NIAS Wednesday Talk on "CoVID-19: Aligning Innovative Technologies with Needs and Opportunities" by Prof V Bhujanga Rao, 4.00 PM


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CoVID-19: Aligning Innovative Technologies with Needs and Opportunities



V Bhujanga Rao



Anindya Sinha


Date & Time:

29 July, 2020 at 4.00 PM




The novel Covid-19 virus came as a rude shock into our, otherwise peaceful, lives throwing at us a multitude of new challenges at all levels. It is a global tragedy in many ways: we lost many loved ones. Lakhs of people lost jobs. Many organisations found it difficult to exist. Mounting economic losses have been seen everywhere. Imposed on us is what is now called the new 'normal'. Without respite, of course, the virus is still spreading exponentially.


Until the world finds a vaccine, it is difficult to say when the world will return to the so-called normal. But the silver line is that we are otherwise well equipped with the amazing power of many well-developed technologies at our disposal. This discussion proposes to bring out how to extend these technologies to different settings of this crisis. Video conferences, virtual meetings, Internet speeds, mobiles, AI, ML,4G-5G, analytics, robots, chatbots, cloud systems, advanced materials – all linked with planning and repurposing – have helped us to keep connected and productive. They showed us how to consolidate our energies by shedding all the 'dead time' that one would otherwise spend on traveling, and and so to speak, that our investment in broadband and mobile data has really paid off. But for these technologies, managing education and lectures online would have been impossible during this crisis. Experts are now predicting that the new education system is going to stay beyond CoVID-19 as blended online and classroom teaching.


But such good gains are clearly less, as compared to the losses we have run into. Among the worst affected sectors, one can see the biggest losses have happened in the tourism sector, comprising the aviation industry, hotels and motels, transportation, leisure travel and related businesses. How innovative technology interventions will help revive this industry sector, as we unlock, will form part of the narrative. In sum, there has possibly been no other instance, such as this, where safety and economic viability have become so important around the whole world for the human race to live in harmony, with technology playing a pivotal role in its survival and wellbeing.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020
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