that the government has taken just to ensure that the people will get themselves trained and skilled for the futuristic jobs.  That's my advice to the policymakers, that they have to start thinking about the future jobs and skilling resources and creating the capacity for futuristic jobs that will be there.

I pause myself here, I have taken five minutes.  Whenever there will be another question, I'll be happy to answer.

   >> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Rishi.  Very important points to split the current situation of layoffs versus the historical transformation that happens from technology.

Let me move from India to the neighborhood of Nepal.  Population of 130 million, and out of it one‑fifth is youth and Internet is 11.5.  What are the ground level and automation for Nepal and what's future of automation and jobs in Nepal given you are also upskilling in initiatives.  We would like to hear from you.  ASISH THAKUR:  Thank you if giving me a chance to speak.  As you have notably said about Nepal and sticking to that in terms of automation, there has been a lot of work going on in terms of automation, in all different sectors, hospitality, whether it be finance, or anything as such.  And we have seen a very good leap in a few of these industries where automation has really helped in terms of the industry.  For example, the financial transactions, the automation in financial transactions through the use of all of these technologies have made a lot of ease in a lot of sense for banking as well, but at the same time as we are talking about jobs and future of jobs as well, it is cutting ‑‑ it is also helping in cutting down jobs, in terms of industry it is good.  At the same time, what I would like to relate it to is as part of research which was done by UNICEF back in 2019, which said that more than half of the students would come out of the schools without the skills needed for future jobs by 2030, which we are seeing very big relevance these days where working population gap is also much bigger in Nepal, it's not just about the skills but as the people availability in Nepal, where we are not having adequate number of working population in Nepal where they are going to different other countries and working, for obvious reasons of better pay and better things there, about you that is something that we need to work on to bring in people, to bring in the working population as well, and now focusing them toward the skill of today, as the previous speaker also very well mentioned about that we need to adapt.  The world will keep on changing.  We need to adapt to things.  All of these are also creating new kinds of jobs.  It is not just irradicating fewer jobs, but it is also creating kinds of jobs which we call analyst, which we call copyrighters, which we call a lot of other technological invented jobs where we have to have a person behind that technology to work on.

I see a lot of young people as we have been running different upskilling and reskilling programs as well in Nepal.  I see a lot of young people getting into coding, getting into designing, getting into all sorts of different activities, which are equally or even more at times, providing them opportunities and resources for themselves.

So, what I see in terms of what is happening and in terms of how it is affecting in the future of jobs is, there needs to be a job‑connectivity job for the academics and that is the very area that we are working on.  We need to keep adapting, as a person we need to keep adapting for the new jobs as well as the academics need to convert to a more applicable and technical and vocational education at the same time of academics so the skills can be worked out.

I'll just give you an example.  It's getting hard even to find waiters in restaurants these days.  And that is one restaurant in Nepal, which was opened by some engineers, by some engineering students and they have these robots as the waiters, right.  That is providing something to that, but at the same time there needs to be the human intervention when we are going to a hospitality sector or restaurant or hotel.  We need to have somebody who is treating us, who is talking to us, so that intervention would obviously be needed.  And those kind of things need to be reskilled and at a time, upskilled with a lot of matters, and so that is something which needs to be taken care of with the use of vocational and technical education toward academics, as well as converting the earlier skills to a better and reskilled upskilled human resource, like accountants, that a lot of things are done by the system being automated, but then there is a lot of analysis which is needed for better accounting systems.  So, these things need to be upgraded, and we have seen that even the government is trying to develop some new curriculums and we are supporting if that as well in Nepal, but we do need to learn a lot from as the earlier speaker mentioned earlier about Startup India and Skill India, so there is a lot of things that we also need to learn from other places.  There has been a lot of research and formulations going on in terms of bringing on these aspects for future of jobs, and sustain bl automation is perfectly fine, but then we need to go and upgrade our skills and we need to have a system for youth to upgrade their skills and that will for sure help in the future of jobs that is upcoming.  That would also increase a lot of productivity and add a lot of sense.  But yeah, for now I keep it here and if there is anything, I would love to answer again.  Thank you.

   >> MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  Good to hear your perspective and point you made about the skills and the system.  We'll come to that in a later point.  Now we'll jump to Suresh.  I've seen you work with former President of India on special duty and brought in tech for the first time at President's office and then you have been at World Bank, and now as the Senior Leadership Team of Commonwealth of (?) countries.  How do you see the stage of tech adoption and what would your views be on sustainable automation?

   >> SURESH YADAV:  Thank you.  Professor Gupta.  First of all, congratulations to you and your team to convening this very important topic of sustainable automation on the global stage.  It's very relevant, it's very timely.  I've gone through a report, and it brings out very important facts and figures that where and how things are happening.  The most important thing which I find from your book is about the shift of power, the shift of power from the government sector to the private sector.  You have rightly pointed out in your report how the capitalization, the market capitalization of the Apples and many other companies are much higher than many of the countries that you put together which you say the number 179 or something like that.  This brings perspective of how much control the governments have on sustainable automation.  Whether they can define the directions, whether they can decide where they want the automation or where they do not want automation.  That's a big question mark, particularly if you look at the requirement of the governments for the resources from the international organizations, from the private sectors, and so that limits ability of the government to decide, and if you look at the foreign direct investment coming to the countries, I think the gain there is that the countries have no control.  Some of the countries barring few countries where they can decide where they want investment, high‑end informing, low‑end, training, services, whatever.  That's a control which probably has shifted from the government to the private sector.  It's the private sector which decides where they want to go, and they're able to change the policy and do the business in the cross‑border scenario to that extent.  Then the question is does the private sector has the power, and then who is going to decide what should be the level of automation?  The government can decide its own process and procedures, like I did as you recall rightly said, I did the complete automation in the President's office, and there was resistance as was about the computerization and railways and income tax department and other places, so faced resistance but we managed to do it.

What happened in the process is that I was able to cut down maybe 70% or 80% of people doing processes in inefficient way, so I got less number of people to do those processes, but at the same time here I realize that the number of people needed in the other processes had increased, so when I look at the together, you know, the sum, I found that it was like zero‑sum game.  So similarly, if you look at the global context that if country X is adapting a very high‑level of automation, so it's increasing the productivity, increasing profitability, increasing competitive power in the market.  So, there is a job loss in country X, but in the process, if you look at the outsourcing model, then that company is outsourcing certain processes and procedures to a company, Y?  Maybe accounting, contract manufacturing, software development, et cetera.  So may question would be that if we start looking at the world economy as a whole, instead of locking at country‑specific scenarios, then the results are different.  At the global level we will say that the technology adoption in one of the parts of the world is leading to job creation in another part of the world.  That's the question.  Like if you look at the outsourcing which India got benefited from PPO or legal outsourcing or other services.  So, if we start looking at things in a slightly different perspective, then we have different results.

I will also equal the sentiment that technology will find its way, whether we like it or dislike it, the technology has the power of disruption and neither the government can stop nor the individuals can stop.  The best way is to adopt them, prepare yourself for those changes, and now the shift has to be from continuous and life‑long learning and continuous and life‑long skilling so at that you're able to adopt to the upcoming changes to the technology and you're able to better adjust to those emerging ecosystems in the working space.  That's why the discussions on future of work, future of jobs, future of the organizations, everything is happening because people know that they can't stop technology.  Look at the Crypto, people who are skeptical about the Crypto, but look at the impact or look at the penetration which is happening, so it's coming in the parallel to the global economy, and if not as part of the mainstream economy.  This is inevitable.  This is bound to happen.  The one response that we can have is to collaborate and to prepare our young minds, young people, and the people who are working in the present scenario to be ready to adopt those changes.  That would be my message.  I'll stop here.

   >> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Very important point that technology will find its way, whether you work against it or whether it is your call.  Technology is going to be here and transforming the sector it touches.  Also, the fact that the power is shifting from government power sector reflecting in the reports that valuation of five companies is GDP of 157 nations, it's disproportionately powerful.

This brings me to one of the colleagues on the panel, Rahaful worked on this, and given the fact on your masters and given what we are discussing today how do you see sustainable automation and what's your view on it.

>> RAHATUL JANNAH:  Thank you for letting me discuss such an important topic today.  When I started study, I didn't know machine impact to such larger extent.  Recently, I moved to UK, so the things here are really different.  Automation here is really high as compared to India.  So, as a student, even I'm finding it difficult to find part‑time jobs, like stores are really automated, and it seems pretty tempting with those automated machines where you don't require any human assistance, and like the jobs that were done manually, people that would traditionally perform like human task and all are thousand done by those machines, so you don't need any like human intervention on like any human assistance, so there would be machines to guide you.

So, the task that performed manually earlier are now performed by machines, so you need certain kinds of skills to adopt those skills, and in order to understand those machine languages, people with low skill or like they are not familiar with those machines, they're really facing difficult time to cope with the present scenario of the workplace.

So, I think so automation is leading to high production, high productivity, but at the same time, people are losing jobs, and we're not thinking about human resources.  We are only focusing on how to increase the production or meeting up the like requirement of human.

At the same time, the jobs that are being taken away and people are losing jobs, and they're also losing purchasing power.  So, this has given rise to unemployment as well as a student also I'm facing a problem of finding jobs.  So, what would be the future if we start implementing or installing automation without thinking of balance between automation and human, so there would be excessive installing of using of automation without thinking of jobs that would be human.  So, I think the skills, the less skilled people are going to face the problem if they don't reskill themselves, and also automation if used without thinking, like excessive automation, at that point also we're going to risk our future, and people are going to end up with no job, will not have a perfect job that would satisfy our potential.

So, humans would be overtaken by automations, the tasks would be performed by automations, and humans would have nothing left except for like reskilling at that point.  So, if we reskill at the end of our high point of automation, at that point it may be difficult for the dependency to cope up, and countries like having high dependency ratio.  Even some country, developed countries who have less population than high populated countries like India and China, would really find it difficult to like cope up with this automation face since they have to take care of a larger population.  So, it's very important to think about how to teak care of automation and implementing automation on sectors, different sectors, and where it's required.  It's not something at that we blindly install automation everywhere, rather it's required or not, and we look into sustainable automation where we would be installing automation, but thinking sustainably with human and machines would go together but would have a very good future than what we're installing automation right now without thinking of where to and where not to.  That would be my point.  Thank you.

   >> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Very important point that as a student you find it hard to get part‑time jobs thanks to automation and very important point about the dependency ratio.  You know, having heard Asish and Rishi and you, I think the person I would come to is Dr. Dr. Pooran I known for a long time including last assignment with World Food Program and ties into universal basic income.  Do you think Dr. Pooran that the world is at the stage when we can indiscriminately adopt automation, and we will be able to factor UBI for all, I mean given the big divide that we're having thanks to technology, which is moving across the productivity divide, which is moving to the financial divide, as we have seen historically.  So, I think it's a very loaded question for you, but I think given your work, it will not be loaded.  I look forward to your views.

I think you are muted, Dr. Pooran.  You need to unmute.  We're not able to hear you.

   >> POORAN CHANDRA PANDEY:  Am I audible now?

   >> MODERATOR:  Yes, you are.

   >> POORAN CHANDRA PANDEY:  Okay.  So, thank you very much, indeed, and I would like to congratulate you, and you know the team for putting together this very important agenda for our discussions today.

I have long had the view that there is nothing right, there is nothing wrong.  How really do things in a way that we could probably try to balance it out in a way that it does not really cut on the wrong side of the human centricity.  I have also long had a view that technology, like anything else in our lives, would have positive side to it and maybe some maybe not so positive.  Let me go to a scenario based on how technology is evolving and what it might end up doing, which might mean disruptions that are large scale, which might mean throwing people out of jobs they have been doing, and could also mean how could it really create disruption in the labor market, and for all of these things that are going to happen by being accelerated by assistive technological application, both in our offices and at homes and societies, there could be a possibility where, and this could be possibility and I'm not really giving a prediction, but there could be a fairly high degree of pretensive probability where we could also begin to see social disorder and costs would be pretty heavy both for governments an also for the private sector to be able to handle it if it really goes beyond a certain level of degree or point.  This is the downside to our technology.

The up side is it makes our life easier.  We can do our task better, like we're talking to each other from five different places all together.  IT technology would not be possible without the technology.  Technology is also very important, where it really makes very crazy things into pretty simple kind of issues.

For example, if I'm traveling and I will probably give you a very small example of type A, which is (?) people, very small nation state, benefit then able to do positive things which means that this country and what it earns and how people make their money is heavily dependent on technology.  This technology is precision technology.  They make chips which nobody else can.  They're very precise in terms of manufacturing of.  I never knew until I came that the world's best cycles are being made there and nobody anywhere around the world can probably match the scale, accuracy, the kind of product they have been making and cycle sitting in Taiwan but being sold around the world which brings money back to Taiwan.

This is the kind of factual thing about technology.  This would not really say all the technology but we have to really remember things about technology.  How to be really ‑‑ how do we really try and find areas and sectors, where we could probably accelerate the user technology, keeping in mind of how technology could do more and do what it might need to do.

Second thing, why technology is really important and I have nothing against technology, but what I would really like to see ‑‑ (audio fluctuating) ‑‑ that technology has got to also remember that technology has to take the human centricity while it moves along.  While we keep on saying, look, we need to adopt, but it's fine.  I mean ‑‑ no problem with humans being able to adopt to technology.

(no audio).

   >> MODERATOR:  I think we lost him.  We'll wait to get him back.  Or should we move to the next question coming out of the discussions from this.  So Rishi pointed out about the lack of business model, and if I combine this with what my current speaker was talking about, social disorders as one of the down sides of disproportionate power in the hands of corporations, which we have seen the numbers in the report tell the story, so Rishi, I will come to you because you have been with global delivery, so no better person can than you can tell us what will it take to companies to have the right business model?

   >> RISHI MOHAN BHATNAGAR:  People need to start thinking about, there has to be, you know, business happens for profit.  Okay.  And when you are in a mature environment, mature corporation would like to have a decent profit and not substantial ‑‑ so once you have a business model that clearly clarifies how the money will flow and how much margins you will make, okay, that is how the business needs to work.  But in today's world, if you see many of the business models where I personally have not been able to understand how that model was money for the enterprise.  Okay.  They're more working on investments and getting some more funding, funding, funding, and how will you return the funding, and how that funding will have some kind of returns?  I am not able to see that kind of model, and that's what I was circling.  The business model, if it is not there, then the problem will be more of, you know, how will you continue paying salaries, how will you sustain that complete business?  And once the business is sustainable, that means it is generating its own cash and you need to see what is the minimum profit you should make.  Organizations are meant to make profits.  And unless you're going to make a profitable market, a profitable business, then it's not sustainable.  Otherwise, getting funding, whether it's the government funding or from a corporation, you know, it is not the model that will work.

So, I have been trying to understand many of the current startups and older startups and the large technology companies and investing in huge amount of things and having no business model of how will they get money generated.  And so my simple answer, I don't have a, you know, I don't have a silver bullet to answer what is the business model and what business model will work, but the business model, the basic requirement is that how the money will flow and who will pay and why will they pay and how much should I charge so that I make a descent profit.  The definition of descent profit depends upon individual organizations.

Okay.  So, you know the kind of layoff that has happened, whether we all know the name of those technology companies where there were layoffs in the U.S. and impact was global.  I could not identify how will they be making money.  Okay.  And what is the business model to generate that revenue which is profitable?  As a result, there has been a collapse and they had to let people go.  So, whenever anybody starts a business, they had to think about who will buy, why will they buy, and at what price will they make a decent profit?  That is what whether it's a service or product, you need to think about this.  And if you have answers, you will be able to have a business model that is working.

   >> MODERATOR:  Thanks, Rishi.  I need to move to the next panelist, but very important point that we need to be very mindful about.  You cannot have unlimited growth.  Countries.  Go DP to move from 1 trillion to 2 trillion is a matter of decades, for a company it is 17 months.  Selling iPhones and computers.  Now you know how cash this is Apple and you don't want to debate that, but I'm stating this point to the point that Rahaful made on dependency issue.  There are countries, and I agree the situation will not be the same for country with Japan which is aging population, will need to assist people and to do the job.  South Korea will need because of falling fertility rates and companies there that produce mobile and electronics for the world.  So, coming to you, you are senior leadership team of multilateral body, Suresh, how do you see this as situation evolving before you, and are there any thoughts that you have in mind to share with the thinking of nations that you represent at the commonwealth?

   >> SURESH YADAV:  Thank you.  Thank you, Professor Gupta for this question.  Let me first thank you for inviting the young colleague that was part of the new generation and generation which most part of the receiving end of the whole cyclic chain that we're already seeing.  It also brings me to a very other important point that as per the climate is concerned, we have been talking about intergenerational equity, which is available to the present generation should also be available to the future generations.

So, this also brings to the job context as I can make out from her experience that it's hard to get the job in an advanced economy.  But it also points to another very important factor, that the job growth and job opportunities are going to shift from advanced economies to the developing economies.  The jobs will be there where there is a problem, and the problems are there in the developing economies.  So now the educational system is that in the advanced economy, the job opportunities are going to be beyond everything economy, so how to create a match between the two.  So, I think this will require a great reset in terms of the whole industrialization process, the whole educational system, and also the mindset that the money lies today in problem solving.  Like if you see now India, the third largest ecosystems in the world in terms of the startup because we have a lot of problems, so that's where the opportunities lie, that's where the profit lies.  So, this is something which we have to prepare the future generation to ensure they become job creator rather than job seekers.  That's the fundamental shift which countries have to see.  Now, coming back to my own commonwealth of the nation, which is as you rightly pointed out, 56 country member, 2.5‑million populations, and 13‑trillion‑dollar economy of the 56 countries, and more importantly, which is relevant in this context is that 60% of the population of these 2.5‑million is under the age of 30.  So, the biggest challenge which I have been experiencing while talking to the various heads of government, ministries and everyone is how to engage the youth, how to mainstream the youth in the whole process that they are not alienated in their own economy and country.  This is the biggest sell because many of those countries are very much concerned about the peace and instability in the country.  If you can't get the youth, you know, the capacity to work, the availability of jobs to them, it's a big, big challenge as per the peace and security in the country is concerned.

What we have been doing is that, you know, in the commonwealth, we have huge opportunities of training within the commonwealth countries and that in advantage because all of these commonwealth countries are having the same legal system, the same rules and procedures, and almost the same kinds of language, you know, everybody understands the English.

So, these countries understand those things in a very, very similar manner.  That gives an advantage that if you're trading within the commonwealth and investing within the commonwealth, you have 21% advantage with which if you trade or invest in a non‑commonwealth country.  We're trying to enhance that 21% to 30% by using the whole digitalization process in the commonwealth countries so that there is more trade, more investment within commonwealth countries, and creates more opportunities, particularly for the small and medium enterprises, which are considered to be the job creators.  So, we cannot control the big like Apple, Microsoft, Google we're talking about, but can we make young people part of the ecosystem, SME, to become entrepreneurial and create jobs.  Each small and medium enterprises in India are generating jobs from 4.5% to 10 people, you know, so that's where the power lies for the countries which are still in the developing states.  And to that, we have started massive skilling programs for the university graduates so they're skilled in a way so that they can use the skilling programs to get the jobs as well as to start their own entrepreneurship programs.

Secondly, we have been trying to do reskilling of government officials as we said technology will find a place but there is private sector of government, so we can't stop how artificial intelligence is going to change the life of people whether working in the field of the government, so we have starting preparing them for skilling programs, launching AI for the public officials in the commonwealth countries, and we are trying to ensure that they're fully prepared to adopt the AI, but as to understand the plus and minus of the AI, the problem and all of the countries are going to face the challenges, so which are the hidden things and devices which can affect the organization in the countries.

These are some of the initiatives which we are trying to work on and trying to ensure that the future generations, particularly which have the maximum stake in their own country, in the global peace, in the global order, and for making this planet very safe are part of this whole agenda for skilling and digitalization and everything.  I'm sure that if we can do that, we will have a very resilient young generation who will be good for themself, for the country, as well as for a very sustainable and habitable planet.  I'll stop here.  Thank you.

   >> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Suresh.  Given one side discussing and debating sustainable automation, one thing I also realize is that technology is not going away, so yesterday on the main session, the technologies of the future, I announced Project Create, which is about collaborating to realize employment and entrepreneurship for all using through a tech ecosystem.  Because certainly the current models are making corporations stronger than nations, and you know they will definitely prepare upon and change the policies and the point you brought about the SMEs and the tech envoy of the UN was on my panel and appreciate the fact that we should talk about job creation, because that's something that people don't talk about.  We always talk about profitability, productivity, and so this will be one question to you, maybe putting you on the spot, how would you see commonwealth supporting an initiative like Create?  This is under the auspices of DC Jobs at IGF.

   >> POORAN CHANDRA PANDEY:  I am back if there is a need for me go on, I will be happy to do it.

   >> MODERATOR:  I will come back.  This question is for Suresh.

   >> POORAN CHANDRA PANDEY:  That's fine.  I'm just trying to say that I'm back.  It's technology, you know, thank you.

   >> MODERATOR:  Suresh, over to you.

   >> SURESH YADAV:  Thank you, Professor Gupta and I admire the capacity and ability to innovate your thinking and come out with innovative solutions.  As I said in the beginning that the emphasis for creating jobs, and particularly the jobs by using the appropriate technology, and neither to the technology and not for gain of technologies.  If you recall in the 70s, India found is how to find it appropriate.  I used to study in the IT and know which energy is suitable for India need at that point of time.  So, this discussion has been for very long time that it should not be the mad race for automation, and that if some country is doing it, I should do it.  What is my local need?  Am I happy with the simple solution of the problem‑solving, or should I go to Blockchain or Crypto or fancy items in the market.  That's the fancy kind of solutions.

Coming back to the point, definitely we can explore with you what are the ‑‑ what models you have in mind and how it can be helpful in creating public goods for the people and for the country.  Because everything and anything whether it is developed by the countries, by the individuals, developed by the government which has a public value, I think we all should come together and support that public initiative which can be good for the society and people and particularly the young population.  I'll be very happy to explore it further with you, and I'm very open‑minded person and definitely we can talk much about it and how we can leverage our own value as well as need for countries for jobs.  Because the job is number one agenda in most of the countries.  Every country is concerned of how to create the job how to create the young people engaged in the meaningful economic activities so that they are not only a kind of resource for the countries but rather than a kind of drain on the countries.  That's a question and very, very thoughtful of you to go on this line and please always think like the like‑minded people who wants to see a very good world, safe world, avenue planet will always be good with you.

   >> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  Very sharp in the words.  Global good and public good.  Internet for all and livelihood for all because still 2.4 billion people or 2.7, the 2 number, whichever is correct, are still not connected to the Internet.  This I think in the last 10 minutes or so, we would love to pass it on to discussion as questions.  Do we have questions from the online or even within the room?  Happy to take them.

   >> MODERATOR:  Yes.  We have questions online.  What can be done to satisfy the mass hysteria of people associated with automation.  Second question is, can the reskilling of the population be a solution to tackle unsustainable automation?

   >> MODERATOR:  For me to answer, I also serve as member of the education policy committee of the Government of India, and the current education system is not in with the changing needs of the time.  I mean that's something that we are talking of 18th century education system with a 21st Century setup.  There is a complete mismatch.  The four walls are not going to deliver you out of the box thinking so that has to be rethought.  The old paradigm of teaching that needs, physics, math, it's important but not the only option we should give to students.  That is one part that we need to redo our education system.  And more so in light of what COVID has done to us.

The second thing about mass hysteria I think the proof is in the pudding, and I think Rahaful is doing masters in London, tough to support with part‑time job, that's reality for us, so that's why for us the report of sustainable automation is about looking at those challenges and finding a solution.  Do we have a solution?  No.

Do we have to find a solution?  We don't have a choice.  So, I think that is where this is vital debate for us when we look at Project Create is to work together to find what is that route going to be?  Would it be a discrete automation or will it be indiscriminate?  I don't know indiscriminate will solve all the problem but we need to look at level to use automation and where.  That's what Dr. Rishi brought out.  If the companies, so‑called billion‑dollar companies don't have business model, then I think it's our job to find out.

>> I think there is a question in the room also and we can take that and then move to online.

   >> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Yeah.  My question was pretty similar to the second one.  But I'll try to frame it a little bit differently.  When you were talking about, for example, 99% of agricultural workers are going to be unemployed due to automation.  And when we're talking about reskilling, obviously it's impossible to give a proper estimate, but how effective do you think that's going to be for 99% of the people in the field?  Can you really reskill 99% of people who are losing their jobs?

   >> MODERATOR:  I can give perspective from my country, we have very diverse 36 states, 1.4 billion population and different parts in different areas.  Some most advanced and some really living in semi‑urban areas and some rural areas, so it's complex challenge, but the question is, what are we focusing on?  We're trying to focus on make those into smart cities, is that a solution?  Should we look at smart villages?  That's the kind of mentorship that our panelists talked about it.  We need to redo and rethink the way we look at things.  I would actually like if someone from the panel I have Dr. Pooran used to be on World Food Program and looked at topic in more depth and given the fact at that I was looking at the data in the report that we will have to enhance production by 70% to meet the food needs of 2050.  Can you imagine that with the shrinking force?  There is no 3D food you get without growing the actual biological nutrients unless we try to create something out of thin air.  I actually pass it on to Pooran Pandey if he wants to chip in or someone else from the expert panel online.

   >> POORAN CHANDRA PANDEY:  Happy to say the following.  I'm sorry, you know, my technology, certain type getting disrupted, so you can really imagine why technology affects what we do to most of us in a way that we can't really imagine.  What I was trying to say then was, and just to give a little backdrop before I get into answering this question is whenever technology takes route in the society and community, at any point in time you can trace the history right from the (?) down to the current times.  When it was accepted technology was introduced if a system by a society, and society's order and large‑scale employment laws began, and that really disrupted the young and youth.

(audio fluctuating).

If we look at the young and the youth, which are part of the system now, they have about 2‑billion people ‑‑ if we have to take into account the schools and colleges and what really happens to them, do they get a job, or do they get a job that is below their skill and haven't been able to use it while being this their academic institutions.  This is where the role of the government becomes very, very important.  How will the government try to take care of this ‑‑ (feedback) ‑‑

This is why more than 75 countries now have been trying to look at as to what do they really do to secure the safety net for people so they don't really fall off the cliff very, very quickly and very, very easily.  This is where the whole idea of universal basic income is being talked to, not that going to be given money by the government, but if there is a situation or scenario, including that of from one level of technology to another level of technology.  So, there are 75 governments around the world who are now thinking in terms of how to safeguard these young people, safeguard the poor, the vulnerable, so they do not really fall off the cliff in a society, giving a lot of potential problems of the social order whereby the government will need to spend money on police, on security, and the consequential difficulties and problems which society could probably pass through.  So, I will really stop here, but answering the question, which is about agriculture, you rightly said that the cost of living (?) taking place and that will be accelerating as we pass into times, and people will not really have enough food to eat.  And agricultural agrarian societies will find it pretty hard to continue to feed their own people, and therefore on the one hand technology is going to be pretty obvious when it will be deployed to sort of increase productivity, see to it value in the agricultural product which has been grown in fields is going to be secure, and how will the supply chain from one part of the world where agricultural produce is being grown or produced in a larger quantity will get exported to other countries in Africa, in Middle East so people do not suffer from the hunger and can't make ends meet.  In time come, a lot of premiums on countries and societies are going to grow agricultural products, and this is why I believe the jobs might be getting lost in manufacturing or in services because there is an excessive growth of technology, but there will be sectors like agriculture, sectors like MSME, sectors like you know, household businesses, startups.  So, I think why on the one hand technology is going to dismantle jobs and throw people out in a very large quantity, but then there are going to be certain sectors that more and more jobs seem to be going to be created, and we have got to be mindful, and this is what I said when I started opening and talking about it.  That it is precisely the kind of the duty of the government and the private sector together to see to it that they identify areas, they identify sectors, they identify people, willing to skill them, and then at the same time begin to give them protection in terms of social safety and security.

Unless and until these things are going to be important place and put in place as quickly as possible, we could see technology not only displacing people from civil sectors together but as bringing a lot of social disorder, which might be a very, very difficult for police and for anybody to be able to control beyond a point in time, and therefore it is not only being able to adopt to technology, but as how to really see to it at that we take away the downside to technology and get them to mitigate, and also create ‑‑

   >> MODERATOR:  We need to stop.  We are beyond our schedule, so just 10 second to everyone on this important question is like all of my panelists should sustainable development like goals have sustainable automation as SDG 18, yes or no, just from each of you before we wrap the session.  I would ask Rishi, Suresh, Asish and then you.

   >> RISHI MOHAN BHATNAGAR:  Definitely, yes.  The sustainable automation is there and we have to work on it.

   >> SURESH YADAV:  Yeah.  Thank you.  I think sustainable automation is very, very important but whether to go SDG 18 you have to do SDG 9 whether that sustainable automation can cover that and I think we are too late in the game and halfway past so whether that can fit in.  Thanks.

   >> MODERATOR:  Asish.

>> ASISH:  Yes, and focused on sustainable industry that is happening there.

>> RAHATUL:  Yes, should be considered as SDG 18.

   >> POORAN CHANDRA PANDEY:  This is an important area and sort of goes along with SDG 9 and as Suresh said that we're already late in the game because UN system to be able to go back and try and include another goal as any other goal, would be very difficult and almost impossible.

   >> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Thank you.  People in the room, would you raise a hand or hands down to saying SDG 18 or SDG 9 merge with sustainable automation is the way?  Show of hands should be good.  Okay.

Thank you.  I think an interesting discussion.  This is just primer for debate.  We hope that going forward we will work on it, and I look forward to engaging with you.  Thank you so much for joining online.  Have a great day.  Okay.  Good evening or good night for those joining across the world.  Thank you.